P is for Personal Uniform

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:

0 p u not 1 (1) 0 p u not 2 (1) 0 p u not 3 (1)

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.

1) I can wear this dress with or without any of the jackets or the cardi (and, if I remember, a belt defines the waist): 0 p u dress (1)

2) This blue shirt/tunic with ecru collar and cuffs works with the trousers as a blouse or tunic. When buttoned all the way, the blue and white collar is a great addition: 0 p u shirt 2 (1)

3) An airy yellow collarless shirt works with the trousers and skirt. The blue and white collar is a great addition when I’m wearing trousers: 0 pu yellow shirt (1)

4) This teal and gold skirt can be worn with the yellow shirt or white tee. Both jackets and cardi work with this skirt: 0 p u skirt (1)

5) A simple white cotton tee works with everything. Wear with or without collar:0 p u perfect tee

6) A blue cotton tee with white sail boats works with trousers and both jackets: 0 pu tee 1 (1)

7) A pair of black cotton trousers to wear with both shirts, both tees, both jackets, and the cardi:0 p u trousers (1)

8) A pair of white cotton denim trousers to wear with both shirts, both tees, both jackets, and the cardi:0 pu trousers (1)

9) An ecru/multi linen jacket works with everything:0 pu jacket 2 (1)

10) An off-white techno finished cotton blazer to wear with everything. (Use to top off white trousers and tee to create a sophisticated mix of white with ecru. Add collar for depth.): 0 pu jacket (1)

11) A teal and gold striped cotton cardigan works with everything; feels cozy:0 p u cardi (1)

12) A blue and white cotton collar to wear with blue shirt/tunic, collarless yellow shirt, and white tee:0 pu accessory 1

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.

6 thoughts on “P is for Personal Uniform

  1. My official wardrobe?
    Jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers.
    Interesting theme!
    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]

  2. P is for Practical. Thanks for the suggestions. I need to come back here and try to implement your wonderful suggestions when April is over. This A to Z challenge is time consuming, but what an amazing way to keep on learning!

    • You’re most welcome.

      I like what many would call a more sophisticated mix. At some point in the not too distant future, I’ll ask a couple of friends to id their personal uniforms and post some other ideas.

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