Uniforms, I had one when I was in elementary school. Then, I didn’t love it, but I respected its utility. It was nice to not have to make an additional decision when you woke up in the morning. It was simple: On Mondays and Thursdays, I wore a red polo with khakis, on Wednesdays I wore a white button down shirt with a jumper, and on Tuesdays and Fridays, I wore my gym shorts and a khaki skirt. It was simple and easy. Then middle school came and nothing was easy, especially the intricate calculus required for getting dressed for school each morning.
By the time 8th grade rolled around, I had established a uniform for myself – jeans, boots, and a sweater (usually some type of wool). It was comfortable and put together. Then, in ninth grade one of my friends told me I dressed “like a suburban soccer mom”. OUCH
At the time what she said hurt my feelings – a lot, but I did come away with an important takeaway – my clothes weren’t flattering my body type. I have broad shoulders, a large bust, no hips, medium sized thighs, and huge calves. I’m still learning to love my body, but I love all that my body allows me to do: hike, read, write, bake, drink coffee, and so much more. Anyways, that conversation set me down a path of discovering what worked best for my body. I realized that a v-neck sweater with skinny jeans and ankle sneakers (like these) are a great option for my body type. I also really like long sleeve v-neck t-shirts with a vest (like this fluffy Patagonia one or this quilted one) with skinny jeans and ankle sneakers are a similarly good option for me and my body.
I don’t need to have a super fancy wardrobe with many different pieces. I just need a few basics that I can mix and match. Yes, I realize I’m just describing a capsule wardrobe, but that’s a bit more complicated than what I have in mind. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- 4-5 nice cashmere sweaters
- I have 2 turtle necks, 2 crew necks, and a couple v-necks.
- 2-3 nice crewneck sweaters
- 2-3 cotton cable knit sweaters
- 4-5 nice, comfortable v-neck t-shirts
- 5-7 pairs of skinny jeans
- 1-2 pairs of dress pants
- 1-2 outerwear vests
- Winter boots
- Summer sneakers
- A good belt
This can scaled up or down depending on your laundering preferences and budget. This is the wardrobe I’m working towards. I like to do laundry every two weeks, so I tend to have more clothes so I can be extra lazy. The two main ideas behind this “systematic wardrobe” is to 1) eliminate decision fatigue because all of your outfits are more or less the same and 2) only wear pieces you feel comfortable and put-together in. I really love a good sweater, mid-rise skinny jeans and some comfy sneakers. This is what I need to feel put together and comfy. I don’t need to make a fashion statement with my everyday clothes. I don’t need to make a fashion statement at all. I just need to wear clothes that are well-made, durable, comfortable, and sustainably and humanely made and sourced. That’s all you need too. Don’t let others tell you what you should and shouldn’t wear. Wear what makes you comfortable!
Next week, I’ll show you my favorite for each of the categories I mentioned above. Stay tuned!