How to get dressed

May 5, 2016

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

When I say I’m going to “get dressed,” I mean I’m going to bathe, apply my makeup, put an outfit on, accessorize and do my hair. It takes me about 45 minutes. I might be a little more high maintenance than some ladies, but in case you want the scoop on my method, here’s how to get dressed.

Have you ever observed a woman getting dressed…head to toe, start to finish? Yeah, aside from your mother or possibly a roommate, you probably haven’t.

Getting dressed is a skill no one is teaching!

You might be asking, “How hard is it to get dressed?”

But if you’re not enjoying it every day and loving how you look and feel when you leave the house…pretty hard!!

How to get dressed

Step 1: BATHE

Do your hair and body products suit your skin and hair type? Do they smell good? Do they work? Do you love your poof or loofah or is it time for an upgrade?

You should have a towel (or two) that you enjoy as well. I prefer mine big, soft and absorbent!

One reason I like to plan my outfits the night before is so I know if I need to shave my legs. I’m 5’9″ so no, I don’t shave my legs every day if I don’t have to. And if I’m showing skin, I make sure to exfoliate in the shower with a sugar scrub, too.

Here’s my order: apply my facial cleanser outside of the shower. Get in. Wash my hair. Wash my face. Rinse hair. Apply conditioner. Shave. Wash my body. Rinse hair. Blast of cold water.


I dry off and apply my facial moisturizer. After I comb my hair and apply my deodorant (giving the moisturizer time to sink in), I start on my makeup.

After highlight and contour, I do eye primer, eye shadow, then work from the top down: brow color, brow gel, mascara, blush, lips.

Get the full scoop about my “busy mom” everyday makeup look here.

Step 3: LOTION

I don’t like having anything scented on my hands when I apply my makeup so I do this step AFTER makeup and just before putting my clothes on.

I usually apply a scented, natural lotion to the top half of my body and an unscented one to the lower half. I don’t care for heavy scents plus my legs need extra moisture. If I’m wearing shorts or a shorter skirt, I use aloe vera above the knee because it’s less irritating.

Step 4: HAIR

I do hair before clothes because I shed a lot and don’t want errant hairs all over my outfit.

I usually use a root lifter mousse and blow dry it for a minute or two, add a shine serum and I’m done. If I flat iron it, I’ll wait until the very end, after I’ve put my top on over my head.


My favorite part!!

Putting outfits together is most of my clients’ number one challenge.

There is a science to it!

Here’s what I regard as the Winning Formula:

I use this formula often. This is what I wore to teach a “Blogging for Business” workshop for the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce in 2012.

How to get dressed- putting an outfit together TABITHADUMAS.COM image consultant

Your “completer piece” (especially if you live in a warm climate) can also be a scarf, wrap, headband or even a fun belt.

It just adds that extra pizzazz that pulls an outfit together and says, “I’m making an effort!”

The look below would be pretty boring without the vest. But the vest is cool, light and easy to wear.

How to Get Dressed with the 16-point accessory rule image consultant

Image from


BONUS TIP: Arrange the items in your closet by type so it makes putting outfits together that much easier.

I keep my jackets, cardigans and blazers in one section to “complete” my outfits. You might consider keeping basic pieces (plain black blouse, basic white jeans) separate from your more colorful/unique pieces, too. Then you know you need one from each category.


If you’ve ever admired a woman who always seems put together, she’s probably following this rule, even if only instinctively.

The 16-point Accessory Rule comes from Shari Braendel.

It’s the perfect amount of accessories.

This is a great example of the power of accessories from She’s fantastic, check her out!
How to Get Dressed with the 16-point accessory rule image consultant

Pretty fingers and toes, an extra ring, a funky bag, pretty shoes, a statement necklace, makeup, a garment with a print…that’s what elevates an outfit.

I didn’t use the check-list yesterday when I wore this…it just comes naturally to me after a lot of practice.

How to Get Dressed with the 16-point accessory rule image consultant

If I’d been carrying a bag with me all day or had my glasses on, that would’ve put me a little over the top. When that’s the case, I might go for a simpler necklace or a solid-colored skirt.

Likewise, if you wore a cute belt, you’d probably want to do simpler jewelry. If you wear little or light makeup, you can go for an extra bracelet.

I know most of my clients are UNDER-doing it in this area rather than overdoing it. So add some texture, shine and color!

You can download your own 16-point Accessory Rule check-list by clicking here.

Print several copies and try it a few times. See how it feels. I bet you’ll get compliments AND feel amazing! 

As for shoes, I own a few basic pairs (black heels, nude heels, silver heels) and some fun pairs (gray polka dots, turquoise flats). The point is to pay attention to your shoes and make sure they enhance your outfit. If your outfit is a little more plain, add cute shoes!

I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to get dressed. Let me know if you have questions, or invite me over to play in your closet so we can put some outfits together!


  1. Linda

    Loved this article. I decided to switch up my sequence to see if I could save more time. Change. I don’t do change easily. Simply because the order was different … I was already dressed about to dry my hair when I realized I still had cream rinse in my hair. No big deal – just rinsed it with the handheld over the tub.

    • Tabitha Dumas

      Thanks for sharing!! That’s my only “problem.” If I skip a step or get distracted, I’ll do something like forget deodorant!! 🙂

  2. Dixie Elliott

    Hi Tabitha: I love your site!!!! I also really like Shari Braendel and use her ideas all the time. It’s great to connect with other Christian women that care about looking good. I write about little steps to health on my blog and this week we are talking about feeling pretty and dressing for our body today, and not waiting until we lose some weight!. I would like to link to your site and send my readers your way! This post is exactly what I would like to teach my readers to do!
    Keep up the good work of helping women feel good about themselves as beloved daughters of the King!


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