About a year ago, I read an article about how successful people tend to wear the same thing every day. I happened to read it on the same day I had a particularly brutal early-morning freakout over what to wear. After realizing my wardrobe dilemma caused me to be more than a half hour late, I decided to give uniform dressing a try for the rest of the week.
That night, I went straight home, completely tore apart my closet, and eventually found what was to become my signature look. While uniform dressing of skirt suits paired with power pumps might be common in corporate offices, as a freelance fashion writer, there’s no need for me to dress that formally, nor is it a practical combo to wear as I run around to meetings.
Instead, I found that I felt my best and most comfortable in a pair of fitted jeans or tailored trousers, worn with a slightly oversized sweater or lightweight blouse (depending on the weather). I always seemed to gravitate towards these pieces anyway, but now, instead of figuring that out on the third or fourth try, I’m was able to pull together a look I was happy with immediately.
While I intended to try this fashion experiment for just a week, I wound up never looking back. Reaching for the same fashion formula day after day has helped me look more pulled together while keeping my mornings stress-free.
Here are the six biggest ways uniform dressing has changed my life for the better.
Never Being Late
The days of me running to catch my train are finally gone. Before I found my go-to style combo, it didn’t matter how hard I tried or how early I set my alarm, I somehow always managed to be running late. Even on the mornings that I didn’t hit snooze or spend that extra 10 mins laying in bed, scrolling through Instagram, I would still manage to get behind schedule as soon as it came time to get dressed.
The daily questions of, ‘Do I want to wear a skirt or pants?’ would start running through my head. The inevitable follow-up questions like, ‘If I want to wear a skirt, are my legs shaved or do I have to wear tights?’ trailed behind and before I knew it, I would be 15 minutes late and still not dressed! Now that I’ve taken the guesswork out of what to wear every day, getting ready in the morning is a breeze. I even have time to make breakfast and chill before I start my day.
Extra Closet Space
Once I found my preferred fashion formula, I cleared my closet of anything that did not fit my new uniform. Now I only keep classic, versatile pieces that coordinate perfectly with everything else I own. The extra space changed the whole aura of my room, making it feel less cluttered. Plus, it’s much easier to stay organized.
After I removed the extra pieces, I stopped second-guessing my daily outfit choice. I no longer have to come home to a pile of rejected looks that always used to end up on the floor of my closet. I even made some extra cash in the process by selling my rejects on sites like eBay and Poshmark.
More Free Mental Space
I’ve found that adopting a signature look frees my mind from worrying about how I look and allows me to concentrate on other things. I’m no longer concerned about whether my outfit matches or if these pieces I’m wearing look good together. Having a consistent look has helped me feel more confident in knowing that I look polished—and like myself—every day. Instead of worrying about what to wear to a meeting, I’m focused on the actual meeting itself.
No Longer a Slave to Trends
As someone who works in fashion, I’ve spent years looking to magazines, blogs, and social media to find out the latest trends and how to wear them. Now, while I still love to see what looks are in, I no longer feel the need to constantly replicate them.
That doesn’t mean I have to fall behind the curve. If there’s a new trend that I’m into, I simply incorporate it into my uniform. For example, when bold red tones took over the fall 2017 runways, I was completely enamored—but instead of going overboard and buying everything I saw in the bright hue (like I might have in the past), I simply added a single, fiery red sweater into my rotation.
Becoming a Smarter Shopper
After curating my wardrobe and finding the pieces that work best for me, it’s easier than ever to shop. I can make my way through a store and figure out what options will compliment the items in my closet faster and with less hassle. I’m also more willing to invest in high-quality pieces, as I know I’ll get more use out of them.
Instead of going into Zara every few weeks and spending $300 on six pieces that will be out of style in a month, I take that money and use it to purchase a one luxe item, like a cashmere sweater, as I know it will last for years to come and I’ll reach for it time and time again. While I have no problem wearing the same piece two days in a row, if there’s one particular top or pant that makes me look and feel good, I’ll buy it in several colors. That way, I can switch things up and not look exactly the same each day.
Packing is a Breeze
When I traveled in the past, I always stuffed a huge suitcase to the brim with everything and anything I could cram in there, because for some reason I thought it was necessary to pack 12 tops for a five-day trip. But once I was on vacation, I noticed I would always tend to gravitate to the same three or four items during the entire trip.
Now, packing is a cinch, since my wardrobe already has a capsule of items that go together. I can easily create several different looks by mixing and matching the same pieces. My oversized luggage is gone for good, and now I easily travel with only a small carry-on. Trust me, not having to wait on line at the luggage carousel alone is worth the switch to uniform dressing!