"Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting."~ Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Demon in My View
I really hate those days when I'm feeling discombobulated and unable to make up my mind on anything, and those days when my schedule gets so messed up- usually starting right from the get go- that I can't get it back on track. Those are the days that it's all too easy to wind up just throwing something- anything clean- on and heading out the door. Then I feel 'off' all day long.
Your 'image' on this sort of day can be saved with a little forethought. Important because if you feel good about your appearance it's easier to face all the rest of the chaos. It just is. If you know your colors, or just have a go-to neutral (for lots of us that would be black) then you just pick out a basic silhouette that you know looks good and you feel very comfortable in- in other words, garments with reliably flattering lines; what I like to call 'design lines.' While you're discombobulated and/or rushed is not the time to try new things. This means you need to make sure you always have a few of these items clean and ready in your wardrobe for said unexpected chaotic days.
Next you'll need to work your best makeup effects. Stick with a neutral palette, or a tried-and-true palette that you know goes with pretty much everything. You may not have time to do as much makeup as you'd like, and if so, pare it down to what gives you the most return for your effort. No matter how much makeup you're doing, only do what you're very skilled at doing. There- that's 2/3 of it taken care of.
Lastly, have a few good hair tricks for when your hair is dirty or you don't have time to style it. The best way find these tricks is to experiment when you DO have time. If your hair is long enough, maybe a neat undo, or pulled back into a ponytail, if that's flattering; for shorter hair, maybe slicked back with some gel. A hat or scarf of some sort is a possibility. Whatever it is it needs to be uncomplicated, fast, and essentially foolproof. I also find that if I have a day when I absolutely have to wash my hair but don't have time to dry it, it helps to have styling options tailored for that.
A huge part of feeling confident when you step out the front door is knowing you're looking your best- and that means making choices that you already know look good on you. So again, no experiments right now, please. The point is to simply give a bit of thought to this before the chaos explodes, so that you'll have a plan, and feel at least that much is under control. Some days that's the only thing that's going to go right.
On those days, I'll take whatever I can get.