It’s official: Mom was right. Her age-old advice about picking out your outfit the night before rings true. Laying out your look after you wash your face and before you slip on your sleep mask is a major timesaver when it comes to getting ready in the morning.
But let’s be honest, we don’t all have the time or energy to pick out our clothes every night. Mada’s recommendation is to bring back dress-up time. Only this time, we’re giving it a grown-up, millennial name: meal prep.
Here’s how to meal prep, Mada-style:
1. Get out your ingredients.
One of the best ways to gain confidence in a look is to have fun while you’re styling it. On your next lazy Sunday afternoon, pour yourself a glass of wine, pump your favorite feel good jams, and play dress-up in your own closet.
Lay out all your clothing options in front of you — on your bed, on the floor, wherever. Pull the spices out of the cupboard, so to speak. Sometimes it helps to see every ingredient you’re interested in working with, so you can quickly decide what direction your meal (outfit) is going to take.
2. Figure out the entree.
The first decision you have to make is what you want your outfit’s focal point to be. Just like a slab of steak on a plate, your outfit should have a strong base.
So, start cooking the protein of your meal: do you want to highlight that cool dress you bought last month? Or maybe those pleated plaid trousers that make you feel like your most capable self are on the docket.
Whatever it may be, hone in on that one piece you want to rock, and build the rest of your outfit around it.
3. Then, decide on your sides.
Think of your accessories — shoes, earrings, scarves, and so on — as your side dishes for the meal. How will they complement your main course? Is your entree something plain, like a white shirt and dress slacks? Then maybe you’ll want to go bolder, even more flavorful with your potatoes (aka: statement earrings). Mix and match until you feel you have a well-rounded plate.
4. Add the seasoning.
Don’t be shy. Try on different outfits, wacky pairings that don’t seem to go together on the rack, ensembles for events you haven’t been invited to yet, that shirt you bought two months ago but still haven’t worn. That dress you wore to that wedding three years ago and haven’t thought about since — still fits? Then rock it.
Along the way, you’ll stumble upon some great, unexpected looks for your day-to-day. Once that happens, take a pic, save it in a folder on your phone titled, “Ugh, As If” (or any other quote from Clueless that speaks to you).
Soon enough, you’ll have a whole library of surefire outfits to rely on when you wake up in the morning and can’t be bothered to do anything except turn on your Keurig.
5. After you reheat, feel free to add or remove as you see fit.
Meal prep isn’t the end all be all. If you don’t like what you taste in the morning, change it up! Sometimes all it takes is adding a dash of hot sauce, or removing the tomatoes — in other words, adding a cool belt or switching out your socks.
Getting dressed is about feeling good, above all else. You have to have a meal hearty enough to sustain you throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to continue to experiment until you feel full enough to walk out the door.
If you’re willing to dedicate an hour of your Sunday to slicing carrots and making a weeks’ worth of rice, you might as well extend your prep mindset to your looks. And don’t forget to download Mada from the app store, while you’re at it — think of us as the best prep cook you’ve ever had.