It started like most Wednesday mornings. I caught up with some reading over early-morning coffee and breakfast, and I was just rolling out my yoga mat, when suddenly…
…the phone rang.
It was the manager of my hair salon. I had an appointment for 2:15 in the afternoon, but my stylist had had a last-minute cancellation, and wanted to know if I could run over a little early. As in right that minute: 10:05 a.m. (It so happens that I live literally across the street from my salon, otherwise I wouldn’t even have attempted to make it.) Here’s a direct quote from my stylist, heard in the background while I was talking to the manager: “Just brush your teeth and come over!” The question was, how fast could I get there?
When I got the call, I was wearing black yoga pants and a dark grey tank top, no makeup whatsoever, and I hadn’t so much as run my fingers through my hair. Now, no matter what the pressure, my personal standard decrees that I shall not be seen in yoga pants in public other than in a gym, so I couldn’t just run out the door that second. I made a split-second priority decision to spend a minute getting properly dressed, rather than on applying makeup. Here’s what I did:
1. Stripped off the yoga gear.
2. Pulled my favorite jersey dress over my head
3. Slipped into my favorite red heels (no hose— it’s a warm day here today).
4. Brushed my teeth.
5. Applied my favorite tinted lip balm.
6. Grabbed my bag and keys.
How long did this take? Less than 5 minutes, from the time I hung up the phone to when I was out the door. Minimal fuss, maximum adrenaline!
I decided it would be worthwhile to analyze what I did. Referring to the list above, the first thing I notice is how many times I use the word “favorite”. Is this a clue to a quick-change strategy? Did I just reach for it out of habit? Actually, I think that I chose this dress because it was nearest to me when I went into my closet— I’m not sure I’d even thought specifically about a dress at that point.
Tip: Yes, a dress is a great option when you need to be ready in a hurry, but it’s possibly not the best choice when going to get your hair done, as I realized when I arrived and was asked to go and “change” into a robe— I couldn’t do that without taking off the dress, obviously, so I left it on. Fortunately, it’s a machine-washable rayon/nylon jersey, and it’s a print, so I really didn’t worry about any collateral damage. But it’s something to think about.
Once I had the dress on, the shoe choice was easy; these red shoes not only look great with my dress, they’re quite comfortable for walking. And I must say that there’s something about putting on red shoes that just makes me feel great no matter what the rest of me looks like, so there’s a psychological-boost benefit also (important when you haven’t even combed your hair, much less styled it).
Yes, I did brush my teeth, but decided not to waste even a minute on makeup; I figured, it’s a bright, sunny day today, so a little lip gloss and big sunglasses were all I would need. (Half my makeup usually gets washed off in the course of getting my hair colored anyway.)
Once I was at the salon and had a minute to think about this, I realized how seldom I’m in this situation, i.e. where I need to make really fast decisions about what to wear, and figuring out the priorities on the fly. It’s quite interesting to observe the choices I made this morning, with no time at all to think about them beforehand, and the relative success of the results. Hopefully this won’t happen too often, but now I at least feel a little more prepared!
So here are some questions for you: Do you have a go-to outfit for wardrobe emergencies? What if you only had 5 minutes to go from barefoot/no makeup/gymwear to dressed and out the door? I’d love to know what you would choose— and why!