Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Mommy Uniform

I’ve read an article or two (or twelve) on how to make getting ready in the morning easier. The one word that has really stuck in my head is “uniform.” The advice is essentially: Find something that works - a uniform - and stick with it.

My wardrobe has been slowly edited down since I began working. I used to have lots and lots of shoes, pantsuits, skirts, scarves… Then I realized that the most fashionable woman in the office wore black. Every day, head to toe. Beautifully flattering cuts, interesting black on black patterns, textures, sometimes sequins, but always black. After she and I became friends I asked her one day why she always wore black. I’m paraphrasing, but in a nutshell she just didn’t like having to think about what she was wearing. She liked that everything in her closet matched, she could choose an outfit and get dressed in under five minutes. And it didn’t matter if it was the same pair of pants as the day before, because no one notices black pants anyhow unless there’s something really flashy about them.

Black was her uniform, and I envied that ease. So I’ve come up with my own “uniform.” I can’t make myself wear all black every day, but pretty much everything in my closet matches. I can get dressed in the dark just by feel and memory. (Seriously, I did that this morning so I wouldn’t wake up the baby.)

Not bad for dressing in the dark!

My color base is black, brown, gray, blue and green. I have a few pink shirts too.

Constants: black flats or heels, black slacks
Options: button up shirts in subdued stripes, knit shirts mostly in black or neutrals and a few colorful prints, interesting blazers like denim or brown pinstripes. The button ups are all long or ¾ sleeve, the knits range from full to short sleeve.

Generally the blazers go with the knit shirts, but today I mixed it up and put the denim blazer with a green and blue striped button up. Wild, I know.

In the summer I have a couple of skirts (again, neutrals) that I wear when it’s hot. In the winter I have some heavy sweaters that I wear when it’s cold. Not much to it.

Constants: Jeans, knit shirts, cardigans, (yes, there’s overlap from work), sweatshirts, tank tops in the summer
Options: None, really. I just grab a knit shirt from the stack and wear that. Once in a great while I’ll wear a t-shirt, but knit shirts are a lot more flattering.

I keep a few fun pieces and some dressier items, but those go to the side of the closet so I don’t grab them by mistake.

Do you have a uniform?

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