Why creating a work uniform is the best thing you'll do

Have you thought of creating a work uniform? It may not be the boring decision you think it will be.

When I started working at Beaut, I decided to separate my work clothes from my off-duty clothes. It 100% didn't happen. I work in an environment where I can wear pretty much anything I like. It's great - I get to be creative and have casual days when I don't feel like dressing up - but it means thinking about what I'm going to wear, and for the style conscious, that can be stressful. If you're reading this, you're into style. You like to make an effort. Clothes and your image mean something to you. What you wear forms part of your identity and wouldn't a work uniform stifle that individuality? Quite frankly, no.

If you hated wearing the same thing as everyone at school or you picked your profession precisely because you wouldn't have to look identical to everyone else, sartorially speaking, the thought of a work uniform is probably repulsive to you. But creating a coordinated outfit especially for work and especially for you can be empowering and it can reveal more about your sense of style than wearing a different ensemble every day.

Matilda Kahl, an art director at a top creative ad agency in New York, made headlines a few years ago when she wrote a piece for Harper's Bazaar explaining why creating a work uniform was one of the best decisions she made. Her simplified office wardrobe consisted of black pants, white silk shirts, a blazer in the colder months and - the key feature - a little black leather rosette tied at the neck. Basic? No! Black pants and a white shirt are obvious choices, but the signature bow makes it wholly individual. No one else would wear that combination of clothing if one person at the office wears it every day.

The danger of creating a work uniform is that you will fall into the boring trap. But, Matilda didn't mention shoes. You can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear, and if you create a work uniform, you can use your footwear to express your individuality. It's much easier than having to choose an entire outfit. The same goes for jewellery. Maybe your signature piece could be earrings?

The uniform for work that you choose for yourself can totally reflect your personal style. It also gives one less thing to think about in the morning or when you're shopping. When you're shopping, you can focus your attention on weekend or occasion attire, and you'll find yourself with more money to spend on 'off-duty' items.

You don't have to wear the same colour code every day or be as strict as Matilda Kahl. Your uniform could be 'jeans and a shirt', or 'a midi dress with heels'. It's your style, obviously, but if you need some inspiration, here are my suggestions.

Blue and white

 

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Black and white is alright (and easy) but white and blue is way cooler. If you commit to wearing a blue shirt and white trousers every day, you are limiting the style of shoe and coat you can wear with it. But that could be a good thing, too. It's also a good option for if you want to divide your work uniform into seasons.

Midi Skirt and Shirt

In search of coffee ☕️ Wearing gingham skirt from @lexilyla

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There's a reason why the shirt is an integral part of any work uniform. It is automatically smarter than other tops, but it can look more casual, too, with a simple roll of the sleeves. If you're more of a Joan Holloway type, a patterned pencil skirt (you can have one for every day of the week!) and a shirt will do the job nicely. Pair with pointed courts.

The Shirt Dress

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It's an all-office dress that is instantly work-iffied with those handiest of work shoes, the pointed court.

What do you think about work wear? Would it make your life easier to wear the same thing every day?

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