"Recipe for an Outfit" is a twice monthly series in which stylish people give insight into the little details that go into getting dressed. In breaking down each step, we can find out so much about how clothing makes us feel.
Lauren Rouza is a fashion publicist based in New York City. Over the course of her decade-long career, she's worked with brands like Mansur Gavriel, The Arrivals, New Balance, Hoka and more.
Here's how she gets dressed:
I’ve always had a relaxed, androgynous style – one that I’ve only started to fully embrace and make my own in the last couple of years. Rarely will you find me in anything besides pants, and it’s a hard stop at dresses. I maintain a fairly minimal capsule wardrobe with a mix of high quality and second hand or vintage pieces. Professionally, it’s important for my clothes to make me feel like a boss.
For me, it all starts with a sweatshirt. A crewneck pullover is the first thing I reach for in the morning or throw on after a long day. But it’s also the base ingredient in my “recipe” for getting dressed - the flour, if you will. After adding the supporting elements – a structured jacket, colorful pump or bold lip – you barely notice it’s there, but it’s the foundation for every outfit.
Wake up and settle into your mood.
Since the pandemic and working from home, you’ve become an early riser. You look forward to those quiet hours of uninterrupted work to get your mind right before the chaos of the day ensues. Sweats, a pair of cozy socks and Birkenstock slides is all you need.
Mentally run through your schedule.
It’s 8:30am and you’re two cups of coffee deep. You’ve had a productive morning catching up on emails and are ready to prep for the rest of the day. Today is Tuesday so you’re going into the office...which means you won’t have time for a workout and will need to put on actual pants. It’s a long day of calls, meetings and a client launch event in the evening. You pull up your Pinterest style board and scroll - start to channel the energy you want to bring to your look. With a few options in mind, you jump in the shower.
The Upper Half
After rummaging through an impressive collection of sweatshirts you’ve been building since high school, you land on a simple white crewneck you scooped from the Brooklyn Flea for $5. You’re a Publicist in New York City so black is over half of your wardrobe. But Spring is in the air and you’re feeling festive so you choose a drapey navy blazer with gold buttons to add an element of sophistication.
The Lower Half
With the exception of an occasional trouser or bike shorts, jeans are your second skin. Wide leg and flares are in your current rotation (honestly, have always been in your current rotation), particularly a pair of light wash with an impulsive DIY split hem. They are slightly too big but the wash is perfect so you cinch them tight with a belt and make sure to only wear them with a jacket that covers the butt. Today is my lucky day.
Because there is no other option. If they’re not at least two inches off the ground, they’re likely not on your feet unless you’re working out or running errands. You’re average in height at 5’6 but heels provide a mental confidence boost well worth any slight physical discomfort. You pull on a pair of well-loved western-inspired brown snakeskin boots.
The finished product.
Following a series of self-affirmations, you take a final look in the mirror, add a dab of amber oil to your wrist and neck before rushing out the door, remembering at the last minute to grab your favorite red lipstick for later.
I’ve realized the way I get dressed is very formulaic. I tend to gravitate towards the same few items in cycles. I used to be self-conscious about wearing items on repeat, but now I embrace it – I’ve learned to offset my minimalist wardrobe and keep things fresh and trendy through accessories, nail or lip colors and really invest in staple pieces I will wear and love for a long time.