How Men Can Quickly Throw Together an Outfit When Running Late

You did it again — you slept a little too late and now you’re rummaging through your closet trying to piece together a decent outfit  in your groggy and panicked state. It happens to the best of us, but when and if it does, it’s always great to have an idea of an outfit you can easily throw together. Think simple in every sense, with color and accessories. Here are three of the easiest outfits to piece together if you’re running late.

1. Monochrome it up

monochrome colors

Monochrome colors | Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Who has time to match this tie to that suit, and this leather belt to that brogue? Certainly not you. Through your morning rush, no matter the season, reach for a suit or smart casual work combo that stays within the same color palette. Nothing quite says you don’t have your you-know-what together like an off-color or mismatched suit, along with mismatched leathers and hardware. So, make your life easier and stick to a neutral color palette like black, grey, blue, or beige.

Choose a suit from your closet with any of those colors and a corresponding shirt color, but try and keep the color of your shirt several shades lighter, and your tie (if you choose to wear one) a shade or two darker within the same color palette. If you’re feeling the summer season, feel free to skip the tie altogether and simply keep a few buttons open at the top of your shirt for an easy breezy summer look. As for your shoes, just keep this simple rule in mind: Pair black with black, grey can go either way, but with any of the other colors, stick to a tan brogue, loafer, or cap-toe design.

If you’re already aware that you hit the snooze button one too many times, you can still plan ahead in anticipating lateness: Be sure that when you have your clothing dry cleaned or when you do laundry, your clothing is already ironed before you place it in your closet. When you’re running late there is little to no time to iron your clothing, and if you’ve already made the habit of ironing your clothes before you put them back into your closet, you’re already golden and ready for anything unexpected that life throws at you.

2. Wear sneakers

A good pair of sneakers should be in your closet |

A good pair of sneakers should be in your closet |

Nothing else quite says ease like a pair of sneakers… that you can actually wear to work that go with pretty much any suit or smart business attire. You won’t have to worry about matching or even feeling uncomfortable — we’re already sure your uneasy feelings of tardiness are already making you feel that way. Stick to your normal suit or casual business attire that you usually wear, keeping them in the same color palette of course, and simply throw on a pair of sneakers.

These sneakers from Cole Haan, featured on Esquire, will fool even the keenest of fashion eyes — it will almost be hard to tell you’re wearing a pair of comfortable sneakers. Touted as the performance sneaker you can finally wear with a suit, today’s sneaker game is about stripping away as many superfluous details as possible until you’re left with a shoe that could almost pass as an oxford: In this case, Cole Haan’s GrandPro Tennis Sneaker is the answer to: “Can I wear sneakers to work?” Why yes, yes you can. Released last spring, the shoe has zero sporty detail to speak of: No perforations, contrast colors, or mesh detailing, and exudes dress-shoe quality leather, yet totally affordable. They’re nothing short of perfect for the office, and for when you’re already running late.

3. Keep it simple

wearing a suit

A man wearing a suit |

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re running late, keep it as simple as possible, which means stick to the basics. And by the basics we mean the most basic of suits; the one that works well time and time again, like a black suit with a plain white crisp shirt, an understated tie, and a pair of black leather oxfords. It works every time and you’ll feel put together no matter the circumstance or time constraints you’re under.