Is the Daily Uniform for You?
What is a daily uniform?
A daily uniform is not the uniform you wore to grade school and grew to hate within the first week. It’s not the uniform you wore to your first job, and it’s not wearing the same thing every day.
Well, unless that’s what you want.
A daily uniform is what you make of it, and there is no one size fits all.
As a female, this is a totally foreign concept for most of us. If you wore a uniform in school, you probably craved those free dress days and the time when you could finally have control over your own style.
I did for sure! But then, the time came when I picked my own outfits and I hated it. It was a ton of work. I never felt right, and I spent sooooo much money.
And then I discovered the personal uniform.
Why have one?
Most people get into a daily uniform because they’ve gotten into a rut of some kind. Maybe you’re trying to figure out your style and you want to simplify. Or you want to make your capsule wardrobe fit you. Or maybe you’re just tired of having to pick out an outfit each morning.
A daily uniform is freeing. It helps you to refine your style, dress for your body type, have more confidence, and free up your time.
We spend a lottt of time worrying about picking the right outfit. Then, once that outfit is on we’re constantly fussing over it and worrying if it looks good or if something is out of place.
But, when you have a daily uniform you’ll be wearing (hopefully) items of clothing that flatter your body. These should be clothes that you love and feel comfortable in.
You’ll free your mind up from the morning hassle of worrying about the weather, and if you wore this outfit last week, or if it passes the sniff test.
What are the types of daily uniform?
Just like anything that has to do with style, there is no one size fits all. I promise. That person selling those one size fits all jeans? You’re out of your mind. And if you think you can copy someone else’s daily uniform and it’ll fit, well….
The True Uniform
This is the person who truly does wear the same thing everyday. Think your Mark Zuckerburg. It most likely doesn’t vary in color or cut, though occasionally it may. This could be a white button up and black slacks every day for you. Or a midi skirt and 3/4 sleeve shirt. A daily uniform doesn’t have to actually LOOK like a uniform.
Matilda Kahl is the OG here. A few years ago she broke out with an article about how she started wearing the same thing to work everyday, and it really sparked a movement.
It helps that her uniform is just so chic. And boy did she commit. She’s been doing this for years, and even through pregnancy!
What’s most important if you choose to go this route, is to buy something that is insanely flattering on you. A frumpy uniform won’t make you feel good.
I most love that she added a small detail unique to herself, the leather bow. You could add your own unique detail, or choose to use jewelry or scarves to vary your look a little. Same outfit, different necklace!
This route definitely requires a major up-front investment. You’ll need multiples of the same, high quality pieces. But if it restrains you from shopping, it’ll save you money in the end.
For reference, Matilda bought 15 white silk blouses and 3 pairs of pants. Personally I would have gone with 7 shirts and 5 pants. Just take into consideration how often you do laundry, and add in an extra or two for when you don’t make your laundry day or have a stain.
The One Piece
The one-piece daily uniform is one of my personal favorites. I think it’s a fun and super unique way to have your own style while still having the peace of a uniform.
This is the person who is alwayssss wearing a white button up, but they match it with fabulous scarves or flowing skirts or some great jeans.
You find one piece that you look great in, and build your wardrobe around it. Your one piece could vary a little in cut, but it usually doesn’t vary much in color.
Caroline Herrera is an amazing example of this. She frequently wear a white button down shirt, but pairs it with various skirts and tries shirts with unique details.
Caroline, teach me your ways.
The Uniform Formula
This type is more of a uniform wardrobe and less of a daily uniform. If you go this route, your closet will be larger, but it will give you more variety.
A uniform formula is when you know certain pieces work together and look great on you. For example:
Midi Skirt and Graphic Tee
Skinny Jeans and Button Down
Maxi Dress and Sandals
So, you wear this formula frequently, but with different items. You may own 6 midi skirts and 10 graphic tees and you mix and match them to your heart’s content.
You could have just one formula or you could have multiple. Formulas vary most on color, not cut. The midi skirts could be a rainbow, but they’re all midi length. This is about knowing which cuts and pairings look best on you, and then varying with color and pattern.
Most of us already do some form of this without realizing it. You know those days where you just don’t have the energy to make an outfit, so you reach for some variation on a favorite?
For me it’s skinny jeans and a graphic tee.
This kind of uniform can get out of control quickly, if you don’t restrict yourself. I recommend having a capsule wardrobe of sorts if you choose to use uniform formulas.
Meaning, allow yourself a certain amount of each uniform component that you can mix and match. This is also a great basis for creating a capsule wardrobe, because you know you can and will wear these pieces together.
Sometimes creating a capsule wardrobe can be difficult if you just choose all of your favorite individual pieces and have no idea how to wear them together.
4 pairs of skinny jeans
7 graphic tees
2 leather jackets
3 midi skirts
4 long sleeve tees
My two uniform formulas could be skinny jeans (or any type of jean) and graphic tees and midi skirts with long sleeve tees. To top it off, some days I put on a leather jacket.
I like this route the best, and it is the type I practice most. I only allow a certain amount of each type of item in my closet, because I know the things I wear and how I will be able to get the most outfits out of each.
Bonus: If you aren’t super sure about what your style is, this is the best route to try before investing in that ONE piece or a bunch of duplicates for a true uniform.
How do I get started?
Refine your style. You don’t want to waste money on 15 pieces of the same thing, only to find out you don’t feel comfortable in it.
Know what brands fit you best, and shop there for a cohesive look.
Consider trying a uniform makeup look, too! I’ve taken to doing my makeup the same each day, and it’s made mornings so much easier. For variety, sometimes I change my lipstick color.
Make sure your uniform fits your life. Meaning, your skinny jean outfit formula probably isn’t appropriate for a corporate law office. You might want to consider having uniforms for different areas of your life or just the one where you have the most trouble.
Invest in your pieces…later. It’s hard to know how some things will hold up or how you’ll feel about them after several wears. When I want to try out a new piece, I try to find a cheaper option for a trial run. If I love it, I invest in the perfect high-quality piece. Sometimes your cheap option will end up being great quality, so don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money on quality!
Figure out which silhouettes flatter you most.
If you crave variety, accessorize. Use necklaces, earrings, bold bracelets, purses, scarves, makeup, or wild shoes to spice it up.
Have confidence! Wearing a daily uniform requires lots of confidence, but you can work up to it. It might be tough at first and go against your instincts, but soon it will become second nature.
Start slow and soon you’ll be wondering why you ever had a closet full of random clothing.