Get Ready in 5 Minutes or Less!

I have a penchant for the yuppie coffee shop that's eight blocks from my apartment, enough to spend thirteen minutes walking there and back on many weekday mornings. (They draw leaves in cappucino foam which make me feel fancy, like Gwyneth Paltrow caffeinating—that is, if she drank anything other than green tea.)

I can afford to slice off that chunk of my morning because I'm a uniform dresser: blazer, top, slim pants, brogues or heels, done. But even if I weren't, I could still get out the door enviously fast thanks to these time-skimming strategies. I use them when I've worn my uniform staples too much, feel like I'm starting from wardrobe scratch and (more importantly) should've been out the door seven minutes ago. You can use them too, and if you show up to work late, it'll be because of your commute or your coffee, not because of the time spent in your closet.

Tactic #1: Printed Dresses

Instead of a solid colored dress that seems sorta blah without an accessory—who has time to deal with that when really, really late?—reach for a combination, mixed print or colorblocked dress. The right ones have enough going on to stand on their own without a strategic shoe or jewelry pairing. Toss it on, zip it up, go. 6 seconds.

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