Wardrobe that Works: The unofficial uniform
Have you found yourself buying the same sort of clothes over and over again? It isn’t always a bad thing. Done carefully, this can save quite a lot of money, and it can also be very flattering indeed. Here’s how to make the most of an ‘unofficial uniform’.
I noticed recently that I had a few items of clothing that were similar shapes, and that when they wore out I missed them and replaced them with something similar. They seem to mix and match well together too, although they aren’t exactly what you’d describe as a capsule wardrobe.
Having an unofficial uniform can make getting ready in the morning a lot quicker and easier, and it usually means fewer mistaken purchases too.
For the ‘uniform’ to work, the clothes have to work hard for you. For example they have to:
- Fit you well
- Suit your personality
- Flatter your body shape
- Flatter your skin tone
- Feel comfortable
- Make you feel well dressed
- Be very appropriate for your lifestyle
While I work from home some days, I still get dressed for work and start my day on time. You never know when you’re going to have an impromptu Skype meeting, and even if you’re on the phone with no visual it helps to feel businesslike.
My most likely items are semi-fitted dresses, or smart jeans or wide-leg trousers with a shirt or cotton top, worn with low-heel shoes. These clothes can be glammed up with heels, extra jewellery and makeup where appropriate for in-person meetings, or after-work drinks. In winter I add knits or unstructured jackets and boots for warmth.
Also, I tend to buy clothes from the same colour palette, so it’s easy to mix and match. I keep patterns for dresses and tops, so that there are no pattern clashes, and these simple rules serve to make life a lot easier.
Shopping like this makes it so much easier to buy what you really need, and it helps you to get round the shops quicker too.
I also dress differently at the weekends, to remind myself that I’m having some time off work, so I have a separate mini-wardrobe for that. It’s sweatshirts or t-shirts and boyfriend jeans, usually with biker or baseball boots, relaxed and easy.
For special occasions, all bets are off – although if it was really special I might rent a dress to be bang up to date. No chance of being seen in the same showstopper twice, and less space taken up in the wardrobe…
Do you have an unofficial wardrobe? Are you thinking about investing in one?
My unofficial uniform used to be a blazer (I even have colourful ones for a more casual and fun look) over a tee and jeans or a summer dress on warmer days. Then I started working from home and it was pj’s everyday! I do agree that it helps to feel polished and put on something that makes you feel like you’re getting down to work.
I’d love to be able to restructure my wardrobe down to some really good high quality solid colour basics and then do variations with accessories to make an old outfit feel new!
PJs are a slippery slope when you work from home 🙂
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