Sometimes it feels like us girls are juggling so much -- and maybe it's because we actually are. Between work and kids, school and friends, we are constantly running and rushing around. And this hurried lifestyle sometimes results in us not really thinking through our outfit choices in the morning, resulting in "outfit regrets."
Yes, "outfit regrets" are the decisions we wish we hadn't made when we frantically got dressed in the morning. Read on to discover the biggest mistakes girls are making, and why tomorrow morning, before rushing out the door, it will really pay off to take a step back, and really think about making the most practical and best sartorial choice for the fabulous day ahead of you.
Regret #1: "I wish I had worn my comfortable shoes."
There's nothing worse than traipsing all around the city in heels and smiling at people through gritted teeth as you suffer through bleeding blisters all over your feet.
Regret #2: "I wish I wasn't carrying such a small bag."
Clutches are cool and cute, but what about when you're sitting there bored on the train? You can't fit a magazine or a Kindle in there, or your spare change of clothes (you never know where the night will take you).
Regret #3: "I wish I checked my outfit for stains."
Deodorant stains: Those long white streaks on dark clothes that miraculously seem to appear only once you're in public. Also, why is it impossible to remove them? Here's the thing: You need to take the time to air out those pits before you throw on that tight black dress. And don't forget to actually put deodorant on... lest you have some other stains that are colorless but sure do smell.
Regret #4: I wish I had worn the right underwear."
So much underwear, so many different ways to wear it. Let's be honest, thongs are just uncomfortable. But if you want to wear that super-tight thin cotton skirt, you gotta pay the price. Drop the granny panties, and throw on that thong.
Regret #5: "I wish I had worn a different bra."
Just like underwear, bras are tricky things. It's never good to wear a jet black bra with a see-through white shirt, or a bra with straps when you're wearing a thin tank top or a tube top. Check your top in the mirror with the lights on, and also think twice about that outfit you think doesn't require a bra at all...
Regret #6: "I wish I put some jewelry on."
You're at an event and you see a girl with an eye-catching statement necklace. You look the other direction and there's another girl with killer earrings. You look down at your outfit and there's no jewelry to be found. Stop wishing you didn't look so plain, and find the time in the morning to match up some appealing jewelry pieces with your outfit. You'll look fabulous from head to toe.
Regret #7: "I wish I had worn pants instead of a dress/skirt."
Here's a friendly tip: Take the time in the morning to check the weather, then dress accordingly. If the forecast says there's going to be some crazy gusts of wind, DON'T wear a billowy skirt or dress. Keep things secure in pants or shorts.
Regret #8: "I wish I waited for my nails to dry."
We've all been there: You decide to touch up your nails really quickly in the morning, you realize you're late for something and you rush out before your nails have completely dried. You look down at your hands, and everything is smudged. What a great start to the day. Next time, take some "me time" and put your busy life on hold.
Regret #9: "I wish I didn't hurry my makeup."
For a lot of girls, makeup is the last thing they do before they head out the door. That could be a huge mistake when you get to your destination and realize you are wearing the completely wrong shade of lipstick and your eyeliner is blatantly uneven.
Regret #10: "I wish I showered last night."
When you get home from a long day at work and you're so tired and stressed out, it can be easy to skip on a shower. But then you wake up late the next morning and end up having to put your dirty hair up in a messy bun. Find the time to treat yourself to a nice bath at the end of the day, or wake up early for a long relaxing shower.
Moral Of The Story: Take a deep breath and relax.
Give yourself a good amount of "me time" before you go out. Allow yourself to indulge in you, and take the time to really figure out what looks best and what will be the most comfortable. Keep Calm And Outfit On.
Here are some more tips on how to manage your time effectively...
What do you wish for your morning routine? Create a "to do" checklist for each day -- at least until you establish a consistency. Talk with your kids about what their morning routines should look like too. Young kids may have fun drawing pictures of each step of their morning schedules, while adolescents and teens can benefit from creating "responsibility charts" that will help them sail smoothly through their daily routines. Make pre-packing easier by creating inboxes (and in turn, their outboxes) for each person. Have each person unload their backpack (or your purse or work bag), and keep important papers and must-haves for next day's use.
Go over your next day's schedule before bed. Check the weather report too. You'll sleep better -- and dress better -- if you know as much as possible of what's in store. And don't forget to call ahead for carpool so you don't spend half the morning making last-minute transportation arrangements for kids' activities. Arrange all necessary transportation as early as possible, at least the day before. If you're driving, fill the gas tank the night before if you're running low.
Naturally, you might want to "have a moment" before kicking off your day. Time management expert Laura Stack says, "It can be easy to sit down with a cup of coffee and get sucked into surfing the Web." She says that working women should shower and get dressed before they start any morning tasks. For moms, she says, "If you miss that chance to take care of yourself first, then later, when your kids start tearing each other's hair out, your makeup just isn't going to happen."
Coordinate the bathroom schedules of the people you live with.
Have the coffee machine prepared so that all you have to do is press "on," or make a pitcher of iced coffee ahead of time. Keep a to-go cup handy so you can have your morning jolt while you drive your kids to school. Have a lineup of several routine breakfasts to serve, with at least one being portable. "If you're making a smoothie in the morning, put everything in the blender with the lid on the night before and store it in the fridge," Stack says. You can also set out nonperishables and any pots or pans you might need in advance.
Caffeine fires up fight-or-flight hormones (like adrenaline) which can give you a temporary energy boost, but when those hormones wear off, your energy crashes. Personal trainer Jim Karas says to train yourself to enjoy Mother Nature's elixir and your energy (and morning productivity) may increase.
Prearrange your clothes, ironing anything that needs it. When possible, buy wrinkle-free. O creative director Adam Glassman says, "Go for low-maintenance fabrics: stain-resistant, wrinkle-free pieces that emerge from the washer and dryer looking polished. And develop a stylish, authoritative uniform: a well-fitting top and pants or trouser-style jeans."
Ready, set... shower! If you tend to linger too long when you check email, eat breakfast or any consistent daily task, organization expert Julie Morgenstern suggests setting a timer to keep everything on track.
Your face doesn't get dirty while you sleep; splash it with water instead of using a cleanser in the morning (unless you're very oily). Skin toner too. You may like how it feels, but it doesn't improve your skin.
Replace your regular soap with a foaming shower oil or hydrating body wash so you can clean and moisturize at the same time. Don't bother with body scrubs or peels: Use a damp washcloth (with a little pressure) to exfoliate in the shower. Always use shaving gel. It gives you a closer shave so you won't have to use your razor as often, and it's hydrating. Try ending your morning shower with a spray of cold water -- it can be incredibly invigorating. Research from the London-based Thrombosis Research Institute found that cold water improved participants' blood circulation and offered them renewed vigor.
Wear your hair between chin and shoulder length so it's short enough to air-dry and style quickly but long enough to pull back if you need to. It takes a lot of time to fight your hair's natural texture, so choose a cut that complements it. When you don't have time to style your bangs (or they're just not cooperating), use a wide (two-inch) headband to smooth them back. The band will look most stylish positioned close (about half an inch) to the hairline. Another morning quickie? After you've applied body lotion, hand cream, or sunscreen, smooth whatever is left on your hands over your hair to tame flyaways. If your hair looks dirty, spray the roots with hairspray -- the alcohol in it absorbs excess oil.
Keep your makeup case organized, and minimal, with your everyday things most accessible. Have two different makeup routines -- one normal, one makeup "lite" for really rushed days.
You might want to try avoiding the news in the morning -- at least until the bulk of your to-do list is complete. Depressing reports can distract you from efficiently accomplishing your a.m. routine -- getting ready for work, feeding the kids, mentally preparing for a good day, says Los Angeles lifestyle coach Ruth Klein. If you really want to watch a morning show, DVR it.
Keep your cell phone in its charger, right on top of your briefcase or purse.
Tempers can flare when children are still half asleep. Prevent sibling spats by making sure your house rules cover things like sharing clothes, bathroom etiquette and sharing front-seat privileges on the way to school.
If you find yourself going out of your way to do everything for your family in the morning, no wonder you're scrambling to get out the door. According to time management expert Laura Stack, some parents overcompensate for the way they were raised -- and don't let their kids do anything. "Parents are not servants; they're teachers," Stack says. "It's okay to let other people pack the lunches or make the beds -- even if they don't do it the same way you do." Stack suggests assigning chores to each child to help speed up the get-out-the-door process. A good rule to enforce is that kids don't get their privileges -- watching TV, playing video games, talking on the phone -- until after they fulfill their responsibilities. Stand firm. You can try a chore-reward system (think, extra playdates) if you achieve a week of on-time arrival and departures.
Morning is no time to be industrious. If you're hit by the urge to wash a few dishes, pay a few bills, or clean up old email and mail... fight it! Once you have your morning routine down and get everyone out the door and on their way, aim to streamline after-school, after-work and post-kids-bedtime efficiency strategies.