How To Create a Uniform

Uniform

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We’re obsessed with paring down our closets.

Bridget sent me this article earlier this year about a woman creating a work uniform. And after reading it, I sat back in my chair and thought why didn’t I think of that? 

I’d been doing something similar for a while. I was rotating the same couple of outfits. Black, wide-leg trousers and a crewneck sweater. A black pencil skirt with the same crewneck sweater tucked in.

I was working in a weird, little finance office and although the investment professionals wore business formal, no one really cared what I had on. And I’d started paring down my work clothes in a silent protest to the job itself. I was over it. I knew I was leaving and the thought of investing any more money in my business casual look made me want to puke.

Plus I knew what I felt my best in, what was easiest to throw on in the morning, and what was comfortable. And I always wound up wrapping myself in a gigantic blanket scarf anyway, because I’m perpetually freezing and that place was a meat locker.

The week after reading that article, I wore that black pencil skirt and sweater Monday through Friday. And guess what? Not even my work-wife noticed. That little experiment solidified it. I was a uniform convert.

Now that I’m home every day, I have more freedom in what I can wear. I’m actually in my pajamas right now. But, do more options really make our lives better? We’d argue that they don’t. Endless options create decision fatigue and gobble up our time and energy. So, I’m working to create a cozy wardrobe of a few uniforms that I feel my best in.

If you’re into this idea, here are some guiding random thoughts on how to make it work for you:

#1. Understand that your taste and your style might be two different things. 

I read this article by Leondra the other day and it perfectly articulated something I’ve been saying – albeit far less eloquently – for awhile. What we like to look at in style photos may be drastically different from what we feel our best in. Our taste doesn’t always translate to our style. It’s why our closets often look radically different from our Pinterest boards and why we spend a lot of time standing in front of them in a damp towel.

Example: I love anything bohemian (my taste) but I don’t wear it (my style). Wispy, unstructured and backless are a disaster on my figure, mostly because of the size of my boobs. Free-flowing tent dresses make me look like I’m 20 pounds heavier or trying to hide a baby bump.

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I think a lot of us run into this problem of taste v. style while shopping. We want so badly for a certain style that we love to work that we buy things we never wind up wearing because we don’t feel good in them. If you don’t feel good in something, you’re not going to wear it. This usually ends with a closet full of clothes, nothing to wear and a side of frustration.

#2. Understand that there are a million styles out there, but you’re just not going to wear them all. 

Just pick one or two … okay three. There can only be a few options you feel your best in anyway. The point in creating a uniform is fewer options, not more. So you’re going to have to pass over a lot of what you see out there, as trends and fast fashion do not apply.

#3.  Know that trends are so trendy and fashion so fast, you should really just wear what you want. 

Maybe a trend is actually one of your best looks. High-waisted flares? Been in love with them for forever. And they’ve been a trend so many times now that I’m confident they are actually a classic. So for some, they may be a trend to steer clear of but for me, they’re a uniform I’m working on. I feel my best in them. And there’s no plumber’s crack. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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#4. A few simple steps / how to create a uniform:  

  • Find inspiration and get clear on the style you’re going for
  • Know what you like best on your own body (look, fit, feel)
  • Know your lifestyle and plan for mostly Tuesday afternoons vs. Saturday nights
  • Invest in high quality pieces that will last longer, ’cause you’ll be wearing them more often

What about you? Have you ever tried to create a uniform? Do you dig this idea? Leave a comment below.

Dana

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