I never went to a school that had enforced uniforms, but always wondered whether I'd enjoy the freedom of not having to decide what to wear on a daily basis. Most mornings I love going into my closet, especially since there's not exactly a strictly enforced dress code at the office. But there are other times, when we're rushing to get Sloan to school, there's barely time to drink my coffee and I have back-to-back meetings, that I crave the consistency of having a go-to outfit. A couple weeks back, I decided to do just that and wore the same outfit every day of the week. Read on to find out the things I loved the most, the awkward times I wished I could have avoided, and whether I'd do it again:
Today was the first day that Sloan was back in school after summer break so our morning felt a bit rushed. When I realized though that my outfit was already figured out, I felt very relieved. I threw it on after she'd had her breakfast (a necessity when you're as messy of an eater as Sloan) and went into the bathroom to throw on some makeup. Sloan followed me in, as she does every morning, and gave my legs a big hug, firmly planting on a large chunk of cream cheese onto my pants. Usually I'd just throw on a new pair, but it made me realize how careful I'd have to be this week making sure everything stayed more or less clean. I was able to wipe it off though, and finished applying my makeup. I embraced my messy, air-dried waves, added a touch more bronzer than usual, and a glossy nude lip. I wore black chunky heels that are very walkable because I knew I was going to be in back-to-back e-commerce meetings with our partners all day. Since I knew I'd be returning the next day for more meetings, I decided not to share my little experiment to see if anyone would notice.
Today I tried to switch up my look a bit by throwing on a glittery tennis shoe, a larger hoop earring, and a red lip. The night before, I'd folded my outfit neatly onto the bench at the end of the bed, which made getting ready such a simple process. I felt a tiny bit grungy changing back into the same exact clothes, but was relieved at how quick it was. I never thought I was someone who took that long to get dressed, but I found myself with quite a bit of extra time in the morning. When I dropped Sloan off at school, I imagined other parents looking at me as if I was doing a 'walk of shame,' but convinced myself that it was all just in my head. But when I arrived to my meetings shortly thereafter, I immediately blurted out the reason behind my repeat outfit. Of the four other people in the room (with whom I'd spent time the day before), two had noticed my "uniform" and the other two hadn't realized it at all.
By the third day, I felt a little bored pulling out my trusty white blouse and pants. While I'd thought of the outfit as really simple and unassuming when I'd first come up with it, I now resented the fact that I'd chosen such a unique blouse. I figured a white top with cool details would be fun, but the frayed details made me feel like it stood out too much and I wished I'd picked something more subtle. I gave myself a blowout, which did make my entire look seem a bit sleeker, but other than that, the outfit felt pretty identical to the first two days. I added a chunky necklace and a white bootie, but wished it was a bit cooler because the option of additional outerwear would have added an element to easily change the vibe.
By Thursday, I felt like even Sloan was judging the repetitiveness of my outfit. Gone was the relief of knowing what I was going to wear and instead I begrudgingly pulled my blouse over my head (note to self: I should have hand-washed it the night before). I headed back to our partners' office anticipating that everyone would be making fun of my (somewhat dirty) outfit, but to my surprise, several of the girls mentioned how I'd inspired them to come up with their own uniforms. It was also a reminder that if I were ever to adopt the idea of a go-to look, it wouldn't mean necessarily wearing the same exact blouse and pants every single day the way I was doing this week. Instead, most days, I'd simply use it as a guide: to throw on a white blouse (alternating between eyelet/frilly with crisp/architectural) and a black pant (going between slouchy with a drop-crotch to tailored and classic) with enough differentiation to keep it from feeling too stagnant. The bright blue heels and statement earrings at least brought people's attention away from everything else, but nevertheless, I was thrilled at the chance to change out of my outfit into something more casual for a baseball game that night.
My last day! While I'd quickly turned on my blouse for being too "unique" (which, up until this week, had been one of my favorite pieces), it did make my realize how much I valued my Nili Lotan cropped pants, which I'd splurged on this past summer. They transitioned so seamlessly, from sparkly kicks to pointy-toe pumps, and I never got sick of slipping them on. But by Friday, the thing I missed the most was color and print. While I typically stick to neutrals, I was surprised by how much I craved a little change. Later that night, G and I went out to dinner and while neither the blouse nor pants are particularly date-worthy, I was surprised by how much the entire vibe changed with a smoky eye and a strappy sandal (though the loafers I'd worn during the day were quite comfortable). Since it eventually cooled down that evening, I threw on an oversized blazer that I wore over my shoulders for a feminine spin on a tuxedo that felt unexpected and cool. But by the time we got back home, I felt relieved to retire my uniform, at least when worn all together, for the foreseeable future.
While I enjoyed the simplicity of knowing what I was going to wear each day, the monotony took its toll. In the future, I'll opt for a similar combination (a cool blouse with interesting pants never gets old) with little tweaks here and there.