Katie Parrott’s biggest timesaver in the morning happens while lying in bed scrolling through her phone.
It’s where the body-positive fashion blogger can check the Hobart weather, getting a mental picture of what clothes she’ll reach for, before even emerging from the covers.
Time-saving is important for the 24-year-old who, as well as working full time, volunteers, plays soccer, goes to the gym and is in the middle of completing her Master’s thesis.
We spoke to Katie and two other stylish women, including a mum-of-three wrangling a newborn, for their hacks on getting ready — fast.
Organise your wardrobe
Katie describes her style as accessible and wearable, but still “colourful, unusual and fun”.
To avoid mixing her plunging necklines with button-up blouses, she organises her wardrobe accordingly.
“I have a whole section of work-appropriate stuff, so when I open my wardrobe, right there in front of me is what I need to get ready for work,” she says.
“There is nothing worse than putting a dress on then looking down and realising you have more cleavage than you would wear at the office.”
Plan your outfits ahead of time
Brisbane fashionista Jasmine Hunt has a newborn son and two daughters aged three and five.
There’s no time to think about clothes in the morning, but she’s so good at nailing getting ready she has a blog focusing on easy outfits for mums with little ones.
“I always plan my outfit the night before, after the kids go to bed,” the 34-year-old says.
“I try it on with shoes and accessories so I know it works. On Sundays, I also make a rough plan of what I will be wearing each day for the week as well, matching up plans [for the day] with outfits.”
When Katie has gym in the morning, she does the same thing.
Her chosen outfit and accessories are packed into her gym bag the night before.
“I also make sure I have my lunch bag packed and in the fridge. I lay out my gym clothes so I don’t have to be looking for anything in the morning.”
Have a daily uniform
For people like dancer and business owner Vanessa Marian, less choice means more time to focus on her dance school.
The 30-year-old Aussie currently living in New York describes her style as “thrift-store Solange”.
She prefers classic cuts and quality over quantity.
“Style plays a huge role [in dance], especially within hip-hop, in that your threads are legitimately an extension of who you are when you step into a cipher (a freestyle dance circle).”
On a typical training day, however, she just needs comfortable clothes that require little thought.
“I have six sets of baggy tees, three sets of track pants and a small collection of kicks.
“Dance class for me is about training — my style unfortunately goes out the window in those moments.”
Having a personal uniform doesn’t mean you have to forgo style.
It can just be about honing in on what works for you and keeping your wardrobe small and narrow.
Remember your fall-back pieces
Katie is a fan of having a few “fail-safe” items on hand for those especially busy mornings.
“I have a pair of pants that are black-and-white check, if I ever just have two minutes, I’ll reach for those pants with black boots and white shirt and I know I’ll feel so good.”
Jasmine’s “go-tos” include a black shirt dress and boots, jeans and a white tee and slip-on flats, and a colourful frock with low-heeled sandals.
What about hair and make-up?
Hair and make-up is super individual, but we asked Katie, Vanessa and Jasmine’s for their tips for inspiration.
Vanessa says she’s lucky in that her “natural big hair” works “even if it’s a frizzy mess”.
To save time, she takes a more philosophical approach to beauty.
“I think many of us women and [people in the] non-binary fam grow up trying to form identity and express ourselves through our appearance.
“Through those teen years of experimenting you discover those game-changers where you try a bit of concealer and like the minor lift it gives under your eyes, then try a highlighter and love the way it elevates your cheekbones.
“That’s empowering but at some point it can also shift from a little treat that adds a pep in your step, to a non-negotiable part of our morning routine.”
For that reason Vanessa treats make-up as more of “a special occasion thing”.
For day-to-day upkeep, she just brushes out her brows and applies lip balm.
“I’m not saying that minimalism is the answer, but it’s handy when you’ve got five minutes to get ready.”
Katie has a cheat for making her locks look styled.
“I’ll just let me hair air dry, but I will always blow dry and straighten my fringe. If you’ve done your fringe you look like you’ve done your hair.”
Jasmine says if she only had time to apply one beauty item, it’d be lipstick.
“I am a big believer in the power of a good lippy. Maximum impact, minimum effort.”