Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to survive a manic morning [Guest Post]

While Angeline is moving cross country, she asked several bloggers to put together a guest post.  I was honored and wanted to provide some tips about getting ready faster because every Monday I need to be at work at 5 a.m.  My department at the university sends a live financial broadcast to a local television station on the 6 a.m. news.  While I find the lack of sleep on Sunday nights a definite challenge, it's much harder to figure out what to wear.  Add to that, it's my only early day all week (normally I am here at 8:30 a.m.), and I need to be dressed for physical labor.

I started out just wearing jeans with t-shirts and sneakers.  Then, blogging and my desire to not look so much like one of the college students here on campus, pushed me to try something a little different.  Now, when I get up I usually have something comfortable, practical and easy for a 15 minute total routine.  That cuts my regular morning routine down by about 30-45 minutes.  Here's a list of what works for me:
  1. Shower the night before.  It's an understatement to say it's glorious to wake up clean, to not have to remember whether or not I already shampooed my hair, and to not wake up my husband by turning on the shower. 
  2. Go simple with your hair.  Sure having perfectly curled or straight hair is nice, but can you achieve that without making lots of noise or burning yourself with the curler?  I either air dry or blow dry and flat iron my hair Sunday night, so I can wear it down or go with a ponytail or bun Monday morning.
  3. Lay out your clothes the night before.  Scouring your closet for inspiration in the dark on four hours of sleep sucks.  I put my clothes, jewelry, shoes, perfume, hair accessories and undergarments in my guest bedroom so I can get up, dress and leave. 
  4. Give yourself options or Try it on.  I don't want to wake up and realize that my blouse doesn't tuck into my pants.  If I am in doubt about a combination, I often include an alternative blouse or pair of shoes I know will work.  Or, I try it on the night before.
  5. Pick accessories that are simple and practical.  I need to be able to move equipment and run around between two buildings.  While you may not have such physical demands, flats or low heels are easy when you are running on less than normal sleep.  (No one wants to twist an ankle in sky high heels.)  Simple jewelry feels put together and doesn't annoy you at every turn. 
  6. Choose simple and professional clothing.   Professional silhouettes with subtle patterns or details are a blessing for the bleary-eyed.  Stick with combinations that fit well and don't require lots of readjustments, like dress slacks, a printer blouse and blazer or a dress with a cardigan (my personal favorite because it requires only two pieces of clothing).  They are called closet workhorses for a reason, so reach out and grab them.
  7. Add something that makes you feel pretty.  It's early and that sucks, but you don't have to feel like a complete automaton.  Add your favorite perfume to that pile of stuff for the morning.  Grab a punchy yellow belt to zing up your trousers and button up.  Wear bright blue flats or your favorite striped cardigan. 
  8. Go with basic makeup or none at all.  I don't usually wear makeup, but if I do need to put some on, I wear basics like concealer, mascara, and lipstick.  You know what the simplest version of your routine is, so feel free to skip the extra eye shadow or blush.  Consider wearing no makeup if you're comfortable with it.
The key to streamlining your routine is to remove as much annoyance as possible.  I recommend trying to pare down to the smallest amount of effort you need to exert on early mornings.  Try these tips and keep in mind that everyone has different levels of morning perkiness.  Mine is zero by the way, possibly -5 when it's Monday.

Sarah is a video producer and online classroom system manager at a university in the South. She blogs about fashion, outfits, and healthy living at Destrehan's Daughter. Check her out!

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent post - thanks so much for the great tips! And I can relate to not wanting to look like a student when working on a college campus ... there are definitely things I WON'T wear to work (especially not skinny jeans and UGGS). :)


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