How to Find Your Uniform
Updated: Apr 16
We had a couple of really hot days in Ontario this past week so I busted out my favourite transitional clothing item: the midi dress. Midi dresses also happen to be part of my warmer weather uniform. In the summer months you can usually find me wearing: midi dress+ mules+ cross body bag.
A common minimalist concept is uniform dressing and usually people mention that highly successful people dress in uniforms (ie. Obama, Steve Jobs, etc.) because it means they can focus their decision-making on more important things.
I think uniform dressing is also just a good tactic for the lazy girl who wants to look put together (also known as: me). I remember especially when I had an 8am lecture, the last thing I wanted to do was decide what to wear. My default for the colder months has always been: jeans+ booties+ knit+ moto jacket. Normally, our “uniforms” develop on their own based on what we gravitate towards in a pinch. But just in case you want to choose your uniform more consciously, here are my tips:
Comfort is Key
You are not going to wear a uniform 7 days a week if it’s uncomfortable, trust me. Choose clothing you’re comfortable in. Comfortable can be silhouettes you feel confident in based on your body shape, and comfortable can also be elastic waistbands, stretchy fabrics and shoes with memory foam insoles. For me, it’s both! So my uniforms consist of clothes that are physically comfy (natural, breathable materials and lot’s of stretch) but also styles that I feel comfortable in (generally higher necklines, longer length dresses and denim).
Consider Your Lifestyle
Practicality is really important when deciding on a uniform: you’re going to be wearing it for your real life. So forget about the fantasy lifestyle of having cute brunches in the city and consider what you’re really doing on a day-to-day basis. Most likely, you might have a few different uniforms because you have to dress for your job, your weekend and maybe other hobbies. When I was working in an art studio 5 days a week, my uniform worked in a practical way for that setting: tighter fitting t-shirts (so they don’t get caught in machinery), my hair pulled back, and real cotton jeans for durability. If I was in an office job it would probably be: trousers+ booties+ t-shirt+ blazer. Think about your own life and tailor your item choices based on what will be most practical.
Be Weather Wise
Nothing is worse than getting caught in inclement weather without the appropriate clothing. The amount of times I’ve been caught in the rain with inappropriate footwear is countless. And friends, it sucks to walk around all day in wet sneakers, let me tell you. So when choosing a uniform, make sure it can seamlessly be adapted to the weather. Switch out your flats to stylish pair of rainboots, have a waterproof jacket option on hand as well as staples for colder weather. One reason I love my faux-leather Moto jacket so much is that it works as a raincoat without being an actual raincoat, so I can wear it constantly and always be ready for the rain without donning my wellies or rain poncho.
Ask Your Friends
Think of your uniform like you would your signature perfume. This can be what you're known for or remembered by. I remember one time talking with my friends about our “signature looks” and they told me that mine was black boots+ jeans+ a particular Burgundy knit sweater. I thought it was kind of hilarious that one outfit (which included my favourite sweater at the time) had become quintessentially me! Take advantage of how well your friends know you and ask them which outfit they remember you by - they may have pinpointed your uniform before you even realized you were wearing one!
Do you have a uniform? If so, what do you wear? And uniform experts, please leave more tips in the comments below!
Shirt dress: thrifted, similar(not striped but an ethical company)
Purse: gift, same (different colour)
Sunnies: prescription Ralph Lauren, similar
Toms Nude slides: thrifted, same