I love the idea of a uniform.
Not the nurse’s whites or fireman’s coveralls, but rather a go-to type of ensemble that makes you shine without giving you a lot of tsuris. That’s always been the appeal to me of Eileen Fisher, frankly, even before its aged-down rebranding attempt. There’s nothing wrong at all with reinventing your look every day — although ideally you dress with the same style vocabulary most of the time so that you are expressing your inside on the outside. But that approach can require a lot of planning and thinking, not to mention lots of closet space.
Which brings us to the idea of a uniform. It’s taken me a long time to hone mine, especially since I had basically no pressure to look any way at all during years of working from home. But these days, when I’m not meeting a client, my uniform is bootleg jeans (skinny only works if you’re, well, more skinny than not); some foundational layer — a cotton or silk camisole or a ribbed tank or, in cold weather, a long-sleeve T-shirt; fashion sneakers or ballet flats; and a long cardigan-type jacket or sweater.
I usually add a fabulous bag and some great, signature pieces of jewelry (lately that’s included a giant ring with druzy agate that garners at least a couple compliments a day) and I’m done.
Meetings with clients aren’t that different, but I may swap out the jeans for a skirt and boots or some trousers instead. In fact, recently I’ve felt so good about the basic formula that even for going out I wear the same basic thing, but everything is just a little more silky or sparkly — the bag, jewelry, shoes, etc.
And that’s what drew me to this article about a woman’s first-date uniform, which she wore for a long time, so that even her friends joked about it. (She eventually went on second dates, presumably in different clothes, and then found true love.)
I love this idea that she found what worked for her and stuck with it. So the question is: What works for you? How did you identify the formula? How rigorously do you stick to it? Have you ever had one that worked only to decide, as time went on, that you’d outgrown that particular look? I’d love to hear about it. (Subscribe to the blog for ideas and tips designed to help you keep your uniform in line with your life.)