Organising outfits for special events - whether a one day launch or a 3 day conference - can be an enjoyable and easy process, rather than a stressful one, when you follow some simple steps 2-3 weeks in advance. (Yep, THAT organised!)
PLAN YOUR OUTFITS
- It might seem obvious but this one has tripped me up a couple of times....#becausefashion. Consider the Venue, Dress Code, Season, Time of Day/Night of each event and dress accordingly. You don't want to be under dressed, inappropriately dressed, cold, or completely missing out because of your attire. My mantra leans towards always looking like the best version of myself and exuding my style without feeling uncomfortable or over the top. Save over-the-top for a party that is all about you!
- List your full event outfits in a notebook and pack it for your on-the-day memory jogger. This has saved me many times when it's been a mad-rush to change outfits and get to the next event. Taking photos on your phone, or better still taking a Polaroid is even better to see the full outfit, accessories and all, styled how you intended it.
- Consider shoe height and comfort. Not every pair of shoes have to be heels, there are some beautiful, classy flat footwear options available in fashion at the moment including loafers, brogues, the classic ballet flats and even sneakers if the event is a more casual occasion. Keep in mind it's rarely a good time to 'wear in' or test out those new shoes because blistered and bruised feet can ruin the rest of an event, especially if it extends over a number of days. I often pack a pair of flats if I have a long walk between venues or even for the travel back to our accommodation.
- Will you be sitting for most of the night and need to still digest your food? It's a serious question that I know some of you are really understanding right now because you've been that person who stands the whole time and doesn't eat because you can't sit down in your dress let alone fill your belly with even a morsel more. #becuasefashion. By the way...a night on the bubbles will bloat you just as much as a heavy meal, so don't forget to drink more water than you do wine. And eat. Plan an outfit that you can eat in because if it's a multi day event, you're head might regret it the next day if you don't.
- Or will you be dancing and need to not make it a flash dance! Leave the nip slip to Janet and try EVERYTHING on beforehand...and move in it like you will be moving on the occasion. I once wore a shift I couldn't lift my arms in but that's OK because they weren't going past table height, but I also once wore a pair of really old heels that still looked new and they fell apart as soon as I got out of the cab to the party. Not cute. Test run the whole outfit, beauty included. Then make a date night of it 😉
PREP THE CHOSEN CLOTHING
- Iron or steam - consider professional ironing done by dry cleaners
- Dry Clean - look at neck lines, collars, underarms and sleeves of your clothing for telltale signs it's time for a dry clean
- Make repairs to beads or buttons, cut off hanging threads and ditch the item as an option if the repair cannot be done on time
- Clean out handbags and wipe down (according to the fabric or leather to avoid undue damage in your haste)
- Clean or polish shoes and re-sole/re-heel if necessary, and 'wear in' those new shoes you're thinking you can get away with!
- Untangle accessories, use a fold-away clotheshorse or stand-alone clothing rack to lay out multiple items in readiness.
It's especially important to be organised when events are back to back as someone is bound to get stuck talking, stuck in transit delays, or remember that they have to have time to breathe in between events.
FORGET NOT THE FINISHING TOUCHES
- Source or shop for the missing pieces. Special event or fancy dress often require a little something extra you may have to borrow or buy. You might have the dress but not the diamonds. You might have the suit but not the right blouse. Consider if it's something you will be able to use again and opt for borrow or budget if you know you never will. I like to set a goal to achieve pre-event and then reward myself with a finishing touch item I know I will use again and again. It's an especially good way to build up a conference capsule wardrobe if you never had one before and introduce a new elegance or sophistication that good quality pieces bring. Check out my wardrobe transformation rules I've been abiding by lately for more on quality over quantity.
- Consider how all your pieces will be packed if travelling or staying at a different location. If flying can you carry on or will you be rolling everything to make it fit in your check in baggage and using hotel pressing or steaming services on arrival? Will you need suit bags, a hat box or an comfortable change of clothes for a day's travel? Will there be no time to shower so you need fresh wipes and a non-staining deodorant? The more organised you are the less frazzled you'll be, the more you'll be able to centre yourself with poise and confidence, and the more enjoyable the event will be.
PS. Have fun and take lots of photos!
I really enjoy talking about this topic so expect more blogs and YouTube videos about this soon.
What's your best tip for preparing for a special event?
Share below in the comments and we can all be rocking the next party like a pro!