Even if you never step foot in an office, having a style uniform will save you time and help you look sharp with little effort. But a personal uniform isn't the same as that plaid skirt and white blouse you wore to school every day.
Instead, it's a selection of classic pieces that make you look and feel good, like that cherished cashmere sweater you rely on for style and comfort. And there's still room for creativity and self-expression, so don't worry about seeming drab. Let’s take a look at why you should have a personal style uniform and how to get started.
Adopting a style uniform is great for anyone who loves clothes, but hates being a slave to fashion. Life is a little easier when you always know what you're going to wear and when you know that all of the items in your closet can be mixed and matched. It just makes the process of getting dressed less intimidating. Plus, it's also a good way to save money. When you invest in timeless, well-made pieces, you'll be less likely to waste cash on things you don't wear and make regrettable impulse purchases.
Think about what you need to wear every day. Do you have to follow a corporate dress code or can you wear whatever you like? Then focus on what makes you feel comfortable and attractive — it might be a black dress and tights, a blouse, slacks, and a blazer, or jeans and a turtleneck. Also, take time to ponder what colors you prefer, which silhouettes catch your eye, and what kind of clothes draw you in. Is there something you buy over and over, or a kind of top that always gets you compliments?
Don’t worry about having to commit to your style uniform. You can still have fun with fashion trends and wear things that may fall outside of your “uniform.” For example, if you’re feeling festive during the holidays and want to wear a sparkly women’s sweater, you’re still being true to yourself. It simply means that you’re more likely to have something in your closet that matches the sweater and matches your overall sense of style. Think of a style uniform as a capsule wardrobe, but bigger. It has go-to items that you can mix and match, but also a few things that represent your style when you want to get dressed with a little more flair than your capsule wardrobe provides.
Consider using Pinterest to create inspiration for your uniform — pin all of the tops, bottoms, shoes, coats, and accessories you like, and try to make sure they can all be worn together. Narrow things down so that all of the items are reasonably similar and the general idea of what you want will begin coming to life. Avoid random, impractical items that don't go with the flow, unless you want one or two 'just because' pieces in your closet (but don't get carried away)!
When you've decided what your uniform is, invest in well-made pieces that look amazing and will last a long time. Less is definitely more, and over the long run, you'll probably save by only purchasing quality women's jeans, shirts and so on. Find some reliable brands you love as well; that way, finding replacements for your staples will be easier.
Having a uniform doesn't mean you can't have fun with trends — just limit them to your accessories. A cool necklace can make any outfit pop, and a silky women’s fashion scarf adds color and texture.
A new bag will freshen things up and is a great way to experiment with the latest looks. Shoes are also an easy way to add some spice to your outfit but remember you'll get the most mileage out of things that go with more than one shirt or top.
Top off your uniform with a signature beauty look. Maybe red lips are your thing, or you love the look of dark eyeliner and mascara. A makeup routine is easy to master and doesn't have to take that long — just a little foundation, blush, and lip color are enough to have you looking poised and polished.
When you're investing in high-quality clothes, be sure to take excellent care of them. Always follow the directions on the washing label and avoid using the dryer, which can break down fabrics quickly. Separate lights and darks to keep colors bright and vivid, and consider placing delicate items in a washing bag. Fold sweaters, instead of hanging them, and store everything in a cool, dry place away from moisture and heat. Some pieces, like your women’s wool coat, might require dry cleaning to look their best, but it's a worthwhile expenditure.
Once you’ve created your style uniform, stand back and take a look at it all. You’ll be amazed at how it represents your style and tames your closet at the same time.