What is your uniform and why every woman should have one
A woman's uniform is a set of specific clothes that she chooses to wear over and over again. It's a specific outfit that she LIKES to wear and forms the bases of her wardrobe
I start every of our Facebook live video with a brief introduction- welcome to D a la mode Boutique, fashion retailers and personal style advisers on a mission to help women feel good about how they look and what they wear so they have the inner confidence to go out and achieve their personal goals. We are strong believers that confidence comes from competence so the better you get to know your body and yourself and what suits you best the more confident you will be when choosing your outfits and dressing not only for special occasions but every single day. We previously did videos and blogs on body shapes and how to find your personal style, today we want to take you a little further and get much more specific. Let’s talk about your uniform. Let me explain what I mean- we believe that every woman has or should have her uniform- a very specific clothing item that you choose to wear over and over again, a specific outfit that you LIKE wearing that forms the bases and bones of your wardrobe. For example, my uniform would be an A-line dress; it suites my body shape and I feel good and comfortable wearing it. I have lots of A-line dresses in different colours, different fabrics, and varying styles and lengths but ultimately they are the same dress that is fitted at the waist and flares out over my hips and thighs.
If you take a closer look at any style icon out there you will notice that all of them have their own uniforms- specific clothing items that they choose to wear over and over again.
Why is it good to know what your uniform is:
1. You will know what the base (bones) of your wardrobe is- you can concentrate on getting that absolutely right and build on it. That way you will always have something to wear.
2. Get more focus and reduce overwhelm when shopping. Knowing your body shape gives you a short list of things that will be most flattering on your figure. Knowing what your uniform is will shorten that list further down to specific clothing items you are most comfortable with and most likely to pick out of your wardrobe every morning. You can invest more into things that you wear the most and if you only buy the things that work with your uniform you will reduce the money you would waste on impulses that never get worn. This is a sure way of achieving a functional wardrobe that works for you.
Do not fret! Having a personal uniform does not mean that you will always wear the same set of clothes or that you will always look the same. Unlike nurses or police woman’s uniform that allows no leeway, the personal uniform is very adaptable. Whatever your own personal uniform is you can play around with it and change it up for any occasion. Let’s look back at my own uniform I mentioned above- A-line dress. By taking A-line cut as a base I can easily build on it and adapted for any occasion:
Day look/work wear
I choose simple A-line dresses with clean-cut lines, understated prints, and colours and team them with simple heels and a fitted jacket or blazer.
For more casual look I choose dresses in more casual fabrics and styles and team them together with runners, boots and denim or leather jacket. For more casual look knit, jersey or shirt dresses that are fitted at the waist are all great choices
To create a more elegant and dressier look I choose A-line dress in more luxurious fabric and further dress it up with more expensive jewelry and higher heels.
Let's look at another example. Let's say you establish that your uniform is a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. The weekend look is quite obvious- your favorite jeans (be sure to choose jeans that are most flattering for your figure), cool casual t-shirt, a chunky knit or a parka or a biker jacket, a pair of boots or runners and you are the cool mom at your child's soccer match. For a more formal day look or workwear, you can adapt your jeans and t-shirt uniform by choosing either dark denim jeans without any detailing or distress and pair them with a blouse or a crisp shirt and a pair of dressier shoes. If the dress code in your workplace does not allow denim at all substitute jeans with a pair of well-fitting trousers in the cut that is most flattering for your body shape. For an evening look invest in the best pair of jeans you can afford, team them with a silky blouse or a cami, a pair of killer heels and a bit of bling and you are done! Once again, the bottom line is that you are wearing the same outfit- jeans and a top- however, you are adapting it for your needs and create very different looks.
So now that I have explained the benefits of knowing what your uniform is and how you can use that knowledge to build the most functional wardrobe lets quickly get into the HOW- how you can find what your personal uniform is.
The quickest way to do that is to look in your wardrobe and pull out the items that you LIKE wearing the most. I stress the word LIKE! Sometimes thw clothes you like wearing the most aren't the ones you actually do wear the most. It might be an outfit that makes you feel so good you are 'saving' it for more special days. Be mindful of that and concentrate on clothes that make you feel good! Pull them all out and look for a clear pattern, what do your favorite outfits have in common? Once you find that pattern, you will find your uniform.
If you actually do not like anything you have in your wardrobe we would recommend to do the exercises we outlined in our blog/video on finding your personal style (Style vs Fashion):
1. Get clear on your body shape
2. Use Google/Pinterest to look for inspiration (google celebrities/style icons with the same body shape and see what they wear). Start collecting images of outfits that appeal to you. Once you have a vision board of images that you like try and find a pattern, what specific outfits you have saved the most
3. Go out and try on the outfit you zoomed in on. See how it feels. If you feel great, congratulations! You have found your uniform and you can now focus it and start building on it.
Good luck ladies!
D a la mode Boutique