As seen on Canada AM: Is it possible to find a stylish and versatile outfit that can be worn as a uniform every day, on repeat? Yes. This minimalist experiment is not for everyone. People who love clothing and have a strong sense of style will probably struggle with this. But if you dread shopping for clothes, and if you want to save money and battle daily decision fatigue, this could be an interesting option.
WHO’S DOING THIS?
MARK ZUCKERBERG is doing it. Granted, he’s a guy and he can get away with a uniform easier than most women. But anyone attempting to commit to one look will be more convinced to do so when you read Zuckerberg’s reasoning.
GRACE CODDINGTON is doing it. This 74-year-old former creative director for Vogue has been sticking to an all black wardrobe for years. She favours a signature look because it’s a clean palette that stands alone and she can immerse herself in work without worrying about anything else.
MATILDA KAHL is doing it. Haven’t heard of her? Well, she’s only been wearing a stylish uniform to work for YEARS and an article about her fashion choice went viral after being published in Harper’s Bazaar. She compares her uniform to setting up an automatic bill payment. It’s just one less thing to worry about month after month.
“I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” Mark Zuckerberg
SHOULD YOU DO IT?
Uniform dressing could be worth a try if you answer yes to the following questions.
1. Do you waste time daily asking yourself “what am I going to wear today?”
2. Do you believe in the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle?
3. Does the thought of reduced shopping time for clothes bring a sigh of relief?
4. Do you have a creative outlet outside of your “look”?
STEPS FOR SUCCESS
1. Build a fashion mood board: styles you like, colours you like, celebrity looks you like, etc. Pinterest is great for this.
2. Find a professional stylist to help you shop. Call your favourite stores and ask if they offer complimentary styling services. Most places do! You may be surprised at how easy it is to set up a free session. Also, plan to shop at a mall with lots of stores. Any of the Cadillac Fairview shopping centres across Canada are a safe bet. If you can’t find free styling services, reach out to your friends and find a fashion blogger that might be willing to take you under their wing when you go shopping for your uniform.
3. Decide on shopping objectives and budget BEFORE shopping day. Share your budget, your mood board and your objective with your shopping buddy/stylist.
4. Shop with quality in mind and buy the best you can afford — take your time to find the right piece(s). If you have existing items that are in good shape that you love, build your look with those items in mind.
For example, these Lacoste sneakers are my favourite right now. My uniform HAD TO WORK with these shoes!
5. Practice wearing your look, try it out for a week, tweak some more until you’re happy.
With help from my fashion blogger friend Justine, we managed to find a base uniform that is versatile enough to work with my existing shoes, and it’s easily jeujed up with simple accessories. I’m not super fancy so this look is cool (for me) because it can look casual, and it can look classy. The stretch blouse was $19.99 and I purchased four of the exact same from H&M. The pants were on sale for $29.99 and I purchased three of the same from Ever New.
Take a look!
How weird does it feel to wear the same thing day after day? Not weird at all for me, honestly. But I’m self-employed and on the go daily with different people. If you’re working in an office and restricted to a uniform it may be more awkward for you. Or, you’ll take a page from Matilda’s book and tell everyone what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. No one will ever fault someone for being confident enough to rock a signature look on the daily. Plus, you can still express your personal style on evening and weekends. The beauty of uniform dressing is truly the ease and time saved each morning. And since time is money this experiment is frugalista approved.