The act of getting dressed

Recently I watched a very interesting documentary about Diana Vreeland, the notorious editor-in-chief of Vogue in the 1960´s. She was an extremely influential and inspirational woman for many of today´s leading fashion houses, and if you haven´t seen the documentary, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, and you are just remotely interested in either fashion, clothing or female business women of the mid-century, you really should watch it!

One interesting topic that was briefly mentioned in the film, was that Diana Vreeland saw something almost ritual in the act of getting dressed. She would spend the mornings wearing her housecoat, and then take her time to get properly dressed for the events that day would hold. I like that way of thinking. My daily routines rarely makes me have to get all dressed up until the afternoon, and I do spend a decent amount of time in my own (me-made) housecoat.

When I get dressed, I usually make sure I have enough time to plan then and there what to wear. I rarely plan my outfits,  partly because I don´t have to, and also the weather can be so unpredictable, I normally don´t plan more than from day to day. If I have to get up early and be out of the house I usually prepare it the night before.

Anna Pavlowa (LOC)Photo Source

Back to Mrs. Vreesland, and her idea about the ritual. I really like this way of thinking. Probably because I can relate personally, but also, I think it is applicable in many different situations. If you ask an ethnologist or anthropologist they´ll probably tell you that everything we do is a ritual. So why not be aware of, and enjoy the daily rituals? Like getting dressed, reading blogs, drinking coffee (or tea). Take another look at the small components that makes up our day, and try to enjoy each and every one of them as much as possible.

Here´s my act of getting dressed:

  • About an hour before I need to be out of the door, I look at the outside temperature, and then I take a shower. 
  • Then I apply skin care products in the bathroom, before heading back to the bedroom, sit on the bed, and gaze into my closet to see what to wear.
  • During my shower the idea of the temperature has snuck into my subconsciousness, and I try to decide upon a weather appropriate, yet fun outfit.
  • After getting dressed, I do my hair and make up, I gather all the things I need to bring with me, I give my darling a kiss (if he´s home), and I am out the door.

I would however want to incorporate more planning into my daily routines. Both because for very busy weeks, it could be nice to have a hunch of what to wear from day to day, but also because I just love planning (as you might have noticed from my recent stash busting endeavors). The third good reason for planning ahead is that I might get more use out of my accessories. I have to admit, that most of them live a sad life stuffed into a box somewhere, the more lucky ones are wall decoration in our bedroom. Very few gets to go out with me, though. I could have weekly themes, like “headbands” or “necklaces”.  That would be neat, right? And the weather issue could be solved with more flexibility in layering, perhaps?

I am curious, what does your routine look like? Do you take much less time than me? Much more? Do you plan ahead, or do you just pull on whatever is clean? Do you have different routines for different events? And when do you take the most time? Oh, and do you wish for different routines?  I´d love to know!

Unidentified woman trying on hat in front of mirror, Washington

Photo source.


  1. Esz on 15/02/2013 at 14:06

    It’s definitely a ritual. It’s the one thing I enjoy doing – getting ready for the day. I’m happier in winter when I can wear my fully fashioned stockings. That adds a whole new layer and element to the daily ritual.
    I usually check the forecast the day ahead the night before. This is Melbourne so it can be very unpredictable. But a days notice is usually enough 😉
    So the night before I usually have an idea of what I will wear the next day. I usually think about this just as I’m going to sleep. I know what accessories go with most things. And thankfully, if I notice any obvious gaps in my wardrobe, I can sew something up. My biggest issue is accessories – contradictory to most vintage loving gals, I don’t have a lot. And with bright red hair I usually have to consider how much red or clashing colours are in my outfit
    Other things – hair is a drama. I’m still learning vintage styles and with such fine hair it can be hard to create the ones everyone else does. So often I find myself running a bit late if my hair’s not working out.

    I think in modern times we are losing that ritual – it’s important to keep it I think.

    • Sølvi on 15/02/2013 at 16:17

      I think you are right – it is an important part of life, and I really enjoyed reading your comment. What a good idea to plan right before nighttime.

      I have recently cut my hair, and am in awe of how much easier it is to do my hair now than before! 🙂

  2. debbie on 15/02/2013 at 14:22

    On weekdays I get the baby dressed after breakfast, then get myself washed and dressed with her “help”, so it is tricky for me to have a calm, ordered routine. I usually plan what I am wearing in my head as I make breakfast for everyone, though on a bad day when we are running late I just reach for the nearest pair of jeans and cotton top, with cardigan. The rail in my wardrobe collapsed yesterday so all my clothes are currently in three piles awaiting a mended or new home. This makes getting dressed easier as I can only access those clothes on the top of the piles! Ah, the never ending glamour that is my life. xx
    PS A housecoat sounds great, what does yours look like?

    • Sølvi on 15/02/2013 at 16:31

      One of these days I might blog about my little ol´ housecoat, but it rather is like a fancier kind of robe, so no buttons or such, but warm enough to walk around in! 🙂

      I am pretty sure that if I had a one year old, I´d not be able to spend a whole lot of time getting dressed either. With that said, I really love your style and am inspired by how you both have a very cool sense of style and at the same time have three demanding children! 🙂 That wardrobe rail collapse sounds like it´s working out just fine, then? 😉

  3. Frankie on 15/02/2013 at 21:56

    What an interesting post. I heard about that documentary a while back, would love to watch it.
    My routine involves getting up and hour and a half before I leave. Feed my chickens, put on some coffee, jump in the shower.
    After my shower I pour my coffee, put breakfast on to cook then look at blogs and the weather online. Whilst eating breakfast I decide what to wear, then get dressed, do my hair and make up, say good bye to my husband, who is more often than not still in bed, and head out the door.
    I hate being rushed in the mornings so I give myself plenty of time to get ready. I would like to have a bit more planning in my daily outfits as I tend to stick to the same things out of ease. I like your idea of themed weeks.
    Great blog by the way! Frankie

    • Sølvi on 15/02/2013 at 23:28

      Thanks for the comment – I had to head over to your blog and read about the chickens. How neat! 🙂 Having plenty of time in the mornings sounds like a good idea, I would try that if I ever have a job that requirea early hours. But I am such a night owl, I´m not sure I´d manage it! 🙂

  4. Donna on 15/02/2013 at 22:03

    I would say that I half-way plan in that I only have so many outfits ready at one time and I generally know what they are. And if I have a certain activity (or student!) that day I may choose a certain outfit or be sure to avoid a certain avoid. It seems odd, but for some students/classes I don’t want to wear skirts, for example, so I make certain to plan out the skirts on other days.

    And I have mini-rituals in the morning too. In fact, the first outfit I put on after taking my shower is not my “real” outfit for the day. It’s my “drinking coffee and reading email” outfit. I only put on my “real” outfit right before I leave the house because I don’t want to get it all wrinkly and cat-hairy. I’m sure it gets all wrinkly in the bus/tram, but at least it has less cat hair on it. 😉

    I need to do a better job at using all my accessories too. I have three (!!) jewelry boxes that are all full. I recently rediscovered several pairs of earrings, however, so I’m feeling smug.

    • Sølvi on 15/02/2013 at 23:32

      Oh, I am relieved that I am not the only one with a ton of accessories that´s unused! 🙂 About dressing differently for different students/work – I can totally relate. I do the same. I dress differently for different jobs, even though I do the same work, the group dynamics might differ, or I just feel more comfortable in one type of outfits for one type of people/students.:-)

  5. Alessa on 16/02/2013 at 17:40

    That sounds like a nice ritual. I have to say, I’m usually too lazy for an actual morning routine. I’d much rather lie in bed for another 10 minutes… 😉 I also usually have a couple of favorite outfits that get rotated for a few weeks, before I switch them out for another set. If I’m not working, I usually do carefully chose my earrings to complement my outfit, though. 😉
    On the other hand, sometime I like to get dressed up just for the fun of it, including fun accessories, and maybe lipstick. It really depends on who I’m meeting, what I’m going to do, what the weather is like and if I’m in the mood for it…

    • Sølvi on 19/02/2013 at 09:41

      Rotating outfits – that´s an interesting way to go. But I guess, I normally have it like that as well, whenever I make something new, I tend to wear it again and again for a while – it´s so fun to test the new garment in different constellations. 🙂

  6. Carolyn on 17/02/2013 at 03:25

    That does sound like a nice routine, and I like your idea of weekly themes. It’s fun to mix it up and play in your wardrobe 🙂
    I’m quite spontaneous; sometimes I’ve planned an outfit in my head particularly if I have an event planned for that day, but more often I just pick something weather appropriate that hits my eye and takes my fancy at those first moment looking in the wardrobe. I wear the same jewellery ALL the time; I rarely wear any make-up, and I have a natural hairstyle, that I just brush and leave. I’ll put my hair in a ponytail sometimes, or a messy bun if I want to look “pulled together” but that’s it!

  7. Sølvi on 19/02/2013 at 09:45

    It is fun to mix and play, and I really admire your project for this year with witch sketching all of your fabulous handmade outfits. I did the same thing with my hair when it was long as you do. Sometimes I miss having the option of just putting it in a ponytail or bun! 🙂

  8. tors (girl meets wolf) on 04/03/2013 at 21:29

    I’m forever behind on everything, not just my blog reading. I literally have around 30 minutes to get ready in the mornings after walking the wolf and feeding both him and the cat. I plan my outfit for the office the night before if I’m being good, but sometimes wing it (and end up late for work too). My make-up routine has shrunk to nothing as a result, just a quick wash and moisturise, although hopefully the new hair do will help me at least put on blusher if nothing else. But basically it’s flail and panic before leaving and hope I have enough time to make lunch!

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