It’s the morning after a late night and… A text announces an early morning meeting and… Yet another day will be spent in court (or some similar setting) and… Suddenly, it’s time to bring your fashion A game. A personal uniform is always useful. But for those occasions when time or energy are lacking, a personal uniform is a necessity.
These are not personal uniforms:
They’re prescribed. A personal uniform consists of a few (about 12) pieces chosen from an existing wardrobe that 1) look good, 2) work together, and 3) are ready to pop on with a minimum of fuss.
My Spring/Summer personal uniform contains twelve pieces. I like wovens. They look and feel crisp which is exactly what I want on such occasions. The trade off is ironing most of these pieces. But the tees, white trousers, linen jacket, cardigan, and collar require little or no ironing. So even if I’m lazy, I can throw on white trousers, a tee, and the linen jacket and looked pulled together. If I wear the white tee, tying on the collar as I walk out the door adds depth and texture to a simple outfit.
First, I began by honestly asking myself what prevented me from looking pulled together at the last minute. Unless I’m sewing, ironing horrifies me though I can (and will) iron a few pieces as long as I needn’t face the endless, wrinkled pile. Also, I wait until the last minute to dress.
Once I identified ironing and procrastination as my biggest stumbling blocks, I asked myself, what do I need to dress appropriately at the last minute: One or two jackets, a dress, two pairs of trousers, a skirt, a couple of shirts/blouses. Some things were no brainers. I wanted a long jacket and one that ends at my hip. Black trousers are just useful. Being denim, my white trousers look formal but don’t require ironing.
A white blouse may seem a wise choice but my white shirts and blouses require intense ironing and must be washed each time I wear them. Instead, I went with the blue shirt/tunic and then chose the yellow shirt because it works so well with the teal skirt. Teal is an unexpected colour that makes me smile and has been popular the past few seasons. I added two tees, one with a graphic print and one in white, plus the collar and voilà, my capsule wardrobe was complete.
Give it a try. Ask yourself what prevents you from looking pulled together on your worst mornings. Then choose one or two pieces that you can just pull on. Add a few additional pieces that work with your first choices. And stay tuned, there will be more posts on choosing a personal uniform including coordinating colours and patterns.