Running late has happened to the best of us, even the most organized and efficient.  I remember one harrowing experience of my own where I had an early morning flight and I slept through my alarm clock.  I was woken up by a call from my driver telling me he was downstairs.  Panicked, I begged him not to leave.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of just rolling out of bed and into the car.  I was on my way to a meeting in North Carolina that I was going to as soon as I landed and I needed to be dressed and ready to go for it.  I  jumped in the shower, took the shortest shower of my life and somehow managed to be in the car in about 15 minutes.  I put my makeup on during the flight and I can’t even remember what I did about my wet hair.  I was so rattled by the whole thing that I don’t think I stopped shaking until I landed in the Charlotte airport.   Never again do I want this to happen to me.  But, being a human, it probably will.

At some point in all of our lives we will be up against the clock to get ourselves together and  out the door and won’t have the luxury of time to lallygag in front of the closet or primp and preen.  If running late is something that happens often to you, or if time is your worst enemy, here are a few tips to help you look stylish no matter how late you are running.

How to Look Stylish When You Are Running Late

If you don’t plan the night before, know your “in case of emergency” outfit

Experts profess the benefit of laying out your clothes the night before.  Yes, we can all agree, this is efficient.  Yet, it’s not for everyone.  Thankfully, the morning I was just telling you about I knew what i was wearing, but this was simply because I was traveling and had already packed.  However, if this was just a regular day, I can assure you that I wouldn’t have been this prepared.  Despite having the practice of selecting my clothes before proven to me as helpful, I’m just not that type of girl.

If you’re like me, and clearly failed at Girl Scout preparedness, it’s always smart to have your fail-safe outfits in your wardrobe.  They may not be your favorite looks but they will get the job done quickly and well.  These are pieces that require little maintenance to look good, (i.e. you won’t pull it out of your closet in a moment of haste and realize it needs to be ironed), you know how to accessorize it quickly, or have some easy and quick accessories that you can grab and go, and you have the right shoes ready.  If you’re not someone who shaves regularly, consider pants over skirts and dresses.  The last thing you want to do when you are running way late is to have to shave your legs or search for tights or stockings that are clean and not full of runs.

Have your emergency preparedness hair game in place

Thank God for ponytails and quick buns when you have long hair.  Those have saved me on several occasions.  However, when you have hair that isn’t long enough for a ponytail you need to be prepared.  What plan do you have in place if you don’t have enough time to do your hair properly?

running late

The Tassi Hair Holder.

If you’re not one to wash your hair daily, keeping a shower cap in shower can help you maintain your style beyond a good blow out.  Better than just a shower cap, I happen to love the Tassi Hair Holder which is a product that makes it easy for you to keep your hair away from your face. Made of a comfortable stretch terry cloth, the Tassi hair holder goes on in three easy steps and gently lifts and holds your hair. Unlike headbands, clips or turbans, the Tassi does not flatten, twist or mess up your “do,” so it’s perfect for protecting second-day blowouts, too.   It doesn’t matter how long your hair is, the hole in the top of the Tassi will protect it.

For people like me with short hair, who wake up looking like a rooster on crack, it’s not always this simple.  My solution is to have wash and wear hair that requires little to no effort beyond a blow dryer and some finger styling.   On days I don’t wash my hair, and only wet it to get it under control, I use a dry shampoo in the roots.  Some baby powder or cornstarch will also work for soaking up the oiliness.  Suave’s Keratin Infused Dry Shampoo won’t break the bank and rated just as well as the expensive brands out there.  To make sure you have hair that looks good even on days you are running late, know your back up hair plan and/or have a style that you can maintain quickly.

Need to skip the shower?

running late

I’m not one of those people who can go about my day unshowered, and being a morning shower person,  despite going against the clock, I will get in the shower, even if it is for a second.  I know not everyone is like this.  Maybe they shower at night or maybe they’re just comfortable with skipping.

If you’ve got that “not so fresh feeling” but you’ve got to jam, you have to check out Savvy Travelers, a product we featured as a Fab Find a few months ago. Savvy Travelers are single-use and eco-friendly individually wrapped wipes that solve a ton of hygiene problems, like their Klean Upz hand and body bacterial wipes, No Sweat antiperspirant and deodorant wipes and Bottomz Up refreshing personal hygiene wipes.  No, these wipes may not be as satifying as a shower, but they will solve a cleanliness problem in a pinch.


I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a woman put her makeup on while riding the subway.  It’s a bit crude, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  And at least these women aren’t driving.  Trying to apply mascara while driving has to be as dangerous as texting while operating a motor vehicle.  Not a good idea.

The good thing about makeup is that you can leave the house without it on if you are running late.  When I almost missed my flight that dreaded morning, I applied my makeup on the plane.  It was the one thing I could do in transit.  But let’s talk about those mornings you are running late because, well, you’re were out too late the night before.  Here are some things to consider.

Remember, these are quick things you can do to get out the door without looking like a Zombie.  You don’t have to do all of them, or you might have time to.  Any or all of these beauty ideas will have you looking fresh even when you’re not.

Hopefully these running late days will be far and few between, but they will invariably happen.  And, for what it’s worth, I have found the best alarm clock to help me wake up naturally.  It’s a phone app called Sleep Cycle which analyzes your sleep while sleeping and wakes you up at the most ideal time by figuring out your lightest sleep phase within a half hour of when you set the clock to go off.  I have been using it for years and I love it.

What are some of your tips for rushed mornings?