Settling into a uniform

I know I’ve been blogging about dresses lately. But if I look at my day-to-day life, the reality is that I’m more likely to be wearing jeans on most days. Casual wear is simply more practical for my daily life activities.

Last year, my workplace was becoming more formal and there was talk of a dress code. The administrators were concerned about projecting a more professional image for our department, and the focus seemed to be on appearances.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Perhaps it has something to do with recent budget cuts, or the economy in general. It’s probably not easy to ask people to upgrade their wardrobes in times like these.

As for myself, I was at first excited about the opportunity to dress up a bit. But when I was assigned a project that turned out to involve a lot of dust and dirt, I reverted to my “uniform”.

And that uniform is:

  • Dark-wash jeans
  • Knit top
  • Cardigan (if it’s cold)
  • Flat shoes (usually ballerinas)
  • Jewelry or scarf

And almost everything I own is some shade of:

  • Blue
  • Red
  • Purple (i.e. blue + red!)
  • Black

Over the years, I’ve experimented with various new looks and silhouettes. Some worked better than others.

I’ve gradually narrowed it down to my favorites, and the funny thing is, I’m almost back to where I started: jeans and tees– but now, in a more refined version.

  • The boxy tees have been replaced by fitted tees, some with interesting necklines.
  • A collarless blouse in a soft woven fabric will “read” as a tee.
  • Nice cardigans in a delicate wool, silk, or cotton replace the baggy hoodies and sweaters I used to live in.
  • Shoes are more classic and less “funky” in design.
  • I’m making an effort to accessorize on a daily basis. 🙂

I think my next step will be to simply upgrade the quality of what I own: better quality knitwear, maybe some premium denim. I do think I’ve pretty much determined that I’m never going to stray very far from my “uniform”. These are the clothes that make me feel both comfortable and attractive.

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2 responses to “Settling into a uniform

  1. My uniform is similar but the weather is often too warm for jeans in Northern California. I stopped wearing tees. I love the look of a crisp white blouse. I borrowed this style idea from Catherine at Aesthetic Alterations. It is so easy to accessorize. I also wear more classic looking shoes.

  2. It’s really hot here, too, but I’m just used to wearing long pants in the summer, so it doesn’t bother me at all.

    I wish I could wear crisp blouses– it would be a nice way to expand my wardrobe options– but they look awful on me. I think it’s something about the collars. They just do not suit me. I have, however, worn button-front blouses without collars, and with v-shaped openings, which look nice. I am going to keep my eye out for more of those, and also for tees with interesting necklines. I’m getting away from plain tees, because I’ve noticed that they don’t do anything for my figure. Plus it’s so hard to find well-made tees that are reasonably priced.