Should I Have a Uniform?
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to an article from W, “The Divine Art of Uniform Dressing.” I was immediately intrigued by the title and subsequently the article, which interviewed several individuals on their particular uniforms, the decisions surrounding them, and their personal sense of self. Some wear the exact same things every day; some wear the same general style. However, their personal uniform is immediately and recognizably theirs.
I’ve been thinking a lot about uniforms lately, and have written a little about them, too. Most of the people interviewed for the W article discuss how having a uniform frees up mental space and time in the day; they’re not constantly pondering what to wear, or how it makes them look, or what signals the clothing sends. Tonne Goodman says it best, I think: “There’s safety in a uniform, because you know that it works, on all the different levels that are important to you: practicality and acceptability—that you look okay on many occasions.”
So this article is making me think. I spent years of my life in uniforms, both school uniforms and self-created uniforms, like the picture for this post, and honestly, it has a greater appeal now than ever. But what would be my uniform? Turtlenecks are an obviously choice for fall and winter, and I can’t tell you how drawn I am to the Faye pants by Ann Mashburn. I tried them on at a trunk show a few years ago and honestly haven’t stopped thinking about them.
But that would be a significant departure from my usual fairly preppy look. I’ve written about feeling my style shift away from classic, old-school preppier pieces here–in fact, it was one of my first blog posts. I’m finding myself drawn to simpler, more elegant, yet still timeless pieces. I like the Faye pants because they are comfortable, elegant, and certainly practical. I’ve written about my love for turtlenecks before, too. But then what about the spring and summer? I suppose the turtleneck could be replaced with a nice blouse or one of my favorite striped shirts.
In any case, the idea of a uniform does have a lot of appeal. But then there are additional questions. Would I stick to the same style of pants and tops? Would I grant myself a little more flexibility–for instance, wear dresses in the summer, if I wanted to–or would I stick with the same thing year-round? Or would I have different uniforms for each season?
It’s something to think about, and definitely something I’m going to seriously consider as we ease into 2022!