3 Things You’ll Hear If You Wear The Same Thing Every Day

wear-the-same-thing-every-day

I’ve been wearing the same outfit since May.

Not like, the exact same pair of pants and shirt – that would be gross. But different colours of the same shirt, and different pairs of the exact same style of pant?

Yup.

I’ve written about it before, explaining my thought process and rationale behind choosing to self-impose a “work uniform.”

I covered the fact that I work in a progressive, come-as-you-are work environment, on an all-male team, with pretty open-minded individuals. And I touched on the fact that fashion and “looking cool” have never been things that particularly appealed to me, especially after reading the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and getting rid of most of my clothes.

But you know what I left out?

People’s reactions.

It turns out, that’s what people really want to hear about when it comes to a minimalist, work-uniform type approach. They might be all for it, and really interested in trying it out for a wide range of reasons.

It’s a great strategy for…

  • Saving time. (It takes me no time at all to get dressed in the morning.)
  • Always looking presentable. (No more panic that I forgot to dress up for a meeting.)
  • Minimizing decision making. (I don’t have to debate whether a top is “professional enough” ever again.)
  • Saving money. (Since implementing the uniform I haven’t bought a single other piece of work clothing.)

But the one thing that I hear more than anything – from friends who don’t work with me – is

“What will people think? Do you think people will think I’m totally weird if I wear the same thing every day?”

So I decided to break down the three things – the only three things! – people at work have said to me about my decision to implement a work uniform. And if you’re already convinced you want to do the same?

Grab the guide to choosing the perfect work uniform.

 

“That’s so cool!”

Now, I work in tech, where articles about people like Mark Zuckerberg wearing the same thing every day have been making the rounds for years. But even if you don’t work in tech, I think you’ll find that more people have heard of this kind of approach to workday dressing than you think.

Hey, if Barack Obama can choose between a grey suit and a blue suit in the morning, you and I can choose between a white shirt and a grey shirt and four of the same style of black pants.

When I told people at work what I was planning to do – or had just done – this was one of two reactions I got. More people had heard of it than even I imagined, and some even took it so far as to say they had been considering the exact same thing.

“What made you decide to do that?”

That’s not to say that you’re surrounded by people who are all secretly thinking about adopting a work uniform. While there are definitely a few, the most common response I got when the subject came up was some form of “…Why?”

Mostly it was delivered in friendly, inquisitive ways, from people who genuinely wanted to know.

What made you decide to throw out most of your work clothes and limit yourself to a single outfit, day in and day out?
Was the experience of choosing an outfit every day really that bad?
Was there some kind of triggering event that led to this?

Basically, the nice, normal humans you work with on a day to day basis might be curious about your decision, but at most they’ll be as curious as they might be if you told everyone you were only eating kale from now on and nothing else. It’s an offbeat choice, sure, but at the very most they’ll be curious for about five minutes.

After that, no one wants to hear about your kale diet OR what you wear to work every day.

“I don’t believe you.”

As in, I have just explained to them, mid-December, that I have been wearing the same thing since May, give or take a few different pairs of shoes and some scarves. And they don’t believe me. There’s no way I could have been wearing the exact same thing day in and day out, because they would have noticed, right?

Wrong.

It turns out that as long as your work uniform consists of an outfit that generally fits the context – i.e. don’t wear a clown suit to work unless you’re working as a clown – no one really cares what you’re wearing.

If you don’t believe me, tell me what your boss wore to the office three days ago.

If you can do that, and you don’t work in fashion, I can confidently say you’re the only person who would notice if someone switched to a uniform anyways.

No one else in the office cares what you wear, and the only way your uniform is going to be noticed is if it’s way, way outside the norm for your team.

Ballgowns and sweatpants aside, you’ve got this.

So over the course of the past nine months, I can honestly say that those are the only three reactions anyone has had to my work uniform. Literally nothing else has been said to my face, and I have enough close friends on the team that if it was a major problem, someone would have said something by now.

If you’re thinking that not making decisions about what you wear would be pretty sweet, but you’re worried about what people will think, my advice to you is this.

Stop worrying. No one cares what you wear.

I’m living, breathing, still-employed proof that wearing multiples of the exact same outfit will go largely unnoticed by the majority of people, and the people who do notice will at worst be mildly interested.

That’s literally the worst thing that can happen here.

Want to get started with a work “uniform” of your very own? I put together a guide of the questions I wish I had asked before diving into the deep end with my work uniform approach, so you can feel confident wearing the same thing every day to work, too! 

Desirae is on a mission to demystify and un-boring financial info for millennials, so that we can all save more money, spend on stuff that matters to us, and still have a latte or two along the way. Money is literally why we can have nice things, and Desirae is committed to helping make sure you know just enough to make the right calls for you. (She’s also committed to her expensive dog, her side hustle, and her retirement fund.)

60 Comments on “3 Things You’ll Hear If You Wear The Same Thing Every Day”

  1. Our Next Life

    Wearing the same thing everyday (pajamas) because I work from home doesn’t count, huh? 😉 The truth, of course, is that I do still have to wear work clothes a day or two a week since I travel so much, and while I don’t have a uniform, I have only seven or eight pieces that I cycle through — a pair of yoga pants from Athleta that totally pass for work pants and are GREAT for travel (don’t get wrinkled on the plane, etc.), two black tops that likewise don’t wrinkle, a black knit blazer that is work-passable, a nicer printed blazer, a reversible shift dress that can be either black or gray, and then a few cardigans that can go with any of this stuff. That is literally the entirety of my work wardrobe, and no one cares. Best of all, everything goes with everything, so if I pack all of that stuff, I could dress for a week. (As for shoes, I have a pair of folding ballet flats that come everywhere with me, in addition to either an all-black sneaker-type shoe in the summer or a knee-high boot in the winter, both of which can go through the metal detectors without setting them off, and which I can walk comfortably in for long distances.) I used to pack way too many clothes, but because I prefer to travel on even long trips with just a carry-on backpack, I’ve continually downsized and minimalized my work and travel wardrobe, and I love it. I don’t spend time packing or thinking about what to wear, and I don’t hurt my back carrying a heavy bag.

    So, I just answered a totally different Q than you asked, but I think it’s the same lesson. Minimal wardrobe = good in all settings! 🙂

    1. Desirae

      That sounds AWESOME! I am also a fan of the “only taking carry on for work travel” and the uniform has helped in a huge way. I can throw in a few blazers to layer on top of it, a necklace or two, and I’m all set! Also, your reversible shift dress sounds fantastic – if there was ever going to be a wardrobe expansion for me that sounds like it would be it!

      Also, as if you have shoes that you don’t have to take off at the airport. I’ve had to take off even the most basic flats, and I *always* forget it’ll happen, so I am consistently barefoot on the gross airport carpet. I am clearly a novice work traveller, haha.

      1. Our Next Life

        I should mention that I have the TSA Precheck “trusted traveler” status in the US, so get to get through the shorter security line and keep my shoes on, laptop and liquids in the bag, etc. That has made my life SOOOOOOOOOO much better. Like seriously could keep adding Os to that “so.” 🙂

        1. Desirae

          This is my jealous face, FOR REAL. I’ve contemplated going through the Nexus process just to simplify flights between Canada and the US, because that’s what most of my work travel is, but so far I don’t travel quite enough to make it worth it. If I travelled as much as you do though? I would be ALL OVER IT.

  2. Ann

    Another awesome article Desirae, love reading your posts as they always give me something to think about! I LOVED clothes and fashion, but the amount of time I like to spend on choosing outfits have drastically declined over the years. As cool as it is (and all of the added benefits you pointed out), I don’t know if I’ll ever reach to ONE work uniform (partly because I just have SO MUCH clothes), I have however come up with a few fixed ones that I rotate throughout my work week, and have found dressing for work to be so much easier now! My plan is to wear them all out (gosh that will take a while I think), then just work with 1 or 2 outfits.

    1. Desirae

      Thanks Ann! And it sounds like you’re getting to a much more sane version of simplifying your wardrobe, haha – that’s how most people probably do it! I’m not one for “taking small steps like a rational human being”, so I literally went from closets-overflowing-with-years-of-work-clothes to I-only-wear-this-now in about a single week. Probably not recommended for most people!

  3. Vic @ Dad Is Cheap

    My wife – who’s a bit of a fashionista gets a bit annoyed when I wear the same shirts all the time. To me, it’s just easier to not have to worry about what I wear. I cycle through the same 5 – 7 shirts and pretty much just use blue jeans (since they match with everything) I plan to add a work uniform too in the future!

    1. Desirae

      That’s awesome Vic – minus your wife not liking it too much, of course! I’m so with you on the jeans and a few shirts thing – my work pants are basically black jeans, since we have a pretty informal office. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to make some of your outside-of-work clothes work in your new role someday – the overlap makes everything so easy!

  4. Alyssa

    Holy crap, you have made me think long and hard about this – and I’m extremely jealous. I struggle every night when I have to throw together an outfit. And to be honest, I end up choosing the same four looks every week anyways.

    “I’m living, breathing, still-employed proof that wearing multiples of the exact same outfit will go largely unnoticed by the majority of people, and the people who do notice will at worst be mildly interested.”

    ^ this paragraph made me laugh out loud.

    1. Desirae

      Oh, you! Thanks Alyssa! Honestly, that struggle was the tipping point for me. I always felt like I was juuuust missing the mark with my outfits, and I knew that to really “step it up” with my work clothes was going to cost an arm and a leg at places like Banana Republic (and finding things that actually fit when you’re 5’10” is its own special challenge!) I was so sick of spending 20+ minutes trying to coax “I’m a respectable professional” out of my “I’m a new grad” wardrobe that I just full on gave up and bought multiples of the first thing that looked good enough to wear every day.

  5. Matt @ The Resume Gap

    I fall into reaction camp number one: That is awesome! It’s great to hear that it’s working out so well. You probably saw that there was a male Australian newscaster who wore the same suit every day for a year as a statement about gender biases. I’m happy to hear that it’s not just men in suits who can pull it off!

    I’m working on refining my minimalist packing habits for backpack-only international travel. On our recent three-week trip to Ireland, I basically wore the same pants and shirt every single day (washing and drying things overnight). It might make for some repetitive photos, but it was a joy to not carry so much and to never have to think about what to wear on a given day.

    1. Desirae

      Oh yay, thank you Matt! I did see that piece, it was so good – although I am most impressed that he actually kept a secret for a full year. Chalk that one up under “things I have not done, ever”, haha. Can you imagine? Being on TV FOR A YEAR and not spilling the beans? Maybe I’m just bad with secrets but that sounds pretty impressive to me.

      I find a lot of travellers will get this concept a lot faster than people who have never had to manage / carry their entire wardrobe with them, haha. It doesn’t matter if it’s backpacking or work travel, when you’ve had to cart around your clothes and deal with the hassle that is too much stuff in an airport / on a cobblestone street, you’re much more open to new ways to get away without what most North Americans would consider a “normal” amount of clothing.

  6. Suzewannabe

    Really interesting!
    I did the “dress for success” and it worked a little too well. Suddenly, I was on a management track at an enormous corporation (Fortune 10) and it did not ‘suit’ me at all.

    After I turned down the next promotion of “super senior robot”, I went sort of business casual goth- dyed my hair back to brown and long. Avril Lavigne meets Law and Order detective. Gums flapped. Coworkers were mean and downright abusive.

    Post that, I cut my hair into the Victoria Beckham “Bob” and went platinum. People were really nice to me again. I still wore business casual but grew my hair out after I realised Kate plus 8 had a reeeeealy bad version of that hair.

    I switched compaines to a really sexist, good ol boy place where dressing a little sexy was acceptable (high heels, boots with skirts). I felt much more myself than Dilbertsville but was bummed about the work environment and lack of appreciation of a cum laude post-grad.

    I would get nice comments like “take me shopping with you”, ” I want you to be my stylist!” from the ladies who were in finance or legal.

    I had kind of a uniform in corporate Dilbertsville and it was expensive and stressful.

    When I sort of got to dress more “me” at least compliments from other pro ladies helped me feel better in a hostile work environment.

    Now that I’m retired, I can be totally me- wearing the same ripped jeans and poufy coat for days on end. It’s really fun and a LOT less expensive.

    1. Desirae

      Hahaha that’s awesome Suze – I’m so glad you’re in a place where your wardrobe can really reflect you and makes you feel comfortable! And I am absolutely horrified that people were so rude to you in the workplace – that is so unacceptable, I’m so sorry to hear that! Over hair / clothing no less. I’m pretty sure that if anyone had a bone to pick with anything I did to my hair or my clothing I wouldn’t let it go easily, lol. They would be having a pretty fun conversation with HR in no time, because that is so not OK. That’s partially why I chose to do this in the first place – I never wanted my outfit to be the topic of conversation. It helped me choose something that was pretty innocuous and blended in well, and so far it seems to be working!

      1. Suzewannabe

        Thank you! I haven’t told many people about that nightmare.

        Bullying doesn’t stop during employment. It’s just harder to prove.

        Thank you for validating.
        🙂

  7. Money Beagle

    There was a guy I used to work with that wore a white button down shirt every single day. I’m assuming that he had a closet full of them. All he had to do was just pick a pair of pants, matching socks, then grab a shirt and he was set to go.

    1. Desirae

      The dream! Hahaha that guy and I would have had so much to talk about in terms of the time we were saving and decisions we weren’t making in the morning. I was seriously inspired by a similar pattern with some of the guys in my office – it’s either t-shirt and jeans if you’re a developer or designer, slacks and button downs if you’re an exec. Literally no variation – I just wanted to find the female equivalent for my role, haha.

    2. Amanda

      I love this! I’ve read that a lot of fashion designers have a super simple “uniform” – ironic, no?
      If I ever have to go back to a regular office-type job, I will totally implement a minimal capsule wardrobe. As is, I really have to go through all my clothes (many of which are still in boxes because I was 6 months’ pregnant when we moved house), and get rid of the stuff that is no longer appropriate for my freelancing, mom-ing lifestyle.
      I have such a misguided relationship with clothes. I realized a long time ago that literally no one cares about what I wear but me, but I still can’t shake the desire to buy a new outfit when I’m feeling crappy about myself! It’s a work in progress.

      1. Desirae

        Oh man, that feeling? I know it well. My knee-jerk reaction to feeling like I’m going to be out of place or out of my depth at a new event or function is to buy new clothes, haha. I’m more aware of it now, so I can resist and make do with what I’ve already got in my (extensive) closet, but when I did the Kon Mari method with my clothing, soooooo much of it was explained by “Oh right, I bought this when I was invited to an art show and didn’t think I was a person who went to art shows.” That, but replace art show with just about every occasion, haha.

        And I have heard that about fashion designers! If it’s good enough for Vera Wang, it’s good enough for me, haha.

  8. C@thesingledollar

    I am really tempted by this, and in fact do a version of it, especially in the fall-winter. I have multiple cardigans and I put one over either a dress or a shirt which I then wear with a skirt or jeans. But that’s still more complicated than what you’re talking about!

    My major worry is teaching, actually. I happen to know (from having been one of them) that students are incredibly exacting noticers of professor fashion. I try to wear something different on at least a two-week cycle (this is four outfits on semesters where I teach Tuesday/Thursday, six if it’s MWF) because I guarantee you half the class will notice if I repeat. They may not CARE (or they may) but they will definitely notice 🙂

    1. Desirae

      Hahahaha oh gosh I hate to admit this to a professor but we had this one prof in my first year economics class – I’m pretty sure that in any other context the guy would have come off as homeless. Bless him, he was a brilliant man and I adored his class, but there were always about seven visible holes in his clothing. He worked it, mind you, and he was the kind of scary-smart that everyone knew not to joke around with. I’m so envious of that skill – the ability to walk into a room and just ooze “I am so smart you should probably fear me” from every pore.

      If I had that I would totally wear my clothes until they has holes in them too.

      All this is to say that yeah, unfortunately I totally see your point and students might definitely notice. That said, you’re up there for a reason, and nothing I know about you makes me think you’re any less scary-smart than my econ professor was! You could probably rock whatever you wanted to up there!

  9. Kiefer U

    Despite being about the same clothes, this was an ironically fresh read! I’ve definitely heard about the “same clothes” idea originally on a podcast followed by an article from Harpers Bazaar (http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a10441/why-i-wear-the-same-thing-to-work-everday/). It’s very interesting to see it in more casual practice by someone I know! Personally having worked a year in retail garnered a “need” to consistently update and rotate wardrobe choices with trends, seasons (#sweaterweather), etc. Since leaving the retail space, I’ve enjoyed having a developed sense of style that allows me to personalize at my leisure.

    1. Desirae

      Hahaha thanks Kiefer! That article was actually one of the big pushes towards me trying this for myself! And I’ve been no stranger to the allure of the retail discount. Just ask the entire load of lululemon laundry I still have after getting rid of about 3/4 of what I acquired during my tenure there!

  10. Stephanie

    I have been doing this for the last 3 years. So far, I haven’t heard any comment, whether from friends, family or coworkers. It has slashed my wardrobe spending in 2.

    I usually tend to buy clothes in double but with different colors. I have 2 jackets of the same style, one is grey the other is black.

    You are right, people don’t care about what you wear, mostly because they don’t remember.

    1. Desirae

      WOOOO! Yay to uniforms! Isn’t it amazing how much less you have to buy when work clothes are handled?! That’s been so nice for me, because outside of work I could care less what I wear, too.

      As I go forward I may ease up on the exact specific style of shirt I buy, if only because finding it again may be tough – but I’ll stick with the black / white / grey colour palate for sure, and likely do something similar to your approach now of buying things that fit in a few versions!

  11. Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless

    Can my work uniform be leggings and a baggy sweater?

    In all seriousness (not that I wasn’t being serious about wanting to wear just leggings and a sweater every day), this seems really super smart. There is so much freaking pressure to look good for work or whatever, but honestly, you can only wear one outfit at a time, so why not choose a good one that works and wear it every day? So logical. 🙂

    When I get a job, I am going to attempt to do this.

    Looking forward to seeing the photo of this uniform! 😉

    1. Desirae

      I totally bailed and didn’t ask anyone at work to take a picture! Mostly because I was a little embarrassed to ask someone to take pictures of me for the blog, lol. I’ll get my boyfriend to take one tomorrow morning for sure!

      And to be totally honest, my goal was to get the work equivalent of jeans and a t-shirt, because that’s my at-home default. It turns out, a flowy white silk t-shirt and black skinny jeans looks remarkably work-appropriate, can be dressed up with a blazer, and feels almost like wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt every day. If leggings and sweater is your goal, even a professional environment would be cool with flowy-ish dress and leggings, or sweater dress and leggings. My best rule is “If you can put a blazer on top of it, you’re fine.”

      That said I know nothing about working with PhD type employment places so omg please take this with a grain of salt!

  12. Taylor

    Ahhh, I love the timing of this post! I think it’s so cool that you committed and just did it! Major props for taking the plunge and making your life easier. Your final point sums it up: No one cares! haha. I think that is sometimes hard for our fragile egos to hear 😉

    I am not a huge shopper and it honestly stresses me out because I never know if I’m going to like an item or if it will fit, etc. And then I feel like I’m wasting money, time and space. So I end up feeling frustrated and only having a super basic wardrobe, BUT I literally just signed up for Le Tote. It’s a monthly subscription clothes service where they send you three items of clothing + 2 pieces of jewelry at a time and then you send them back when you’re done and get it a new box. It seems like the perfect way to experiment with fashion without any of the stress. I’m trying it for $40/month right now, so I’m super interested to see how it goes!

    1. Desirae

      Oh that sounds so fun! And I remember seeing you tweet about basketball – you’re tall, right? (I’m 5’10” and I SO FEEL you on the “will this fit?” issue. When I find a store that has clothing that’s long enough for my legs and/or torso, I pretty much marry it until it goes out of business. I hate shopping for that reason – it takes forever because I have to try everything on, otherwise I risk getting home to a new crop top when I really wanted a t-shirt.)

      I can’t wait to hear more about this service and what you think of it!

  13. Alyssa @ Generation YRA

    This is amazing! I’m jumping into the world of tech on Monday (I received a new job!) and so I might just have to take this work-uniform concept even further than I have. I actually learned the inner workings of this from my mom awhile ago, and of course when I was younger I thought it was “sooo boring.” She decided on just a few colors: black, navy blue, white, tan/khaki (with just a few out of the ordinary color items/outfits, or accessories like scarves). Each one of her staple items went together in some sort of way making infinite outfit choices. As I started getting older, I started building a wardrobe like this too (if it wasn’t viewed TOO weird, I would wear black every day – it looks flattering on everyone)! I have a few key sets of pants, blazers, and button downs. I always maintain the dress up more than expected (but not overwhelmingly). This has worked wonders & keeps the wardrobe costs down!

    1. Desirae

      OH my god congrats on the new job! Wheeeeeee! If I was in the same place as you, we would so be going out for celebratory craft beers right now!

      Your mom sounds like a total legend, and I think a lot of people around our ages are just starting to see the wisdom in that. Even as someone who LOVED bright, colourful clothing, I’m really starting to see the value in having clothing that all matches. I have enough scarves to last a few lifetimes, so I can limit my colourful tendencies to accessories and make packing, dressing and general clothing maintenance way, way easier this way!

      And so much yes to the dress up more than expected thing – especially in tech, it helps people take you a bit more seriously, even if you could totally get away with jeans and a t-shirt most days, lol.

  14. Marianne

    I really like this idea, and I think it works well on several different levels. I’m going to keep my eyes and mind open for a work uniform I’d love, that is flattering, and that fits with my teaching job.

    1. Desirae

      It makes mornings so much easier! One of the other comments made the point that for people who teach, students might notice – but I’m almost positive she teaches at the university level, whereas I doubt your students are the fashion-police types yet!

  15. Bianca

    This post made me think of a similar one from a while ago that I was going to link to here, but it`s your own, lol! I said at the time, I would consider it if I changed jobs, but in my current one I feel my dress sense was too strong a part of my image.

    Well – I now changed jobs, and I`ll give it a go! Not so much wearing exactly the same things, but I decided to go *only* for ladylike and not *sometimes* ladylike and sometimes girly. It`s a part time job, so more spare time to wear the short skirts and bright colors elsewhere. I also want to wear more black and other muted colors. It`s an environment where people die, and it wouldn`t be appropriate for the relatives to be greeted in what I used to wear in my old job, lol.

    1. Desirae

      That’s actually so considerate of you, Bianca! And I definitely agree that part-time would be a good way to ease into this or a similar approach 🙂 It sounds like your current situation is working well for you, that’s awesome!

  16. Cynthia Bell

    Ummm, WE NEED PICTURES! What do you wear? What exact combos? Have you heart of Matilda Kahl (Google her) she did something very similar.

    I do not wear the same thing to work everyday, but I also work in tech so we have a pretty liberal dress code policy as well. I wear a TON of black and a lot of Lululemon leggings. No one seems to mind/care and I love being comfy. Win-win.

    1. Desirae

      Hahahaha I know! I’m sorry! I even meant to get a photo this morning and totally blanked on the fact that by the time I’m dressed and ready to go, my boyfriend is long gone. Early next week it is, but trust me, there will be photos!

      As a former lululemon employee, I’d honestly never have to buy clothing again if I could wear my old lulu gear to work every day. Seriously, that 60% discount for full time employees is so, so dangerous! I’ve been getting rid of lulu gear for years and I still have more than enough for a full load of just-luon laundry. Colour me jealous of your comfy office wear!

  17. Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    I actually DO wear the same outfit every day. Maybe not to work, but as soon as I get home, I’m hopping into 1 of a few comfy outfits reserved for my family/home time. This is quite interesting because, despite having enough clothes for the remainder of my lifetime, I still tend to cycle through the same few outfits. I like the idea of a work uniform. I bet people wouldn’t even notice if you didn’t tell them. It always amazes me how little people actually care about what other people do. Love this idea!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    1. Desirae

      I’m totally the same with my at-home clothes too! Without even trying, I have a favourite type of t-shirt, and I have like… six of them. They’re super soft and cottony and I wear them all the time – so much so that I mostly got rid of my other “off duty” shirts, haha. They’ve been discontinued, which is truly heartbreaking, especially since they’re starting to fall apart. Eventually I’ll have to find a new casual outfit – it’ll be a sad day, haha.

    1. Desirae

      Hahaha I know! I am the worst! You saw the one I sent out on Twitter, right? If not, harass me again – I finally caved and took a selfie because I kept forgetting / not wanting to ask someone to take a photo!

  18. Rue

    I love this idea and I’ve worked my work wardrobe down to about the same 5 outfits every week…but everything is different, so not quite work uniform yet. I do want to get all the way to uniform level eventually, but I have to find the perfect top first.
    I have yet to see an article where the person implementing the uniform wardrobe has a specific dress code to match though (formal business wear/office)…maybe one day I’ll write it 😛

    1. Desirae

      Ooooooh please do if you end up going for it! I assume your office has a formal businesswear dress code? (Are you a lawyer? Literally I can’t think of any other professional that still has strict requirements – I’m super intrigued!)

      And that was the one other question I got a lot from fellow uniform-potentials – where did I find my top and how did I find it? Honestly, as a non-shopper, I kind of settled on the first one that seemed fine, could work under a blazer and didn’t require a tank top underneath because it was lined, haha. I had a low bar, and it worked out well – but I was also lucky to find it! (It’s from Express, in case you were wondering!)

      1. Rue

        I work at a credit union, so it’s more business formal than business casual. I actually ended up ordering a blazer and shirt to try from J.Crew this weekend because they had a sale, so hopefully that works out. Not the cheapest option, but I’m tiny, so finding an xxxs? done.
        Right now I just do a white tee under a blazer or sweaters usually, which is super comfy, but doesn’t work well if it gets too warm.

        1. Desirae

          Oh I hope it works out for you! I actually have the opposite problem in a way, in that I’m really tall, so finding things that fit can be a challenge too! I’ve never had much luck with J. Crew since it tends to be sized for not-giants, lol, but I have heard wonderful things from people who are the height of a normal human being.

          And boy do I ever feel you on the white t-shirt under a blazer thing – both in comfort and in “oh shit now I can’t take this off and I’m dying of heat.”

  19. Steve

    I’ve become a big fan of the work uniform. I used to love patterns but now I’ve become more plain (white and blue shirts). I have 10 of the same Brooks Brothers oxford cotton button downs (OCBD). They are comfortable, sturdy and Made in USA (#Merica). I buy 2-4 every year when they go on sale (4 for $199 during Christmas week vs $95 each). Also I found some J. Crew pants I like so I bought 4 pairs in different shades. My work uniform is typically trousers/chinos in grey, khaki or navy with an ocbd. Then i just pick my sweater/outerwear if necessary and shoes to match. It’s made my life easier. I also work in tech so this is more than adequate. If I were in finance I would do something very similar but with grey and navy suits (both match with brown or black shoes/belts).

    1. Desirae

      I do the same with my shirts – around Christmas (well, Boxing Day here in Canada) I’ll stock up on them online since they’re half price, I know my size and style, and I avoid the mall madness entirely.

      And man, gotta love tech for accepting “You look the same as you did yesterday, and you don’t look like a hobo” as the height of professional dressing! I’m pretty glad I didn’t end up in a field that requires a full suit every day to be honest, even if I do (clearly) love finance.

    1. Desirae

      Thank you! I’m also a jeans-and-tshirt person when I’m outside of work, which I think is a pretty fantastic indicator of whether someone is going to care little enough about what they wear to be intrigued by wearing the same thing every day 😉

  20. Robyn

    Too true! I don’t own a lot of clothes and tend to mix & match the same few things. I felt conspicuous about it for a little while, until I tried to recall what any of my colleagues routinely wore and I couldn’t. Most days I couldn’t even tell you what my husband was wearing when he left the house! I realised that if I notice so little about them, they’re probably the same regarding me. Great philosophy!

    1. Desirae

      Hahaha that’s another fantastic point! Literally I could not tell you what my boyfriend wore to work today or yesterday, and I love him – there’s no way anyone at work is paying as much attention to me as I am to him! And I had the same mix of work outfits beforehand too, where I’d wear the same few things over and over, and try to vary what day I wore it on – as if anyone noticed, lol.

  21. MSW

    You are not alone in the uniform department. I am a therapist and my uniform consists of 35 dresses. I do one big shopping trip a year (which I save for monthly) for cardigans, scarves, tights, and shoes. What I hear most often is you always look so put together. What time do you get up to get ready for work? I get up later than I should and I look put together because it’s a dress- no thinking involved!

    1. Desirae

      That’s so awesome! That’s one of the biggest benefits I find – people always think you look super together, as long as you chose the right one thing to wear. Accessories have been a huge help for me too – I wear so many scarves that I think it tricks people into not noticing that I’m always wearing the same top with them, haha.

  22. Jaymee

    This is awesome. I imagine that if I worked in an office space, I probably would do the same thing for all those reasons you mentioned! 😛

    Thankfully, I work at a hospital and my scrubs get cleaned for me by my unit. I literally head to work in leggings and change into scrubs when I get here :3 (perks of being a nurse!) I haven’t bought new clothes in months!!

    1. Desirae

      Mmmmm, leggings to work! The dream! I worked at lululemon while I was in university and my hands-down favourite thing was wearing workout gear in to “the office” with a bunch of people who were commuting in suits. I’m dead serious that if scrubs became a thing outside of hospitals, I’d be all for it (although I know some of my more fashion-conscious friends would revolt!)

  23. Tea

    I switched careers. I came from a career in nursing where I wore scrubs everyday to a corporate office environment. The first few months I struggled with outfit selections. I do pretty much wear the same thing everyday. I found a style of slacks that I like very much. I bought 7 different colors. Same thing happened with tops that are very comfortable and very flattering I now own the same top in 10 different colors and 5 different prints. It’s the same outfit but nobody notices.

    1. Desirae

      I can only imagine! Especially with the different colours and different prints – I wear a lot of scarves in the winter and it threw people right off, no one even noticed it was happening, lol.

  24. Elmo

    I came across an article the other day about ‘decision fatigue’ and have for ages loved the idea of a capsule wardrobe. So I have been reading more and more until I came across your article. Thank you for answering the questions I didn’t realise I needed answered, and for your lovely responses to comments.

    In the year after getting married I went up almost two dress sizes (I was so convinced I wouldn’t have the cliche of this happen to me haha) and took the opportunity to reduce my wardrobe. I started by getting rid of clothes that were way too small, (and as I began to lose some of the extra weight) or way too small. I also have the dilemma of things fitting me due to being short and having quite a big chest.
    And I took the decision to eliminate everything blue! I’m much more of a black and grey person – pretty much all my shoes are black. It definitely makes me feel so much more “together”.
    Recently my part time job introduced a strict dress code and initially I was kinda annoyed at it – but it’s definitely less hassle – and I feel like we’re more of a team.

    Thanks again, Elmo 🙂

    1. Desirae

      Hey Elmo,

      Thanks so much for the super-sweet and wonderful comment, and for sharing so much of your experience! I actually let go of a lot of too-small-these-days clothes go as part of this process, and went up a size when I bought my last round of pants, and it’s been a learning process of accepting that my body might change at times – and learning that pants that are the right size are SO MUCH NICER TO WEAR! Who knew, right?

      And oh man, I can’t even tell you how much this work uniform stuff has helped my overall closet – I definitely prefer scales of grey as well, plus denim, and knowing that has actually helped me narrow down my regular clothes too. Packing for a trip is bonkers easy these days, because everything matches! No more packing a billion things to make sure I have something to go with that one top or those funky shoes.

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