If the word “uniform” automatically brings back memories of knee-length plaid skirts, ill-fitted blazers, itchy materials, unflattering colors, and a restriction of style creativity and personal expression – please hold out. The uniform I’d like to talk about is definitely NOT that kind of uniform.
Actually, it’s just the opposite.
For me, a style uniform, aka a signature style is the epitome of chic and effortless personal style. It’s a strong daily statement that encapsulates my personality, lifestyle, personal style, functionality, and aesthetic.
What is a personal uniform
It’s basically your perfect everyday, go-to outfit made up of classic pieces you feel comfortable and chic in.
A signature look is not (necessarily) about having to wear the same thing everyday or having 30 identical pieces, like Mark Zuckerberg’s grey T-shirts. Sure, you can choose that as well, if that’s what you want to do, but for me, personal style is not only about functionality, but creativity and versatility as well.
Why we all need a style uniform
In the endless cycle of fashion fads and seasonal trends, a signature look is like a breath of fresh air. It oozes confidence, individuality, and personality. It tells us that the wearer has a strong personal style and is not afraid to flaunt it.
It also simplifies our daily lives in a major way. Having a uniform (or several uniforms for different occasions) makes choosing our clothes and dressing up a lot easier. If you’re sure about your style, you have great essentials, and you shopped in a smart way so that everything works together, you can save sartorial time and effort every single day. Considering how many small and grand choices we have to make a day, strategically eliminating even one can be a lifesaver. It’s not a coincidence that entrepreneurs and leaders all over the world, from Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Hillary Clinton, Karl Lagerfeld, or Carolina Herrera all adopted some kind of personal style uniform.
Last, uniform style dressing is a big step towards a conscious, smart, financially savvy lifestyle. You’re less likely to make rash decisions, fall victim to impulse spending, or buy things that only look good on the hanger and do not work with your existing wardrobe at all.
10 tips to find and embrace your signature look
Answer these questions //
+ Which items/silhouettes you’re most drawn to?
+ What is the color palette of your wardrobe?
+ What is your lifestyle? How many uniforms do you need – e.g. work, leisure time, dress up etc.?
+ Which is your favorite outfit to wear?
+ What do you feel most comfortable in?
+ What do you have the most of in your wardrobe? – Chances are, you’re already on the path towards uniform dressing
+ Which one of your outfits do people compliment the most? This is also closely related to the above question, as when you feel comfortable in something, people tend to notice your confidence
Invest in your statement pieces //
It makes sense to buy the best quality you can afford of pieces that are the building blocks of your wardrobe and are in heavy rotation.
Work with versatile pieces as building blocks //
My black pants are almost always part of my uniform. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the circumstances. They work with almost everything and are not particularly difficult to care for.
Find your color palette and build on that //
Chances are, there are colors you prefer to others. Work with that and build your signature uniform around that color palette.
Play with cuts, fabrics, and small details //
With uniform dressing, the focus is not on bold statement pieces, but subtle accents and details. You may usually wear a blazer, but can still play with the cut, fabric, tailoring, shades, or tiny details.
Comfort above everything //
Uniform dressing is all about simplicity and comfort. You can it dress up or down, but the base must be something you’re comfortable with wearing for the majority of the day. It also means, it must be in sync with your lifestyle and daily activities. If you’re running around all day, you’re better off with comfortable pants and shoes than a pencil skirt and high heels.
It’s OK to have several uniforms //
Different activities or events require different styles – it’s OK to have several uniforms tailored to your lifestyle. You can have one for work, for going out with friends, for more elegant events, for different seasons. For example, I rotate the following uniforms:
Skinny black jeans + T-shirt/shirt + Long blazer + ankle boots/loafers for work
Skinny black jeans + Oversized sweater + ankle boots for everyday
Skiny black jeans + oversized silk shirt + ankle boots/high heels for going out
Neutral-toned dresses + sandals for summer
Skinny black jeans + layers of shirt/sweater + leather jacket for transition weather
As you can see, I’m usually in some kind of a variation of skinny jeans and an oversized top. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a nicely designed vest, a patterned dress, or a cardigan in my wardrobe, but the building blocks are the above pieces.
Add something unexpected and accessorize //
The uniform isn’t boring, constricted, or anti-fashion – it’s the embracement of effortless, simple personal style. That doesn’t mean it has to be the same all the time. You can totally elevate your simple uniform into a statement outfit. You’re not restricted by rules or limits. Add something unexpected, when you feel like it. Play with textures, colors, contrasts, and statement pieces and accessories.
You can have a signature beauty look as well //
Uniform style is not exclusively about fashion, your beauty choices can also be a part of your signature look. Just think about Dita von Teese and her red lips, Anna Wintour and her hair, or Amy Winehouse and Adele and their winged eyeliner.
Wear it with confidence //
Once again, for me having a uniform is the highest level of style. It means the person is totally confident with his/her personal style and is not influenced by outside opinions or trends.
Do you have a personal style uniform?
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