Easy Outfit Solutions for Early Morning Commuters

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to become a morning person: get to work early and leave by 5pm. This is no small feat considering that starting at 10-10:30am and ending around 6:30pm was the norm for me at my previous company. A new job provided the perfect excuse to adjust my schedule and have my evenings to myself again. After a few exhausting days last week, it seems to be working out well. I get so much done before noon and when I come home I can work on my blog or go to yoga and dance classes.

The only downside: to maximize sleep and minimize prep time, I have about 3-5 minutes to get dressed before moving on to the rest of my morning routine. Rifling through drawers, flipping through hangers, and pondering what to wear is a luxury reserved for someone who can afford to hit the snooze alarm a couple of times.

That being said, here are my tried-and-true strategies for putting together a stylish outfit when pressed for time:
  1. Check the weather forecast and lay out your clothes and accessories the night before. (If you do this the battle is already half-won.)
  2. Stock up on variations of the pieces that you wear most often. For some it might be dresses, tights, costume jewelry, and waist-cinching belts. For others it could be delicate blouses, cashmere cardigans, and skinny trousers.
  3. Try to work in some pattern and/or colour.
  4. When in doubt, have a "fallback outfit" (or five).
What is a fallback outfit, you ask? It's that easy, comfortable outfit formula that you know is guaranteed to work 100% when you're too tired to layer and tuck, experiment and accessorize. Here are some fallback outfit formulas that work for me and my work environment (casual, no dress code), courtesy of Polyvore.


easy work ensemble 2

Early Monday mornings are particularly brutal if you've had a full social calendar all weekend. A colourful cardigan, simple blouse, and dark wash skinny jeans look put-together and are a no-brainer to throw on. Feminine accessories complete the look.


easy work ensemble 4

With Monday blues wearing off, Tuesday is bound to be more productive and busy. Look chic but stay comfortable in a sweater dress cinched with a red patent leather belt and tall black leather riding boots.


easy work ensemble 3

Reuse the red patent leather belt from yesterday's outfit to give a patterned blouse and camel trousers a slight jolt of colour.


easy work ensemble 1

Over-the-knee boots, a patterned shirtdress, leggings, and a crossbody bag are low on fuss and high on style.


easy work ensemble 5

Lace tops are surprisingly demure with a cami underneath and a blazer on top. When it's time meet up with friends or that special someone for drinks or dinner after work, put on a sparkly necklace and some bright lipstick.

Do you have any tips or tricks to get yourself ready and out the door in no time on early weekday mornings? What are the fallback outfits that work for you?


  1. What a fantastic post Lisa! Once again you've outdone yourself :)

  2. Tuesday and Friday ones are my fave! :)

  3. Gorgeous looks, darling!

    Especially loving Friday ~ that necklace!


  4. Lisa! I loooooove that mustard cardigan and lace top... too bad they're way over my budget. Must...find...knock-offs...most likely at Forever 21.

    Glad to see you're starting to adjust to your new job!

  5. Simple Subtle Style, a lot of these items are too rich for my blood too, but they were so beautiful I HAD to put them in the collages. :) As you said, similar pieces are probably available elsewhere. My yellow cardigan is from Joe Fresh.

  6. Sometimes I miss dressing up for work. There are days when I dress up to the nines and pretend I'm at some glamorous publication like Vogue. Jennifer Behr headband even comes out! LOL.

  7. Lisa I am soooo inspired by your little outfit collages! I should be doing the same at the beginning of the week to stay organized. Now, if only I could hire you to help me...

  8. OH i love your outfits! Wednesday is amazing!

  9. Isn't being a morning person or night person built into your DNA? That's my excuse, at least!

  10. Great post, Lisa! I love the outfits you put together and especially how you incorporated some of the same items into different looks. Planning the night before is definitely crucial for me. Otherwise, I tend to get super frustrated in the morning and inevitably head out the door late. A foolproof outfit for me? Starting with a bold skirt and tights and working around that with a simple blouse and a cardi or interesting jacket. Throw on a few accessories and a pair of flats and I'm out the door :)

    It sounds like you're enjoying your new job-- I'm glad you are! What are you doing now if you don't mind sharing?


  11. Thanks for this interesting post!

    I always prepare my outfits too before going to bed: I always prefer to sleep 5 minutes more in the morning :p

    The monday yellow cardigan is too cute, which brand is it?


    -The Red Dot-

  12. great post Lisa! there's some really awesome pieces in there... I admit I don't always dress "easy" for the office.. pouffy floor-length skirts are a bitch when you are running around in circles.


  13. great post Lisa! I love some of the pieces you chose for this... I admit I don't always wear the "easiest" outfits .. pouffy floor-length skirts aren't the best to run around the office in .. haha


  14. Those bow flats are too precious! Love the looks! xo

  15. I have no methods for dressing quickly, I'm pretty much a disaster in the morning. It comes with heavily disliking my job, but I wear whatever is at the top of the drawer. I like this post a lot, I think it's pretty helpful for me if I ever leave this place :)

    Ripped Nylon

  16. I love the outfits for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I find that great jewelry and lipstick complete an outfit. Well, it gives it a more polished look.

    On my first day back to work after having 11 days off, I found it extremely helpful when I laid out my clothes for the next day. Of course, this doesn't always happen.

  17. I usually try to lay out my clothes the night before - especially since I've started going to the gym in the morning.

    I love every single one of those outfits!! Awesome post :)

  18. this post could not have come at a better time! thanks for the inspiration :)


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