Ever notice how so many designers wear the same outfits over and over again?
Trying to create a new and interesting outfit every single day is stressful (not to mention a huge time-suck). But you want to dress well because it affects affects how you feel about yourself and even how well you perform at work and in life (see this article from the Washington Post). The solution to this problem is easier than you think: develop a uniform. Great designers and fashion icons have been doing this for years because you get all the benefits of dressing well, without having to reinvent the wheel every day. You can wear your uniform as often or a little as you like, but the point is, when you need it, it’s there for you. Here’s what you need to know to make this work for you:
WHAT A UNIFORM SHOULD DO:
1. It should reflect your personality and values. When you wear it, you should feel comfortable, confident, and like yourself.
2. It should be tailored to your every day life. If you are an attorney, it should inspire confidence and be able to make it to 10 pm without wrinkling too much. If you are a stay at home mom, it should do absolutely everything including the dishes and never ask for a day off or a thank you. Just kidding, it should be durable, comfortable, and washable.
3. It should bolster the rest of your wardrobe. To be economical, the items in your uniform should be able to do double-duty with the rest of the items in your wardrobe.
HOW TO CREATE A UNIFORM
1. Decide what type of style represents you. Are you a forward thinking minimalist? A whimsical romantic? If you don’t know what you’re clothing style is, look at your home decorating style. It may be a truer reflection of your style because you don’t get as bogged down with all the baggage that clothing carries (i.e. “Will I look fat?” “Will other people think I’m self absorbed?” “Am I breaking a fashion rule I don’t know?”).
2. Choose a silhouette and a color scheme or theme that is flattering on you. Determine what silhouette(s) work with your body shape and type, as well as what colors work with your skin tone. You can always go with white, black, or both because they flatter most people, never look dated, and since they are neutrals, they will be interchangeable with one another and with the rest of your wardrobe. You can also choose a theme, for instance argyle sweaters or breton stripes like Jean Paul Gaultier.
3. Buy multiple pieces in that style/silhouette/color scheme, but with subtle differences. As a reference, check out Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera in the pics above. Choose high quality pieces with good construction that will last over time. If you find a piece that fits you really well, buy multiples. Buy some items for a casual version of your uniform and some for a more formal version.
Et voila! Next time you have a day when you just cannot find something to wear, you can throw on your uniform, head out the door, and go live your life.