In the hopes of becoming more efficient, more productive and generally a person who gets sh*t done, I decided I would create some version of my own uniform which I would wear – every day. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot lately about decision fatigue – how our brains can only make a certain amount of decisions on a daily basis, and how we need to limit the minor decisions we make so that we can focus more on the major ones. I completely get that and realized that one such daily decision that may take up way too much of our (or at least my) time is that of what to wear.
If you think about it, some of the most successful, creative and I’d say extremely efficient people wear/wore pretty much the same thing every day. There’s Steve Jobs, Mr. Think Different, who wore a black turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers – every single day. There’s also Mark Zuckerberg who wears a gray t-shirt, a hoodie and jeans again – every day. And I’ve just learned that Albert Einstein wore a gray suit almost every day and so too did Barack Obama (although sometimes it was blue) when he was president.
I know. I know. It’s me. The girl who wrote a book about shopping and a piece for Glamour about how powerful shopping and clothes can be. I’m also the same girl who has a ridiculous propensity to remember outfits from my past and I may have what some could call a condition in that I over-accessorize – a lot.
Even with these cards stacked against me though, I still believed I could come up with my own daily uniform. Mine would not be as strict as Mr. Jobs’ and not as boring as Dr. Einstein’s (sorry fellas), but it would allow me to keep my own decision fatigue at bay. This daily uniform would allow me to free up space in my head so that I could write, hopefully creatively, about clothes and accessories but also deeper other issues as well. I know – the irony.
My daily uniform is based off of a look I’m going to call boho chic, which is probably a description I’ve lifted straight from the Anthopologie catalog or InStyle Magazine. This uniform is some version of leggings/skinning jeans, a cozy long sleeve t-shirt/blouse, a drapy cardigan/pullover sweater and boots. I’ve made the accessories part of my uniform as well with indoor scarves, stud earring and long necklaces. This uniform lets me be me without having to think too much about how to dress like me. I can easily adjust this uniform for warm weather with lighter skinny jeans, a tank top and drapy lighter sweaters. One of the keys, and I believe my husband would say, the signature of my uniform is that I layer. One day last July I was busted for wearing four layers (and it was 80 degrees out.) But you know what? I feel comfortable in layers. They work for me, and I don’t have to think about what to put on when I get dressed every morning.
If you think about it, we all wear what we are most comfortable in, what makes us feel good and what works for us in our jobs, our lifestyles and the climates in which we live. My husband wears pretty much the same thing every day. For work it’s a slim fitting suit, no tie and sometimes jeans and a sport jacket. On the weekends, he goes all Zuckerberg with jeans and a hoodie. And out to dinner on a Saturday night, he sports his cool guy dad look which every other guy I know also wears out to dinner on a Saturday night – jeans and a button down, and in the winter, a sweater over the button down.
My father has been wearing literally the same clothes for 40 years – khaki pants/corduroys, button down shirts, and crew neck sweaters or tweed jackets with patches on the elbows. In his case the patches really do cover up holes from so many years of wear and tear on his daily uniform. My kids have also developed their own daily uniforms despite my suggestions to the contrary.
I recently met my college girls for our regular brunch in NYC. I arrived wearing my own boho chic uniform, and as I kissed and hugged each long-standing BFF hello, I realized that they each have their own uniform, which they have been wearing in one form or another for almost as long as I have known them. I even named theirs: Classic Chic, Preppy Chic and Cozy Chic. Note – if you put chic at the end of any clothing description, it sounds very legit and makes you feel like you work at a fashion magazine or at least maybe could one day.
We are all creatures of habit. We have all self selected some version of our own daily uniform whether we know it or not. Once we identify this uniform, it makes it that much easier to get dressed every morning and go out into the world to be solid contributing members of society. I’m not saying we can all invent Facebook, introduce the theory of relativity or run the country/free world for that matter, but we can at least feel comfortable and good about ourselves as we live our lives and make sh*t happen – every day.
Do you have your own daily uniform? Tell me about it. Send me a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org. I may just post your pic and maybe even give it a name!