Uniforms For Life: The Power of Uniforms For Adults
Karl Lagerfeld had his white collared shirt, black jacket and black sunglasses. Steve Jobs had his Issey Miyake turtleneck sweaters. Jack Dorsey has his Dior shirt. The personal uniform has become, well, 'the uniform' of many iconic leaders. It’s all about simplicity, comfort and, yes, sustainability too. You can dress your uniform up or down but the secret is having a base that’s something you're comfortable with wearing for the majority of the day.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you go out and buy 10 of the same thing and repeat it each day but there is something we can learn from this approach. Ask yourself these three questions and answer honestly:
- Do you find it challenging to put outfits together?
- Is the morning time a bit of a rush for you (hello, kids!)?
- Do you find yourself standing in front of your wardrobe for 20 minutes unable to make a decision?
Say yes to any or all of the above? Imagine walking into work, a meeting, or to a lunch feeling comfortable and confident. And, most importantly, not running late because you couldn’t decide what to wear. It’s possible. Here’s how.
Emma wears: Matteau Silk Wide Leg Pant and Bassike Cashmere Knit. The Knit is the perfect transeasonal and layering piece.
Fleur wears: Stella McCartney silk blouse and Boyish Billy Jeans. From work to casual the silk top can work hard for you.
Fleur wears: Viktoria and Woods Pleat Skirt and long sleeved white shirt, Georgia Alice Jimmy Blazer. All three we consider uniform pieces.
Emma wears: Bassike Tie Neck Layering Knit and vintage Levis. The ultimate wardrobe essentials that can worn many different ways.
Fleur wears: Georgia Alice Jimmy Blazer, Viktoria and Woods Belt, Hi Lo The Label Leather Legging, and The Row Sandal. The black blazer is a must in all wardrobes.
Emma wears: Jac+Jack Tee and Viktoria and Woods Joplin Jean. To us, the white tee is the casual version of the LBD.
Fleur wears: Bassike Boxy Gathered Top, Boyish Billy Jeans, Veja V-10 Extra White Leather Sneaker. A sneaker can be worn with absolutely everything.
Hannah wears: Viktoria and Woods Coat, Wardrobe NYC Leggings, Frame Cropped Hoodie, Frame Cashmere Knit. The black legging can take you from casual to dressy with just a change of a shoe.
1. Organise your wardrobe
Sorting the contents of your wardrobe into categories means you’ll always be able to find what you are looking for. Try sectioning shirts (broken down into colour), dresses (by prints then block colours), trousers, skirts etc. It’s also a great way to find out if you are missing anything.
2. Identify the gaps in your wardrobe
We call these wardrobe essentials because by having these you’ll be able to create so many more outfits from what you already own. Some examples: black pants or skirt, denim, blazer, white or black shirt, block colour dress, knit, and trench or long wool coat for that transeasonal time of year. Tip: We recommend shopping first for any gaps you identify - put them right at the top of your personal shopping list.
3. Workout the pieces that you already own that make you feel confident
The ones that both look and feel good. These need to be on high rotation in your wardrobe.
4. Declutter your wardrobe
And regularly. This is a task to be repeated each season to ensure your wardrobe is full of what you need for the months ahead. E.g pack away those summer tops when you’re deep in winter and vice versa. The next steps are to start planning and putting your ‘uniform’ outfits together:
- Layout and plan your outfit the night before or on Sunday before the week starts. Always have one of your uniform/wardrobe essentials for each look.
- Each season, identify up to 3-4 ‘core’ shoes that will be on high rotation for the season. Have them in your wardrobe ready to go. You will always have a shoe option for each outfit based on what your day entails.
- Check in with yourself in the morning to see how you are feeling and how your energy is. You might need to make a last minute change to what you had planned for the day and that is totally ok.
- If your outfit needs to be elevated, have your favorite three necklaces, scarves, or earrings on display and easy to access (i.e not in a shoebox at the bottom of your wardrobe). Adding accessories to your look instantly takes it from casual to chic.
Once you’ve worked out your uniform pieces, it’s so much easier to mix and match the clothes you already own. We can personally attest to the process. Getting dressed is a total breeze - and also means rediscovering those pieces you love but haven’t worn in years. It creates a much more conscious shopping experience because you can buy with purpose. And that’s the ultimate goal.
5. Brands are on it too.
We are starting to see brands build their collections around this concept of a seasonless, trendless wardrobe. Everlane launched a new collection called the ‘Uniform’ with the range made up of no more than 12 pieces. Similarly, Wardrobe NYC designs and sells bundles of multiple-piece monochrome “wardrobes” of high-quality staples. So could uniform dressing be the future of sustainable fashion? We think it just might.
We’re always here to help. Just send us an email email@example.com. We also offer virtual styling service: perfect when you need a little help with your wardrobe or online purchases. Your own personal coach for online shopping from the comfort of your own home.