How To Find an Outfit Quickly [guest post]

July 22, 2016

Guest contributor Bridie returns to Almost Posh with this handy guide on how to go from panic-buy to presentable in six easy steps.


All dressed up and nowhere to go? Sure, maybe in your 20s.  Now, you desperately want to stay home under the heater, drinking wine, eating apple crumble and wearing trackies that are warm from the dryer (sorry – too specific?! Nah, I bet you want in on that!) but these days you have parties to go to, things to do and yet; nothing to wear.


Recently I had the good fortune to be invited to an engagement party.  The invite specified “don’t come dressed like a hobo – don’t be afraid to be the best dressed guy or girl in the room” – and yes, with my nuggety physique and square jaw, it would be easy to be best dressed GUY in the room, but I digress…

After having a baby and deciding to focus on basics and building a capsule wardrobe (more on that to come!) of items I love, I find it difficult to spring for fancier clothes.  If I spend all my cash on frocks and frippery then there’s not much left for the day-to-day clothes appropriate for work, the park and trackie-clad-couch-sitting-crumble-eating. But if you don’t spend any money on appropriate going-out clothes, you will inevitably be invited to something fabulous and having nothing to wear.  It’s Murphy’s Law.

In the interests of full disclosure, it would be remiss of me to lead you to believe that our fabulous hosts for the night had not given much notice for their event. Of course they had. Months. I had more than enough time to clothe myself appropriately, but had put off the task because it involved dressing up and planning and I had better things to do, like go to the dentist and clean the grout in the shower. (Okay, dressing up isn’t THAT bad, but sometimes….)

Anyway, say you’ve left it to the last minute…if you’re in Sydney or surrounds, our friends at The Iconic^ have got your back, with 3-4 hour delivery.  3 hour shipping with free returns would be an absolute lifesaver – just order a selection, pick the best for the night and you’re good to go!

If, however, you’re not in Sydney and only have Saturday afternoon to select something before you go out Saturday night, then the following tips should help:

1.       Panic! Hahaha kidding….DON’T PANIC!

The more you panic, the more you will trigger your flight or fight reflex. Your animal brain will laser focus and you will lose peripheral vision, leading to the loss of bargains that might ordinarily be present from the corner of your eye. Okay, there is absolutely no science behind that (note to CSIRO – more shopping research needed.) BUT enjoying the process will put you in a better frame of mind and hopefully lead to a more enjoyable night, when you get home from shopping.

2.       Find a security blanket

Find an item from your wardrobe that you already like, that you know fits and that suits the occasion.  Shopping for a dress, and shoes and a bag and a floral brooch like it’s 2001 is just too much stress – you need to be on the hunt for one or two items max.  I often base outfits around shoes I already have as I know they’ll fit and won’t cause any blisters on a night out.

3.       Shop with military precision

Plan your route, like you’re Rommel attempting to seize the Suez (what the?) Seriously, you have no time for distractions or weird detours to pick up a honeydew melon, look at sheets or whatever…JUST SHOP.

4.       No dalliances

Stick to stores that you know fit.  If you’re over 30 and not built like a whippet, then you know certain stores* ain't got nothing for you, so rather than descend into a pity spiral, just move on past. Similarly, now is not the time to be considering new yoga pants if you’re headed to a cocktail party tonight.

5.       Consider small boutiques

This is where #shopsmall comes into its own.  If you build up relationships with small boutique owners you can present them with your dilemma and often they will be more than helpful. Some of my best outfits have come from small boutiques where they have interesting clothes at decent price points and are willing to spend the time to help a shopper in need.

6.       Makeup on point

Sure, you might not have luck at the shops, but if you’ve followed these tips, your shoes will fit and your makeup can carry the whole look.  Red lipstick and a cute pair of heels can go a long way.

Now, grab your slippers, Cinderella - it's time for the Ball!!  What are your top tips for getting a killer last minute outfit?

See How To Shop With Success and Shopping: Instore vs Online for more thoughts on the subject and for the mums out there, try 15 Handy Hints For Shopping With Kids.

*Not naming names, but we all know of a few stores like this, amirite?!
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