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4 reasons to adopt a work uniform, and how to do it


One more alarm clock ringing and one more day of work to come. With all the decisions you’re about to make, wouldn’t it be great if you already knew what to wear? And, even better, what if you knew it was something that would be completely comfortable and flattering?

Sure, a lot of jobs require a uniform, but there are plenty of other workplaces that allow employees to wear whatever they want (or whatever fits the company dress code). Whether you are spending your days in a classroom, kitchen, office, coworking space, or just your local cafe, this might be the perfect time to create a work uniform.

How it works

First, banish all thoughts of the dark uniforms adopted by Steve Jobs Where Elizabeth holmes. You don’t have to wear a black Issey Miyake turtleneck every day of the year. But you to do have to think about the basics that you like to wear and feel good in. If there’s a blouse you love and always get compliments on, why not buy one in all colors? If you’ve finally found some pants that you don’t want to take off when you get home, buy a few and start wearing them every day. The uniform doesn’t have to be restrictive, but it should fit you perfectly.

“I’m always pro-uniform because it’s like making a mark to make your life easier,” said Amanda sanders, fashion consultant and personal shopper. “Personally, I’m a wrap dress type girl, and this is the go-to item that makes me feel cohesive and on-trend when I have to step out the door while facing the kids and chaos. Investing in classic items that will never go out of style and that can be worn on multiple occasions, inside or outside the home, can add versatility to any wardrobe.

Stylist Rima Vaidila said: “creating a capsule wardrobe is a must.

Having a solid collection of high-quality essentials as a ‘base’ for your wardrobe is the smartest thing a busy person can do, ”she said. “Most people already do this subconsciously, so you might as well consider it. “

Scientists, stylists and minimalists are on board

Still on the fence? Consider what the experts are saying.

Reason 1: Less choice means less stress

There is a modern phenomenon that scientists call choice overload, and that makes us very unhappy. While we think we want lots and lots of options, it turns out that when we get what we say we want – hello, the closet packed and the shoe collection overflowing – we have a harder time making a decision, and we’re more likely to feel like we’ve done the wrong thing. If you are looking for ways to reduce the stress in your life, eliminate the “what should I wear?” ”Question might be a good place to start.

Reason 2: You can be comfortable all the weather

You may decide to only wear clothes that make you feel good and look good.

“Before the pandemic, most of us considered workwear to be its own category – something you changed the moment you got home,” said Karen lee, co-founder of Lezé Le Label, a line of sustainable work clothes made from recycled materials. “We felt we had to be stiff and uncomfortable to look professional. Because of the pandemic, people have realized they can get things done in sweatpants. Now we are looking for comfort and versatility in clothes that can be worn in and out of the office. So honestly, I feel the concept of workwear has changed, and I’m not crazy about it.

Sanders suggested buying “super chic but deceptively comfortable pieces, such as buttons or cardigans.”

“You don’t have to jump straight into stiff pencil skirts and chunky, sweaty button-down shirts,” she said.

Reason 3: Minimalism means freedom

Imagine a life without all those outfits you “might” wear one day. In his book Goodbye, things: The new Japanese minimalism“Writes Fumio Sasaki,” We don’t need to have a lot of clothes to live a clean and comfortable life. While others may like to vary their looks, there is style in wearing the same clothes that are perfect for us and using them as a kind of personal uniform. While some people may judge you if you always wear the same style, I think it will eventually become a thing of the past. “

Reason 4: You can save money AND time

Forget about fast fashion and how so-called “cheap” clothes end up wreaking havoc on your budget. When you stick to classic items that you can wear over and over again, you can save yourself a pretty good amount of money. And when you eliminate the cycle of trying on, taking off, and trying out shopping and dressing, you’ll have a lot more time to focus on what matters most to you: your awesome new work idea, a few cuddles with the kids or even just another turn on the snooze button.

Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodies and Anna Wintour’s sunglasses have become iconic pieces of their work uniforms.

Start with the right parts

“You have to consider the basics,” said the stylist Nikki steele. “Consider having clean straight jeans, black, navy, or brown straight pants, a straight knee-length skirt in black or navy blue, a white button-down blouse, a black or navy blazer or cardigan and a your favorite bright color, and pairs of loafers, slides and heels.

But, of course, if your idea of ​​comfort doesn’t match those particular elements, replace them with whatever works best for you.

Wardrobe stylist Ann Marshik noted that people have dressed more casually since the start of the pandemic, so a smart work uniform could consist of “jeans and a shirt or a t-shirt with a blazer. or oversized shorts. After work, you can throw this blazer away and be ready for a walk or bike ride.

“Once you find that uniform and stick to it, it really makes it easier,” she said.

Ask yourself: is this “worthy of being uniform”?

“My North Star is always what a piece of clothing makes you feel like because if you feel good you can do a good job,” Lee said.

She suggested asking yourself a few questions before deciding if an item is worthy of a uniform: “First, ask if you can go for an all-you-can-eat meal?” If the answer is yes, then you can probably sit at your desk all day without discomfort or restrictions. “

Then, she advised, think about the functionality of the garment and how easy it is to keep it in good condition.

“Can you move there?” Sweat in it? Roll in? Lee asked, noting that you should consider the specifics of your day-to-day life, such as whether your job requires you to travel, give presentations, or chase after kids. “Make sure your clothes are performing well to match your lifestyle. Look for a stretch fabric for more flexibility, but also somewhat structured, so you can look neat.

“Finally, think about how easy the garment is to care for,” she said. “Whether you’re a freelance writer, business builder, or amazing mom, you’re busy. Look for clothes that are machine washable and don’t require dry cleaning.

“My pole star is always what you feel with an item of clothing, because if you feel good you can do a good job. “

– Karen Lee

What to avoid

Some stylists suggest limiting yourself to a few basic pieces for your uniform, but that doesn’t mean your look has to be boring.

“Of course, a work uniform is extremely useful, and you have to have some choice clothes if you get cranky one morning and don’t want to think,” said stylist Julia von Boehm. “But looks don’t have to be repetitive or monotonous, and they should each work on their own.”

Steele said fun accessories can help you avoid that dreaded “monotonous”.

“Put on that bracelet or earrings in your favorite color and pair them with a pair of shoes and a handbag in fun colors,” she said. “If you work in a more conservative industry, wear colorful socks that you’ll notice every time you cross your legs. It will make you smile, even if you are just sitting at home in a Zoom meeting. “

Now let’s do this

“I recommend that you give your uniform ideas a try to see what works for you” Vaidilah noted. “Think about your favorite work look and wear a few iterations of this combo for about a week to test it out. Once you’ve decided on your uniform suit, it’s worth the 1000% investment in high-quality parts and following the care labels to make sure they last.

Finally, don’t worry about preparing for a fashion police summons.

“One of my style rules that I share with my clients is, if you like an outfit and how it makes you feel, repeat it,” Steele said. “No one will notice, because most people are too concerned about themselves to think twice. Think back to your last Zoom call or your last in-person meeting and try to remember what someone was wearing. You probably don’t remember it, but you do remember if someone looked confident and was doing well, and that’s what a great outfit can help you do.

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