The title might be hyperbolic, but hear me out…
Adopting a uniform for your wardrobe is the easiest way of getting rid of that feeling of not knowing what to wear.
So what is a uniform?
It’s essentially wearing the same outfit every day. There are variations to it. But to keep it simple that’s it!
The variations come into play when you start to wear one of the items from your uniform in a variety of colours. You may even add variety by having more than one uniform, creating one for work and perhaps one for the weekend.
For example, Let’s say your uniform is something really simple like:
Skinny trousers + Court shoes + Lightweight knit
You may choose to vary it slightly by having a range of the same knit in a few different colours.
By now, if you’ve not already realised there’s a high degree of restraint involved when adopting this approach to dressing.
So you may be asking what’s the point?
Why should I restrict myself to only wearing one or two outfits?
We only have the capacity to make a limited number of decisions each day and taking away the decision of what to wear each morning means you can instead reserve that mental energy for the decisions in your life that really matter. That’s before you even take into consideration the concept of wardrobe frustration.
It’s far easier to find one outfit that you really love and makes you feel amazing than it is to find five or ten outfits that make you feel the same way. You get to wear your favourite outfit, all the time!
A lot of people end up feeling fed up, frustrated and generally low about their wardrobe and style as a whole.
By adopting a uniform you’re simplifying your personal style and eliminating all the negative emotions you’ve grown accustomed to.
It also allows you to really dive feet first into a certain aesthetic. Even if you already have a particular ‘look’ it’s difficult to stay true to that across your entire wardrobe, with every single outfit. If you’re only creating one outfit, it’s dead easy.
How to do I create a uniform?
You’re going to be wearing this anywhere from 80%-100% of the time so it needs tick off all the key things you look for in an outfit.
- Feel good factor
I bang on about how your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle, but I have to stress it’s super important here due to the limitations you’re working with.
A good starting point is to take photos of what you’re wearing. Every! Single! Day!
Consider whether you’re sort of wearing a uniform already. We tend to rely on a small section of our wardrobe most of the time. Taking pictures over a two week period will give you the opportunity to look at what you’ve been wearing and spot any themes. Are you always wearing the same shoes?
Are you living in jeans and a t-shirt?
You may already be halfway there without even realising it.
You’ve got a great starting point if you look back at your pictures and notice the same pieces keep appearing over the course of the two weeks. If you notice full outfits keep being repeated consider picking one of those outfits as your uniform and trialling it. If you notice the same pieces keep appearing see if you can create something new only using those pieces.
If you’ve not noticed any repeated outfits or pieces you’re going to have to sit down and put some thought into what pieces you want your uniform to feature. Remember, they need to flexible, but most importantly make you feel great. Following the steps in how to create a personal style that’s unique to you may help with this step. This is the opportunity to create one or two outfits that epitomise you and your style.
I’d set aside about three months to try it and decide whether it’s something you want to continue with. Here’s what I think you should spend your time doing:
- 2 weeks taking pictures of your existing outfits
- 2-4 weeks coming up with ideas for your uniform and settling on something to trial (this will take longer than you think)
- 8 weeks trialling your uniform and adjusting it
8 Weeks |
The eight weeks spent trialling and adjusting is where you see whether your uniform works in real life and not just on paper or in your head.
Wear it and see if you have to make any adjustments to fit your lifestyle. Maybe you found the shoes you picked were great for work but you really needed something more comfortable for a weekend. Make the decision whether you then swap footwear on a weekend, this would create a second outfit. Alternatively, you could retain your uniform by finding a new pair of shoes that are suitable for work and comfortable enough for the weekend.
It may be helpful to take pictures of any changes you make to your uniform so you’ve got a record of how you’ve changed it.
After the eight weeks are up you should know whether your original uniform was successful or whether you had to create any additional outfits. If you have created additional outfits, look at what pieces changed and whether there’s a way to adjust your uniform in the future so it’s closely aligned with your lifestyle.
You can then reflect and decide whether, in reality, you need two or three uniforms to get you through each week. Rather than a uniform, you may have found you all you need is a really small capsule wardrobe consisting of five to ten outfits.
Once you’ve settled on your uniform you’re going to need multiples of each item to get you through those laundry days. I’d start low and go from there.
So using the outfit formula from earlier you may want:
- 3 x skinny trousers
- 2 x court shoes
- 3 x lightweight knits
Then just see how you get on, and buy more if you find you’re lacking.
While you’re trialling your uniform you’re obviously going to need to put your clothes in the wash.
If you don’t have any multiples, take a day’s break to allow for washing your clothes. The main thing to note is whether you WOULD have worn your uniform that day providing it didn’t need washing. That’s the main feedback you need.
ProTip | We often wash our clothes way too often. If they’re not stained or soiled (or you’re not particularly sweaty) then simply airing them on the line will be enough to refresh them. Delicates will thank you, the environment will appreciate it and your clothes will look better for longer.
Granted, adopting a uniform won’t be for everyone, but if it’s got you contemplating it give it a try! You can always go back to your usual way of dressing if you feel it’s not for you.
Tell me whether you’d adopt a uniform approach to dressing in the comments below.