Some years after the first "THE UNIFORM", I got some questions about this post, and if my uniform has changed or not. The answer to that is mostly no, but there has definitely been some upgrades. Trends change, but my personal style remain. Also, having a chronic illness plays a little part. I just don't have the energy to even wear skinny-jeans some days (Not elastic enough apparently). That said, I still love to feel stylish, even on my lazy days.
I think we all can relate to feeling tired from time to time, or not having enough time to get ready. So, I just wanted to share some of my personal tricks with you guys.
THE UNIFORM 2.0
I love fashion, things that are a little different, creative and beautiful, and as many other creative souls I have a tendency to "feel" what I want to wear, instead of just throwing something on.
"I feel like being a superhero today! How can I make that work with what I've got, without it looking like a halloween costume?" You just want that feeling, not the spandex and the cape.
Being a perfectionist, I'm not finished before I get that feeling of satisfaction, thus resulting in a lot of "involuntary" tardiness.
My fabulous sister (also being too creative for her own good) used to be late a lot, because she was making her outfit before school. True story!
In reality, we don't have time for that. So as a person who hates being late I wanted to better myself and find a solution where I could be efficient, without totally diminishing the joy I get from "playing" dress-up and feeling confident in what I wear (People whom are always late are annoying. Also a true story!).
Getting to the point. I love uniforms! They look awesome, they're "comfy", make you look great and you always know what to wear. So I decided to create my own "uniform".
For starters, everyone should dress how they feel, or want to feel. With some guidelines off course.
Step 1. Who am I, what style do I like?
Step 2. What is my life really like? Do I need to be fancy for work, or wear sensible shoes?
Step 3. What flatters my shape, looks, and colors?
Step 4. Make step 1, 2 and 3 work together and for you.
It's all about figuring out who you are, what you like, and edit until you find a way to make that style look good on you.
You should go with your most flattering, but still appropriate color. For me it's black, which is also my favorite (Altho it's not actually a color, but merely the result of absence of, or complete absorption of light). You can't go wrong with black (Except for at weddings...), it's stylish, slimming and respectful. Other safe base colors for non flashy people are: Different shades of grey, navy blue, army green, black and white, jeans blue, brown, and so on. But please, be colorful if you're the type.
I like my clothes to feel comfy, look edgy, but classy and laid back, with a hint of either retro or futurism.
Being Norwegian, our weather does not exactly scream dress and heals, so I had a hard time figuring out how to make it work. But when I found the perfect shoes, cardigan, and that super elastic skinny jeans trend emerged, my life got a little easier. I'm too curvy to fit into regular jeans comfortably and they don't flatter my figure. Anyway, It's so much quicker getting dressed wearing pants. All I need to decide is which top to wear, instead of an entire outfit. It used to be more like….what shoes, which dress, what? …AAARrggg! I'm late.
The "every day" 2017 Uniform
Since 2013, I have chopped off my seriously long hair into a lob, and upgraded my everyday uniform to a nice fitting casual top, paired with a cardigan or sweater, a pair of high waisted super-skinny jeans, shiny Dr.Martens, Wayfarer Ray Ban sunglasses, a black classic long coat, and a large black scarf if it gets cold and windy. This look is great for days when you need to get things done, but you still want to look cool and pretty. The only thing that I spend time on now is the long a** showers I take, for my thick a** hair to dry, and a medium but acceptable amount of time on my makeup.
The "I just can't be bothered"
If I'm running a quick errand or just can't be bothered, I might just stay in my yoga pants and wear some cool and comfy sneakers, put my hair up into a high pony tail (to give my face a lift instead of dragging it down with that "flat hair day" look, when not wearing make up or blow drying my hair). But other than that I leave the overall look the same. If it's coldish, I'll add the same black coat, sunglasses, and scarf, to keep it fashionable... After all, workout clothes are trendy these days, so why not combine the comfy with the stylish. This look is a serious time saver, but I still feel good about myself. Since the uniform is supposed to be a "I always feel comfortable in this" kind of "go to" outfit, I usually stick to black, because that's my safe color. But when I'm wearing little or no makeup it is much more flattering to wear a lighter color such as white or grey up close to the face.
The "I'm going out, but I'm in a hurry" Uniform
A or B
If I'm going out with friends and have the time and energy for it, I will usually get my fashion on. Get into lots of wild colors, dresses, skirts, blazers, and bold accessories, but sometimes I just don't have enough time or energy to get creative. In those situations it's good to have some safe outfits that always work. Again, I like to stick to black or white, and depending on whether or not it's hot or cold out, if it's a pants or a skirt kind of day. Plan A, is usually the easiest, black elastic faux leather pants, combined with a chill T, tank top, or a peplum top for a more classy look, a classic blazer, and either boots or heals.
Plan B, is better for hot summer days, or nicer occasions. A quality material top, and medi-skirt, paired with some bold earrings and heals for the flashier days. Finally, add that same black coat and some matching sunglasses.
Now, I throw my jeans (or yoga pants) on, a cardigan, a casual and flattering top (In a neutral tone such as black, white, or grey, for the sake of safe), a signature accessory, shiny Dr.Martens (Comfy and pretty. Even wear them with dresses), and sunglasses (So I can get away with no makeup on extra stressful days).
Yes, it can get boring, but it's better getting dressed for life, than spending your life getting dressed.
On days where I have the time, but still can't be bothered, I flash it up with a statement top, switch the pants into flashier pants, or a maybe a skirt, and add bold accessories and a hairdo.
In retrospect, I have also realized that this project has been a real money saver, and proves that you don't need 40 pairs of shoes (or environment saver). Being conscious of what I actually wear in every day life (real life and not my dreams), and what exactly is only used for special occasions, I have learned that I don't need a lot choices for casual shoes, pants, coats and so on. Instead I can spend my money on replacing basics, and rather invest in quality (And the occasional splurge on fashion fabs for my dress up days).
The trick is to think of your closet as a collection, and only shop for what's missing. Never just buy something because it's pretty or cool. Take notice of what you really you need, when roaming through your clothes getting ready, and make a list. This is a good way of preventing that impulse shopping, based on your feelings for that random shiny dress you just got a fleeting crush on (that you'll never get to wear). The key is to build a wardrobe where you can find an outfit for any occasion, without having to go shopping. Even if it's for work, a birthday party, camping, or a wedding. Too many of us have the "I have a hundred party tops, and yet I have nothing to wear" kind of closets. Or the "I only have work clothes, and nothing fancy". It's all about finding that right balance.
Keep in mind that these examples are based on what I actually wear, fitted to my coloring, body type, and taste. So use this info as a guide, and make sure to tailor the uniform to your own needs.
Your uniform don't have to be pants, or black, or minimalistic. It just needs to be flattering and appropriate for most occasions.
Be unique, but more important, be yourself. If you must, let your freak flag fly! And leave the (unfortunately) time consuming playing dress-up to the days when it can give you energy, not take it.
What's your uniform?
To figure out which style of uniform is best for you, check out the posts about
THE BODY TYPES, and THE RULES OF WEARING COLORS.
(Photos in this post are mostly my own. Some are borrowed from hm.com, nike.com, ray-ban.com and drmartens.com, and a few are random pictures found via Tumbler, Pinterest, or Google. Unknown source.)
ETHICAL AND PERSONALIZED STYLE, FOR A "GOOD FOR YOU" WARDROBE.
Idealist style is a website and "slow blog" dedicated to ethical fashion and personalized style, including tips on how to find your very own "slow fashion" style by using color analysis, the body types system, and other slow fashion tips.»