Mornings are busy! There’s little mouths to feed, lunches to pack, little people to dress, missing shoe mysteries to solve… and right down at the bottom of the list, one mum to get dressed before running out of the door. In many ways, being a visually impaired mum is no different to being a sighted mum. We all need to take a little time to get dressed and make oursleves feel ready to face the day. The key word is ‘little’. With such little time to make ourselves look fabulous (or just vaguely presentable on some days!) we visually impaired mums can do a little prep to save us time in the morning. These tips can also work for sighted mums, or just busy women in general. It’s all about making getting dressed as easy and stress free as possible.
Hopefully you’ll find a few of these tips useful. They are all realistic things you can do to help getting dressed go more smoothly. It also helps if you have an organised wardrobe so you know where everything is. Check out my previous post on wardrobe organisation ideas for visually impaired women.
- Be prepared. If you know you have a busy morning ahead, get your outfit ready the night before. Everything from underwear, socks, the outfit itself to accessories, outerwear and shoes. Make these decisions now, while the children are in bed and you wont be disturbed. It will be quicker. Put everything in a place that’s easy to find in the morning. Getting ready will be a breeze!
- Have a uniform – or at least a a few ready-made outfits. At some point I realised that I wore a variation of a couple of outfits most of the time. Jeans, a top and a jacket or a dress, with ballet flats, loafers or flat sandals. When I don’t have the time or energy to think about what to wear and go through my wardrobe considering different options (most days), this is what I will wear. I know I will be comfortable, feel good and that the outfit works for my lifestyle (cooking, cleaning, running around after kids). This is often referred to as ‘uniform dressing’, If the word ‘uniform’ puts you off, just have a number of go to outfits in your arsenal that you love, and you can reach for on days when clothing just can’t be a priority. I first came across the concept of uniform dressing from Audrey Coyne on her wonderful YouTube channel. I’d recommend you check her out for more information on uniform dressing, or if you’re looking for style tips from a real expert.
- Non iron clothes. There is so much choice out there for women in terms of non iron fabrics. Of course some garments, especially occasion wear, will always need a steam or an iron, but on an average day, we can wear blouses, dresses, tops and trousers which never need to go near an iron to look great. If most of your everyday clothes are non iron, you will never pluck something out of your wardrobe and wonder if it needs ironing. Sometimes, you can feel creases in clothes, but in some fabrics, I find it impossible to tell by touch. I choose to eliminate that stress (and more importantly, the potential need to iron something last minute) by choosing fabrics that don’t need ironing for my everyday wardrobe.
- Banish laddered tights and holey socks – immediately. You wriggle and hop and finally pull on a pair of tights only to discover they have an unattractive ladder creeping up the leg. You just don’t need this. I don’t know how laddered tights and holey socks find their way into the laundry and then back into our wardrobes, but we must stop them! This doesn’t just go for tights and socks – if you have an item of clothing you know is stained or has a hole in it or is just past its best, get rid of it. Don’t hang it back in your wardrobe where it will only serve as clutter that slows you down in the morning. A side note on socks, why not buy socks in one colour. If all your socks are black, they’ll always match!
- New clothes. When you buy new clothes, get a sighted friend to go through your wardrobe with you to decide which items in your existing wardrobe go well with your new purchase. Put together a few outfits with the new items and you’ll have a good idea how to style them on your own. If it doesn’t go with enough of your existing clothes, consider taking it back. Pesky items in our wardrobes that don’t go with anything else take up space and get in the way when we are trying to find things we actually want to wear.
- Wear dresses! Dresses are great! They are an outfit all by themselves. They save you time as you don’t have to find other things that go with them. They are extremely comfortable and make you look like you’ve made an effort, when in reality all you have done is pull it over your head. If you are not a dress person, consider a jumpsuit. They are great for all the same reasons as dresses but it feels like you’re wearing trousers.
- Hang necklaces. If you hang necklaces on hooks, you can feel each one to identify it without lifting it out of a box. It’s much quicker and avoids any potential tangle related nightmares.
- Have great outerwear. Living in the UK, we rarely leave the house without an outer layer of some sort. From coats and jackets to blazers and cardigans, our outermost layer is the first thing and often the only thing most people see of our outfits. Having a small selection of great outerwear for different weather, in neutral colours and versatile styles can make leaving the house quick and easy. Whether it’s a parka for the school run or a blazer for work, a mac for rainy days, or a light cardigan in the summer, make sure you love your outerwear. If you do, you will always feel good about how you look when rushing out of the door.
- Neutral Shoes. Find the style of shoe that suits your lifestyle and you feel comfortable in, then get them in neutral colours. If loafers are your shoes of choice this season, grab a nude or brown pair for lighter coloured outfits and a black or navy pair for darker outfits. If you have lots of styles of shoes in lots of different colours for everyday, it makes it more difficult to find the pair that you need. By all means, have different coloured shoes in fancy styles if that’s your thing, and when you have more time to get ready, have fun choosing the perfect pair. For days when you just need to be ready quick, but still want to look stylish, keep a black and a nude pair of your favourite shoe somewhere near the front door so you quickly slip them on. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that your shoes compliment your outfit, your right shoe matches your left shoe, and your feet will be comfortable all day.
- Keep it clean! When you’re a mum of young children, once you are finally dressed, the next mission is to stay looking presentable until you leave the house. The last thing you want is a small Weetabix handprint on your blouse. There are different ways to avoid getting tiny peoples’ messes on your clothes. Some mums don’t get dressed until everyone else is fed, washed and dressed. This wouldn’t work for me as the idea of being in my pyjamas until five minutes before leaving the house would be too stressful. I prefer to get dressed early on in the morning and wear an apron whilst conquering the breakfast battlefield. Some mums wear a dressing gown over their clothes if they get ready early too. Do what works for you.
Thank you for reading my little ideas, I hope they can be useful. If you’ve got any other tips on getting dressed quickly in the morning, it would be great to hear from you.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please let me know and I could do similar posts in the future. Perhaps other getting ready tips for visually impaired women, like hair and make up? Let me know what you think!