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8 years ago by


Do you have a uniform?

For some people it’s as simple as a white t-shirt and jeans, or maybe a long skirt and sweater.

The Del Val last week mentioned an article about a woman who had come up with her own uniform, which she wears to work every day. She has some great points; her thoughts on not having to fuss in the mornings or expend brain power on making these menial decisions is persuasive, but I’m not sure I would ever enforce a uniform upon myself.

Maybe it’s because I had to wear a school uniform growing up, but I love having a job that doesn’t require a suit or that I wear the same thing day in and day out. I understand that it’s important in some roles to have one, but making that choice each morning allows me some kind of expression — and I love to dress for my mood. I actually find it can help switch on the brain, rather than waste energy. But maybe that’s just me?

What do you think? Do you wear a uniform? Do you think it makes more sense, to simplify your life in this small way?

Photo: W Magazine.


Add yours
  • I don’t think it is possible for anyone who loves clothes and style to wear the same thing every day and not feel as if you’re going mad. That said, I have streamlined my wardrobe and made it more “uniform” by assessing what types of clothes I feel great in and just stick to that: neutral colours, luxurious fabrics, pretty blouses, high-waisted skirts, etc. When you find your style and shop accordingly, the what-to-wear-problem goes away and dressing becomes easy.

  • I wear jeans, sneakers, and an amazing bag…that’s my uniform.
    XOX, Gap.

  • I agree – during my pregnancies I had a forced uniform and went mad… or at least felt liberated when I was back to a larger choice wardrobe.

  • Same here, I gave the idea a good thought after the Del Val link, but no, not for me. Really love too much playing around with how I dress, from one style to another, from colourful to clean white / black, from feminine to tomboy, from Zara to handsewn to travel finds… so many possibilities and ideas of what you want to look like in one particular moment! But maybe one should have a kind of “security uniform” for those days when nothing works – working on it. xxSol

  • Tough topic … J’avoue que si j’avais du porter un uniforme à l’école (ou si je devais en porter un là à l’université) ça m’énerverait beaucoup. J’aime bien décider moi-même, logique non ? Mais après tout si il avait du style et correspondait plus ou moins à ce que j’aime, ça pourrait aller. Dur d’imaginer quand on n’a pas vécu ça.


  • Eh bien oui, ça simplifie la vie! Je vois mon copain partir à la banque le matin et lui a juste a se demander quelle couleur de cravate prendre.
    Pour moi, je trouverais ça quand même très limitant et à la longue, ennuyeux… Après, je me rends aussi compte que malgré moi, je finis souvent par le même combo jupe-top-bottines!



  • J’aime aussi avoir la liberté de choisir mais parfois je m’habille avec une base (quasi) identique (genre haut noir, haut blanc, collant noir) en variant une pièce (jupe), surtout en ce début de printemps, la transition après hiver où il faut tout doucement changer ses marques.

  • I am an engineer, and although I am lucky to work for an office where my client doesn’t mind what I wear, I do notice some colleagues wearing shirt and suits everyday. So boring and uncreative. I wish some professions and industries would understand how much fun, creative, and dynamic it would be if people wore what they liked.

  • In spring/summer I can’t vary enough; in winter I mostly end up wearing a jumper dress, tights and ankle boots to work. I love it, have loads of jumper dresses and ankle boots, and work in a hospital so I get a white coat over it all anyway….zzzz. When I go out though, it’s different all the time!
    I think everyone has certain combinations in which they feel good, and which they wear more frequently than others. But to consciously have a *uniform* goes a bit far. If I were Anna Wintour I could never look at myself with a bob and a pair of sunglasses ever again…..

  • Uniform? No. Different clothes are too much fun. Plus I just like change.
    I do love jeans very much, though. But I don’t want to wear them all the time.

  • I think I’m sort of uniform-“ish” in my dressing. I’m old and wise enough to know what works for me, and I wear different versions of simple items because it does make my life easier:

    In spring / summer, dresses (usually a wrap or modified wrap, typically in a print), wedges, espadrilles. Or a tank top and either a maxi or a-line skirt, with the maxi I have several embellished sandals to mix and match, and all the maxi skirts are prints. With the a-line the solids usually have a subtle texture, or the skirts are printed. Again, embellished sandals or wedges or espadrilles.

    If I’m wearing jeans, it’s usually skinnies with a tank top or other form-fitting top (I have broad shoulders and a D chest so my tops are all form fitting or I’d look 10 lbs heavier) and a killer heel. Shoes are a big obsession and I have a lot of unusual or bold pairs.

    For fall and winter, mostly jeans and a form-fitting top or fun sweater. Usually skinnies tucked into boots for winter but sometimes fun flares and a heel. I have several coats that I use as the focal point in cold weather – two leopard print, one black textured, a gray, a brown, a red…and I wear a lot of scarves, pretty much all patterned.

    I love to accessorize, and the basic uniform-ishes allow me lots of freedom to don statement jewelry. Long dangly earrings in spring / summer, big rings or a statement necklace (under my scarves, often) in winter. Jewelry is my major love (after the husband) and my collection is huge and eclectic.

    Almost everything is colorful – dresses, skirts, tops – and I pair the colors with a fairly basic black or white top. Fun tops for my jeans are more varied and often patterned or striped. I stick to a *mostly* limited color palette; I love red, teal, brown, green, purple, navy – all deep, saturated colors. I used to have more colors but I find it just makes dressing too chaotic, so stick with what I really love.

    Bags are either big, hefty satchel-y types (though I like to make sure the straps are long enough so it can hang from my shoulder) or fun clutches for going out. Nothing in between; I’m particular about bags, and it takes me a long time to find one I like – and that’s functional – so I have maybe six big satchel-y types that I’ve had for years…clutches are another weakness though. :) I have some fun patterns, some sparkly ones, and then some that mimic my larger bags – good leather, saturated color, but not as bulky for a night out or dinner date.

  • I read that article and was thinking that it’s a good idea. I am a teacher and I hate having to wake up early and I’m not organized enough to choose outfits in advance, so I’m always throwing something together in the morning and feeling uncomfortable all day. I’m always worried about my outfits and if I look okay. So I was thinking about inflicting a uniform on myself… like black pants and a solid top. I don’t know… what do you guys think?

  • Uniform+different accessories sounds a good idea. Maybe you could try that?

  • Uniform, but in different colors that pair well and suit you. It wouldn’t hurt to buy these colors in light, medium, and heavy fabrics as well to consider seasonal changes.

  • Interesting blog, I know that I enjoy a lose uniform policy as many of us do. We know what to wear at work and we will often have our own standards of what is and isn’t allowed (i.e no jeans).

  • bavarian_blue April, 13 2015, 4:24 / Reply

    I think it’s good to have a uniform- but not to wear it everyday. For me Aa uniform is kind of clothing, which works as a neutral – always chosen, when I have no time to care for styling or when I have no idea, what kind of dress is expected (formal, feminine, casual).

  • No uniforms for me please. Unless it is comfortable and flattering (which it usually never is). I like having options and reinventing myself when the mood strikes. At the same time, if you don’t have to worry about what to wear, you can spend more time with makeup or sleep. keke


  • Je dirais No uniform… Mais je me rends compte que je suis habillée quasiment exactement pareil que beaucoup d’autres. Je n’ai pas porté l’uniforme à l’école mais il y avait un dress code assez strict qui ne laissait pas la place à la liberté de s’exprimer. Aujourd’hui, je n’ai pas le temps de m’exprimer par ce que je porte… J’ai adopté une sorte de no-look ou plutôt neutral look et ma coupe afro fait le reste ;)
    Happy monday ^_^

  • Karolina April, 13 2015, 5:26 / Reply

    I also had to wear school uniform so this idea doesn’t appeal to me. I think about clothes as a way to express myself and I don’t want to be limited by any standards. Also, I think that style is evolving with us and it’s influenced by so many different factors. I always find it interesting to look how my and other people’s style has changed over the years. I think that if you limit yourself to a certain pieces of clothing then you end up hiding behind your uniform and it becomes a rutine. In my opinion, it’s important to be open to new experiences.

    Kisses from Poland!

  • Jennifer April, 13 2015, 6:05 / Reply

    I like the idea of a uniform in the way of the French Vogue Editiors, Carine in a pencil skirt or Emmanual in skinny pants or jeans, more of their style what works for them. Marissa Webb liking white shirts and blazers.
    I don’t want to wear the same style everyday but would love to look at my closet and have a better idea of what works on me better then other things.
    I also love the idea of dressing for your mood, how you feel that day.

  • definitely! blazer, button down, skinny jeans!


  • Oh its a phase. Minimalism and talk of uniforms for people in fashion. It makes sense for engineers and other professionals who dont think about clothes ever and want to get it out of the way. But for people who sit and think about fashion all day, every day, feels like a hypocrisy.

    I predict it wont last. I will give it 2 years.

  • I often complain in the morning that I don’t have anything to wear but I would definetly be more unhappy if I had to wear the same every Day! So that’s a no for a uniform ;)


    Well, maybe I’d love it if the weather allowed me to wear this every Day :)

  • Ita darling April, 14 2015, 2:15 / Reply

    At 18 years old I had a Poli Sci professor who was extremely chic – I realized over the spring semester as winter moved to spring that she didn’t have a strict uniform but rather a strict palette and a formula. Winter was charcoal, black and whites/creams- cashmeres, wools and silks. Spring and summer was layered linens in khakis, white and a tiny bit of black. She even changed her watch/jewelry per season.. I think she was rocking a lot of Ellen Tracy- but this was 1995 so who knows.. Now that I am getting older- I am starting to migrate my wardrobe to all neutrals and I love how texture takes the place of color in her formula- high quality materials and special weaves can make a neutral staid pallette really interesting and quality always stands alone.

  • C’est justement comme tu le dis parce que je n’ai jamais porté comme toi d’uniforme à l’école ni de tailleur au boulot que j’ai envie de m’en acheter un maintenant pour le porter partout…peut-être sauf au boulot. En plus, maintenant que les griffes font des costumes sublimes…

  • This is a question which I asked me several time if, have a uniform is a good thing.
    I’m sure I don’t want have one ,and impose it to my employees?!! I never could answer to it.
    Of course it is helpful in some job and for customer to identify them but in this way I could kill their creativity.

    I never want have one because I believe have a uniform kill my fantasy, creativity, “the woman I want to be” says Diane von Furstenberg and go to show in that day and couldn’t do it destroy my mood.
    I like to be free, I like to be as an actor, everyday make my role through my clothes and style, everyday in a different role . I fun think about who I want to be that day. Sometimes I decide my clothes the night before, and I change it in the morning because it doesn’t express my role.

    My feeling to wear a uniform is like to be in a prison, is like to be tie down. But for someone have a uniform could be of course how you have said a saving time and mental energy.

  • Love this – and I loved that article! I have a pair of Lily Pulitzer pants that are like black leggings, but pants and I adore them, but I always feel self-conscious when I wear them too often, or more than once in the same week – no more!

    Warm Regards,

  • L’uniforme, je ne pourrais tout simplement pas ! Je suis étudiante en dentaire, donc je suis en blouse blanche toute la journée, donc heureusement que je fais autre chose à côté. Je trouve qu’il n’y a rien de plus déprimant de se dire que l’on va porter la même chose chaque jour. Après tout, la mode c’est aussi pour qu’on puisse s’évader !


  • I am a designer working in a very hands on environment. I am constantly climbing on and around things, and up and down ladders. I get dirty at work. Somewhere along the line I found a combination of the perfect tee shirts, leggings and smocks that make me feel comfortable and professional, and allow me to move around the way I need to not worrying about my clothing. I wear these things everyday at work. I call this my uniform. I love having a separation between what I wear to work and what I wear on the weekends.

  • Maybe not a precise uniform but variations on the same items, colours and silhouette definitely. For me, it’s a reflection of knowing what I like and what suits me. Buttons downs, crew neck sweaters, fitted on top and when it’s a skirt or coat, always somewhere around the knee. Belts and earrings after that. I like my bag to be as discreet/un-encumbering as possible! I’m in the mood to get a little experimental with shoes…

    I think uniform has negative connotations – it’s more about thinking creatively about the items you default to.

  • I worked in two places with a very conservative dress code for 9 years. Ever since I’ve left, I have never ever worn sheer pantyhose or a suit with a shirt blouse. YUCK! No uniforms, thank you :)

  • I can see the benefits from both sides. Getting dressed and playing around with clothes can be really fun but when you have a very demanding job it can be very beneficial to opt for a uniform. The brain has limited ‘decision-making capacity’, so to speak, so eliminating choices such as ‘what to wear today’ will save some of that precious capacity and make you better at your job (if your job entails making lots of important decisions, like Obamas job – he only has 2 types of suits appearantly). But even if you’re not the president nor have any other highly demanding job, eliminating choices can make your life more pleasant. You’ll simply have more room in your head!
    Daniel Kahneman explains this really well in his famous (and brilliant) book ‘Thinking, fast and slow’.

    Me, I keep it simple and uniform-like during the week but put more effort and creativity into my outfits over the weekend (if I feel like it). And creating the right uniform can be a creative challenge in itself as well ofcourse!

  • Hello!
    I personally do not wear a uniform – I am a college student and uniforms are not required at my Uni. There was a time I was craving for having a possibility to wear a uniform (yeah, I was a 16-year-old high school girl and considered this habit as stylish).
    I still find it somehow fascinating, but as I said, I have never worn any on a regular basis. I understand both sides of this issue – on one hand it simplifies life (no more 30-minute sessions in front of a closet) and everybody looks the same (good for a fragile self-esteem of adolescents), on the other hand, it has to be boring and for true fashion addicts almost a torture :).

    From jobs where uniforms are required, I would highlight a position of a flight attendant. I have always been fascinated by the whole aura around a flight attendant (especially in well-known and developed airlines). In many cases, the materials of their uniforms are top quality and they just always look so polished (or is it just an excitement of travelling somewhere?) :)

    Katarina Bradacova

  • Andrea Justine April, 14 2015, 4:37 / Reply

    I love dressing and I absolutely go for uniforms. What I have found is that my individual style always comes through in interesting ways when I wear my standard basics. I have a couple high quality standard pieces, and the rest speaks variety.

    I work for a company in Northern Germany where business casual is the look, so nice jeans are an easy option with something clean looking on top. My perfect standard uniform piece is a long, fitted navy sweater from the Bretagne and a blouse with a collar in a bright or light tone. I can dress the pants or skirt up or down, wear heels or flat boots, vary the earrings, makeup and hair. The variety part of it takes little to no effort. The main decisions have been made, and the rest is just play.

    I began to appreciate the idea of a uniform when working for a company in Japan. There we had to wear a well-fitting navy skirt and vest. The shirt and the rest were up to us. It was an incredible relief on my energy and budget not to have to worry about style (after coming from NYC!!!). On the weekends I went wild with my own individual clothes.

    I now find that a high quality, somewhat longish sweater is a perfect centerpiece. It always looks good. Also, I find it makes things quicker when you don’t have to worry much about the waist.

  • Skylark April, 15 2015, 6:01 / Reply

    I have a uniform! Although I don’t think anybody has noticed except for me, because it doesn’t look like one. I’ve had it for a few years, and it has made my mornings a lot easier. I have to get my children ready for school, and I don’t have time to consider and reconsider what to wear. So in winter I wear a good quality, lined A-line skirt skirt from Gentlemen’s Affair (they are actually made from fabric similar to school uniforms = very durable), matching tights, a T-shirt or shirt and a V-neck sweater from Zara. I have these items in various solid colours, most of which are combinable. The T-shirts and shirts might have prints, though, In summer I wear the same, except with skirts that aren’t lined, and with only a T-shirt or some other top. Shoes set the tone for the outsit, and I have more variety there. Voila! It doesn’t feel boring at all – at least not yet! Merely liberating.

  • mamainsf April, 15 2015, 5:42 / Reply

    I wear a uniform to work at the hospital. Outside work I definitely have basics. I believe in less clothes of better quality. If something in my closet hasn’t seen a light of day for two years, it has to go. For running errands I have denim, soft tees, menswear button down shirts, and shirt dresses. For outerwear all I need in San Francisco is a military jacket, a black puffer, and one black coat for going out. For shoes it is flats, flat ankle boots, a pair of sandals, one pair of Hunters, and lots of sneakers. Little black and white dresses, and classic black pumps for going out. To mix it up, sailor shirts and bohemian prints.

  • martine June, 29 2016, 10:39 / Reply

    I don’t have a uniform, but i keep to certain things. For example; I will no longer ever wear anything that is low rise, or even a l,owe mid rise. Things should fit at the real waist. I also will never wear things with an empire waist. I never understood that. I don’t mind things that are loose, and don’t emphasize the waist at all. That can look great. BVut if the waist is emphasized, it needs to be right where it should be. Also, I love flatforms, and platform sneakers. I…I love midi dresses and skirts….I will NEVER wear any fake leather anything….and I seldom wear polyester, usually silk, wool, cotton, leather. I love the 70’s, the 80’s, and the 90’s. I don’t like excessive embroidery, or pattern mixing. No mesh or lace. So in the end it is alomost a uniform.

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