A Guide to Creating a Daily Uniform in 6 Steps
French writer Stendhal once stated that only great minds can afford a simple style. Why not showcase your confidence and intellect by creating a daily uniform that simplifies your getting ready routine?
Many smart and successful people simplify their wardrobes to free their mind so they can make better decisions. It's not a concept for everyone but for anyone who appreciates essential living it could be a life changer.
Instead of worrying about what to wear everyday you can create a entire capsule wardrobe, or simply rely on one or two classic looks, and devote the time saved to more pressing matters.
If you're up for the challenge, considering these six simple tips will help you construct your very own signature uniform.
1. DEVELop SELF-CONFIDENCE
In order to own your look you'll have to be secure with yourself and your sense of style. Think about the types of pieces or specific items that boost your confidence.
For some it may be a Hugo Boss power suit while for others it may be a pair of Converse sneakers. Start with your most favorite items as you can build your uniform from there.
I'll give you a personal example so you can understand how to go about this exercise. I have a capsule wardrobe and from that wardrobe I've constructed a few go-to uniforms that I rely on (sometimes I wear these same outfits three or four days in a row).
I was able to craft my daily uniforms by identifying a handful of very favorite items that I love wearing and feel myself in.
Those items are: a pair of sneakers, a button down white shirt, a navy blazer, a pair of black skinny jeans, and a set of tissue tees. So you'll usually find me in jeans, a tee (or white shirt) and a blazer with sneakers on any given day.
If you need more assistance on crafting a confident look then check out my back to basics style series as I walk through a list of the most practical wardrobe items and how to wear them.
2. opt for COMFORT
Many people purchase items without giving proper thought to fit and fabrication. However, comfort is key when you are wearing the same type of outfit everyday. You won't feel confident if you don't feel comfortable.
Consider the fabrics and structure of the items that make you feel most at ease.
You might prefer sturdy materials such as cotton that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear, or maybe silk works because you like the feel of it against your skin. Where for some 100% wool may be a no-no because it scratches their skin or causes them to feel overheated during the day.
For over four years I didn't own heels a pair of years. In fact, I only just recently broke the streak due to a back-to-back string of weddings and special occasions that compelled me to add a pair to my usual lineup of sneakers and flats.
The reason is that I find them impossible to walk in: they tend to hurt my feet, cause strain on my back, and lead to poor posture. So one day I had an epiphany: why in the world am I forcing myself to wear something that I'm so completely miserable in? I ended up giving away my heels and opted for flats, wedges, sneakers, and other more comfortable shoe types.
Please take the time to identify the types of items you feel your best and worst in. You'll want to build your uniform around the best and strongly consider eliminating the items that are uncomfortable.
3. know your AESTHETIC
Keeping a minimalist mindset will be important in crafting your uniform but it doesn't mean you can't let your natural style shine through.
It doesn't matter if you prefer an urban or business look, you can make a uniform work by building a base from simple basics (neutral colors, structured shirts, streamlined blazers) and then using shoes and accessories to customize to your taste.
I want to stress this point because a lot of people are turned off by the concept of creating a capsule wardrobe or daily uniform because they automatically assume it requires you to have a minimalist aesthetic.
This is absolutely false. You can be bohemian and still only own 50 beloved items in your closet that look amazing on you.
4. understand your LIFESTYLE
If you work in a corporate law firm you'll have to conform to a different set of outfit guidelines than if you work in an advertising agency. It's important to select items that fit in well with your current lifestyle — be it casual or formal.
Most of us have a work and a weekend life so it may be necessary to create two different daily uniforms. Whatever the case, don't breeze over this step because you want your look to be practical and fit the reality of your day-to-day.
5. consider your BUDGET
Having a daily uniform doesn't necessarily mean wearing the exact same items everyday (though to each his own).
You'll have to consider your budget and think about which items you'll need quite a few of because it would be too much to keep them clean (e.g. white button down shirts), and which items you only need a few of because you can easily wear them frequently (e.g. dark rinse skinny jeans).
The great thing about the daily uniform concept, however, is that it is inherently budget-friendly. Wearing the same thing allows you to significantly cut down on shopping and will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each season.
6. create a go-to BRAND list
Take some time to construct a list of go-to brands that have the basics you need. Brands or retailers such as Cuyana, Theory, Vince, and Steven Alan have stylish minimalist apparel that can help you build a classic, yet unique, look.
And, again, even if you don't have a minimalist aesthetic you should still have a list of favorite brands handy so when it's time to refresh your daily uniform you know exactly where to go.
Creating a daily uniform can be a fun project and a great way to simply life. For some it may be easy to set a look and stick with it indefinitely. For others, who prefer to experiment or change up their style, you can alternate your uniform weekly, monthly or seasonally. There are no rules or restrictions other than understanding what works for you.