Transparency P.2: The ‘Highly Curated Closet’ Uniform Dressing Edition

In thinking about being honest and open about hard work, experiences, and life (unpolished) I think it’s time for a quick update on what it’s been like to wear a ‘Steve Jobs’ style uniform for the last six months. If you think this might be something you may try, this is what my experiences have truly been like.

This *insert name of clothing item* Again?

Yes. Quite literally, this shirt/dress/cardigan/pants/jeans again. Dressing up in the morning has never been so easy, until it just isn’t. It isn’t difficult because it’s predictable, can’t be messed with that much (um, black or white t-shirt, black pants, cardigan. Done!), and at times soul-crushingly dull.

Most days I feel very put together, and not too casual looking. Most days I’m pleased at the ease of it all. Some days I am just so incredibly bored of looking at and wearing the same shirt/pants/skirt/dress/cardigan. Mornings like that happened rarely, but when they did they made me incredibly angry because the whole point of going this route was to avoid feeling frustrated about my wardrobe. Turns out, it will happen even if it’s simplified to the extreme. Perhaps because of it, too.

“Are You Wearing The Same Shirt As Yesterday?”

Is literally a questions my 2nd and 1st grade students asked me during group work time last week. In case you are wondering, students of all ages are incredibly aware of what one wears and aren’t hesitant when it comes to sharing their thoughts and queries. I always answer these questions honestly: I have three of the same black shirt. I have two of the same white shirt. I have this exact cardigan in three different colors, and another very similar one. They look at me for a while, and then move on.

I don’t feel self-conscious with my students, but I do feel self-conscious with adults. I’ve found myself preemptively sharing these details with people who I don’t share much else with. Why? I felt worried that they would notice and think I have no access to laundry or clothing. I say this feeling just as vain sharing it here, as I did when I disclosed these random facts with other adults. This wasn’t a great side effect.

I’m Not Brave Enough for Variations

Sad, but true. I’m so comfortable wearing the same basic outfit, I can’t bring myself to buy a shirt that has a collar, layering, patterns, etc. This, as it turns out, is quite the conundrum. I had dresses with patterns, white jeans, and navy jackets that I put on and just instantly disliked the look of and thus donated/consigned. I think I might want a grey sweater, but I now know I won’t wear it. So I don’t buy it.

I guess I am not ready to add variations to my uniform just yet. Not even for “weekend” clothing. My comfort zone is now truly well and utterly defined.

The only patterns I’ll ever wear are in scarf form. 

I Thought I’d Shop Less or Focus On Clothes Less

Um, if this phase is going to happen soon, I look forward to it. I now think about clothes perhaps more than I did before, but I’ve chalked it up to building the uniform more than anything else. Finding what I actually love has been quite the process.

Expensive Shopping, Here I Come

Now that my uniform for summer and winter is all done, I am setting my sights on the more expensive items on my wish list. My shopping budget is a generous one, and I plan on saving it to buy things I didn’t think I could possibly afford. Van Cleef jewelry for example. Chanel RTW on sale, perhaps.

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I will need to save up to purchase any VCA jewelry, but this can be done with my current budget and my plan of shopping once every thee months.

Once I finally find damn black work pants (yeah, still working on this lofty goal), my plan is to save up and shop every three months. Will this happen? I failed my 12 items in 12 months plan quite terribly, so who knows. But perhaps the biggest advantage of this approach (aside from very easy decision making each day) has been the ability to invest in items I’ll wear on repeat for many days to come. I think this is the root of why this approach is ultimately working for me.

If you are thinking about going the uniform route, what are questions you might have? Please share below. 





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