Three Minutes, Three Steps, One Decision

01/28/2011 03:49 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Have you ever had one of those mornings where no matter how hard you try, you cannot pick out an outfit? You just stand there as the minutes tick by, staring at a closet full of clothes, and now, instead of thinking of what to wear, you are staring off into space worrying about being late. Well, I definitely have. And, I am sure, if you are above the age of seven, you have, too -- at least once.

Well, I am not an expert, but I do have a possible resolution. After arriving late too many times not because I overslept, but because I could not pick out a suitable outfit, I was determined to take action. Okay, well maybe that sounds a little intense. I decided to set some guidelines. Although some people may consider these guidelines controlling and a symptom of some prevailing obsessive-compulsive disorder, I prefer to view them otherwise. They are just some rules that I created by myself for myself. I can change them anytime, choose to follow them or not, and now I am just passing them along.

You have three minutes to pick out an outfit. Why three minutes? Well, when I got braces a year and a half ago, I was told that I had to brush my teeth for three minutes instead of the two required for those without braces. For some reason, my fifteen-year-old self viewed that extra minute as a complete waste of time. But, because I always follow the rules, especially if they were going to prevent my braces from being any more noticeable, I brushed by teeth for three minutes twice a day, just as the doctor ordered. As the mornings of the three minute teeth brushing came and went, I could not help but dwell on the fact that three minutes was, in fact, a significant amount of time. I started walking around while brushing my teeth, collecting items that I needed to take to school, until it dawned on me. Yep, it was one of those old-fashioned light bulb moments. I think. Anyway, once I realized the various tasks I could accomplish in three minutes, I decided it allotted me enough time to pick out an outfit. And that is how it started. Three minutes to pick out an outfit. If I do not find an outfit in three minutes, I have to wear sweats -- but so far, I have never had to wear sweats. So how, if I could not pick out an outfit before, am I able to pick one out in three minutes? I think of it as a three-step process.

First, I look up the weather. I do not like to be cold, so I am somewhat conservative in terms of how hot it needs to be to wear shorts. Once I determine if I want to dress for warm or cold weather, I pick out one item that I want to wear. For example, on a relatively cold day, I will wear jeans, but I usually pick out a scarf first. The color of the scarf determines the wash of jeans. At this point, I'm basically done. I pretty much wear a white T-shirt every day. They are easy to wash, match with everything, and can be dressy or casual depending on the outfit. Granted, I almost always wear them with a sweater, scarf, or necklace, but the idea remains the same. Additionally, white t-shirts ensure that every outfit matches with my white converse, which for some reason, always end up looking better than the various other shoes I have.

See? Simple. Three minutes, three steps, one decision. Once you choose your accessory, everything just flows from there. I would recommend starting with a scarf, a sweater, or a necklace and to only use one accessory per outfit. That way you can get dressed faster, will not have to worry about clashing, and can save different accessories for various outfits. The goal is not to fashion the best outfit, just to create something that works. I like to call it fashion with ease. Sorry, but what teenager has the time in the morning to put together outfits that are as accessorized and glamorous as those on TV? And who would want to anyway? Not me.