Want to Simplify Your Life? Try a Uniform

ups-delivery-guy1

Yes, I do want to simplify my life! Most people I meet say yes to that idea. But I don’t really want to wear a proper uniform, as in a UPS person (not that there’s anything wrong with that, UPS people).

No offense, UPS guy, you’re looking good.

I like to play with clothes and try new things. But simplicity, yeah, it’s becoming more and more appealing as the years roll by.

I found a well-done article about dressing in a “uniform” over at the Life, Edited site. It’s a terrific site all-round, with articles about housing, travel, personal economy, and psychology. The article about uniform dressing takes a broad, gentle view of the subject.

It starts by pointing to one of the most famous uniform-wearers of the modern age:

Rather than boring and imposed fashion, a uniform can be a great way to simplify your life and even express your style – there’s a reason Steve Jobs, one of the foremost design gurus of the last 100 years, wore the same outfit day in, day out.

The author recommends simply starting with the clothing you already like the best, and wear the most. Let those pieces be the basis of your “uniform”. For me, that would be pencil and full skirts for work, jeans for off-hours, and soft knit tops for all occasions. Shoes/booties with personality, a pretty scarf, my “G” ring and some bangles, and I have about 85% of my outfits covered.

Evidence!

Another recommendation: “When you find something you like, buy multiples. Get a few colors of the same item if you’re worried about looking the same all the time (but remember no one cares).” I do this with my favorite GAP soft tees and camisoles. Why buy a whole variety of tees when I’ve identified the one that fits, feels good and wears well?
And for those not ready to commit to a uniform of any kind, there’s some sound wardrobe advice:
Even if you don’t wear the exact same thing every day, choose high quality clothing staples like a particular skirt, pant or shirt. Choose classic cuts in muted and complementary colors that you’ll be less likely to tire of and that work well together.
None of this rules out my joy of thrifting new pieces, trying “big pants” or a new color or silhouette. It just allows a path for easy dressing when that’s what suits me (heh, pun!).

Have a fabulous Tuesday,

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patti

29 Comments

  1. this blgo is very nice i like i found that type of blog in which i get my want so it is that blog.thnx for help me for seeking cloth like ladies cloth.

    http://awear.co.za

  2. From the country I came from (Philippines) we wore uniforms not just for working people (private and government workers) but also in schools. Since grade school to college I wore uniforms and when I was working we wore uniforms. What we bought are shoes, bags or other accessories to match our uniform clothes (at work). While in school the shoes and socks are also uniform lol! These I would say an alleluia to parents because they would not be stressed out when school is back. So for me uniforms is the best. By the way at work (before) we have three sets of uniform clothes and we wore it the whole week alternating the three sets which is very cool and I do like it.

  3. From the point of view of knowing what sort of clothes you like best, I like it as a starting point. But I like to vary too much. Limitation is not my middle name.
    Greetje
    PS although my bank manager is advising me the same thing….

  4. More than 30 years ago, I decided to stick to black and white for work clothes. It made it SO easy to pack, simplified shopping and made it easier to stick to my clothing budget. Still lots of variety in the looks, but everything worked together.

  5. Day to day with the kids I def go into a 'uniform'. Comfy skirt and t-shirt. It's basic and works when I don't have too much time to get creative 🙂

  6. Always hated jobs were you have to wear an uniform … or even a trouser suit. really makes life dull and uninspiring even if it is an easy way of dressing, doesn't it?

  7. No uniform for me! I enjoy variety and options and change. I don't even like chosing what to wear the night before as I like to reflect how I'm feeling that day.

    I am very much in favour of buying good quality, flexible clothes. I don't want an enormous wardrobe, just enough to ring the changes.

  8. A few years back a young woman started something she called "The Uniform Project" (www.theuniformproject.com) that had a fundraising component. What was interesting was that she fashioned a fairly simple top/dress that she then would combine with other items in her wardrobe. She had a "uniform" but it was anything but uniform and boring because of the combinations. Although it's an old website, I would check it out. She eventually produced both a pattern and the dress you could buy and I bought both. Although I don't wear it everyday, when I hit a "what do I wear" period its definitely a go to piece.

  9. You forgot Michael Kors. How he can sell so many clothes while living in a uniform is beyond me. Shouldn't he practice what he sells?
    Amorette

  10. We seem to be on a similar wavelength. I was just musing last night about how freeing it would be to wear the exact same thing every day – but only of exquisite cut and quality, like a tailored shirt, Hermes scarf, and tailored trousers. Every. Single. Day. Can you imagine? Nah. Not really. It's a delicious fantasy though.

  11. When I shopped regularly (prior to thrift) I loved to get two of one; like two pairs of the same shoe but one in black and one in nude. It is a bit harder in thrift but I don have a few dups that I have run into, which is really lucky to get while thrift shopping. Great post.

  12. I've worn a uniform a good bit of my life. Twelve years of parochial school and years in the Air Force did me in I suppose! I still like to keep things simple, but I'm trying to jazz things up a bit with scarves, since I'm not much of jewelry person.

  13. I think I've had some sort of uniform ingrained in my head for years. Maybe it's due to 12 years of parochial school as well as my years in the Air Force!
    I'm trying to get out of the rut of wearing the same things. I have found a few labels that I really like so I'm starting to buy multiples in different colors. I still keep things plain, but I am discovering a love of scarves to jazz things up a bit!

  14. well said, Vix! Adulthood is stressful and dressing should be fun. I do keep it fun while staying in my smallish closet and wearing lots of favorites. I'd love to play in your closet too : > xox

  15. Having been made to wear a uniform (aka a business suit) for many years I absolutely loathe any form of a uniform. Whilst I can understand the need to have a work wear wardrobe if you work long hours in a stressful environment getting dressed in the morning and having a variety of clothing to put on is, in my mind, one of life's joys. It's a way to remove oneself mentally from some of the stresses of being an adult and to embrace womanhood. xxx

  16. Oh, I just couldn't. I don't *feel* the same way every day so having to wear the same thing just wouldn't work for me. Your approach would work better for me; a variety of similar things that I know work for me.

  17. All excellent advice! I do notice being redrawn to the same things often, but that doesn't stop my occasional need to grab something truly crazy.

  18. You see, as soon as you say the word uniform, I immediately recoil! Both from the associations of most of the jobs that require them, but also from the whole notion of uniformity, the lack of variety, of individuality. I couldn't imagine wearing identical clothing every day, and I don't want a wardrobe full of the same things, albeit in different colours. I want variety, texture, colour, print. I want long and short, fitted and flowy, I want a heap of accessories, heels and flats, hats and flowers. "Classic cuts in muted and complementary colours" would be the very things which I would tire of, and who says they work well together? I want loud clashing shades! It's a very conservative, risk-averse approach to dressing, and frankly, not for me! Signature styles, I can cope with, since most people do ring the changes while staying true to their own style aesthetic. But an unchanging uniform? That's just depressing! xxxxx

  19. To me uniform spells boring. Probably that is because for years I was forced to wear one every day at work. I hated it with a passion. I know it works for other people though. Look at Einstein…and he was kinda smart ; )

    bisous
    Suzanne

  20. I sort of do that–cooler weather: skirt, tshirt, cardigan, boots. not very exciting but it works

  21. I wear what I feel I want to wear that day and what's going on that day. I style change up outfits because I don't want to be labeled or stereotyped in any way. I really like to have my weeks worth of outfits ready before the following work week. The Lord is blessing me to have a wardrobe where can coordinate different styles. Although, some people wear the same thing because that might be all they have. We have to meet people where they are at.
    My UPS guy brings my packages so I can spot his uniform a mile away.

  22. I have thought about this so much. I just don't know if I could commit to something like that. I am obsessed with different styles and prints. But there are some days when a closet full of nothing to wear makes me think he had the right idea.

  23. Patti, I just realized I'm doing this, wearing a uniform. I didn't think I was until I read the bit about finding something you like and buying multiples. It works great for me as I have very little morning time. I have 5 skirts of the same design (different colors & patterns) and I buy the same cotton tees to pair with them (again, different colors). My jeans fall into the same category–all the same brand, cut and style. I even do this with shoes!

  24. I know what you are talking about – I love, colorful, graphic tees with skirts, jacket, or cardi for work – I tend more, more to purchase them, It's so me as I am discovering –
    Arianexo

  25. I've been moving more and more toward a uniform, while still occasionally allowing myself a fun distraction or two. Simplicity and removing distractions with my own dressing are important to me now. I'm off to read that article. 🙂

  26. HI Patty! I have often thought of doing a "Jobs"! As you know – this has been one of the confounding issues of my career transition, but I think I have finally gotten it licked. The simplicity of a uniform is the comfort and knowing that you are dressing to please both yourself and to communicate who you are to the world. It is quite freeing!

  27. For those who are focusing on something important and demanding (like higher education or a high-powered job), wearing a "uniform" is valuable — it removes the need to think about what you're putting on in the morning. Once you decide what works for you, you wear it over and over. I remember in law school one guy wore the same sweater — the exact same sweater — every single day. I never saw him without it.
    That said, for me fashion is about experimentation. I dress as if I was an art project. With both female and male clothes, I explore new ideas and approaches.
    Interesting post.

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