A guide to creating a daily uniform
French writer Stendhal once stated that only great minds can afford a simple style. Why not showcase your confidence and intellect by creating a daily uniform that simplifies your getting ready routine?
Many smart and successful people simplify their wardrobes to free their mind so they can make better decisions. It's not a concept for everyone but for anyone who appreciates essential living it could be a life changer.
Instead of worrying about what to wear everyday you can create an entire capsule wardrobe, or simply rely on one or two classic looks and devote the time saved to more pressing matters.
If you're up for the challenge, considering these six simple tips will help you construct your very own signature daily uniform.
1. DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE
In order to own your look you'll have to be secure with yourself and your sense of style, so carefully consider the types of items that boost your confidence.
For some it may be a power suit while for others it may be a pair of sneakers. Start with your most favorite items and build your daily uniform from there.
I have a capsule wardrobe and from that wardrobe I've constructed a few go-to daily uniforms that I rely on. Sometimes I wear these outfits three or four days in a row.
I was able to craft my set of daily uniforms by identifying a handful of favorite items that I love wearing and feel myself in. Right now one daily uniform on heavy rotation consists of black skinny jeans, a button down white oxford shirt, and grey oversized wool blazer from Everlane.
2. OPT FOR COMFORT
Many people make fashion choices based on fads but don't give proper thought to fit and fabrication. However, comfort will be key if you are going to wear the same thing everyday.
You won't feel confident if you don't feel comfortable so consider the texture and structure of the items that make you feel most at ease.
You might prefer sturdy materials such as cotton that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Or perhaps you can tolerate silk being a bit higher maintenance because you like the feel of it against your skin. While 100% wool is cozy, you may cross it out because it scratches your skin or causes you to feel overheated.
Also consider how you feel after wearing an item for a full day. I personally don't own heels because I can't make it a few hours without sore feet, back strain and poor posture.
After enduring this misery for years, one day I had an epiphany: why am I forcing myself to wear something that I'm miserable in? I now solely opt for flats, wedges, sneakers, and other more comfortable shoe types.
Please take the time to identify the types of items you feel your best and worst in. You'll want to build your daily uniform around the best and strongly consider eliminating the items that are uncomfortable.
3. KNOW YOUR AESTHETIC
Keeping a minimalist mindset will be important in crafting your daily uniform but it doesn't mean you can't let your natural style shine through.
It doesn't matter if you prefer a casual or professional look, you can create a daily uniform work by building a base from simple basics (neutral colors, structured shirts, streamlined blazers) and then using shoes and accessories to customize to your taste.
I want to stress this point because a lot of people are turned off by the concept of creating a capsule wardrobe or daily uniform because they automatically assume it requires you to have a minimalist aesthetic.
This is absolutely false. You can be bohemian and still only own 50 beloved items in your closet that look amazing on you.
4. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIFESTYLE
If you work in a corporate law firm you'll have to conform to a different set of outfit guidelines than if you work in an advertising agency. It's important to choose items that fit in well with your current lifestyle — be it casual or formal.
Most of us have a work and a weekend life so it may also be necessary to create two different daily uniforms. Whatever the case, don't breeze over this step when creating your daily uniform because you want your look to be practical and fit the reality of your day-to-day.
5. CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET
Having a daily uniform doesn't necessarily mean wearing the exact same items everyday (though to each his own).
You'll have to consider your budget and think about which items you'll need quite a few of because it would be too much to keep them clean (e.g. white tees), and which items you only need a few of because you can easily wear them frequently (e.g. black jeans).
The great thing about the daily uniform concept is that it is inherently budget-friendly. Wearing the same thing allows you to significantly cut down on shopping and will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each season.
My capsule wardrobe e-course includes a worksheet for determining your budget so you don't overspend when re-building your closet.
6. CREATE A GO-TO BRAND LIST
Take some time to construct a list of go-to brands that have the basics you need. Brands or retailers such as Everlane, Theory, and Vince have stylish minimalist apparel that can help you build a classic yet unique look.
And, again, even if you don't have a minimalist aesthetic you should still have a list of favorite brands handy so when it's time to refresh your daily uniform you know exactly where to go.
I include a brand list for standard, plus and petite sizes in the capsule wardrobe course.
Creating a daily uniform can be a fun project and a great way to simplify life. For some, it may be easy to set a look and stick with it indefinitely. For others — who prefer to experiment or change up their style — you can alternate your daily uniform weekly, monthly or seasonally.
There are no rules or restrictions other than understanding what works for you. Explore more capsule wardrobe editorials to get inspiration.