If I’m running late it’s usually because I’ve spent too long deciding what to wear. Recently, I’ve been reading The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg and it’s basically about this idea that if you change one negative habit, it begins to reverberate through your life resulting in compounding positive changes in other areas.
I’ve actually found this to be true! It’s taken me years, and although I’ve learned about tactics such as picking clothes out the night before, creating a capsule wardrobe, I was most intrigued by Steve Jobs, who chose to scrap all of those methods. In order to clear his mind to be able to focus all of his energy on his priorities, he decided to remove as much clutter from his routine as he possibly could. His solution? Wearing the same exact outfit every day. Every single day. I remember when Steve Jobs would stand on stage every September, holding the latest Apple gadget, and of course always wearing his signature black mock neck turtleneck and light blue jeans.
I became intrigued by this recently, after starting graduate school, mainly because I didn’t want to be late for class. I decided to create my own uniform. Although not as strict as Steve’s, I’ve made some modifications that work for me. I don’t call it a capsule wardrobe because I find the idea constricting. My uniform is reserved for those monotonous occasions — those routine days in which what I’m wearing needs to look smart, in case I have an impromptu engagement, but I don’t necessarily need to dress up. I’ve heard a lot of negative feedback about capsule wardrobes, the main qualm being that the wearer becomes fatigued because of a lack of clothing options after a while, and once a season is over most of the clothes are worn out.
My uniform is composed of a much broader idea than just a season-centered rack of clothing items. Instead, it’s a general idea of what kinds of clothes flatter me at minimal effort. I tend to gravitate toward a more androgynous look at the moment when it comes to day-to-day. Fortunately, the look is in right now. I decided that for now, I like to wear simple basics and jeans/pants.
My current options in the morning are:
White t shirts
On the bottom, I wear:
Jeans in blue or black
A tried and true shoe
I’ll throw a jacket or blazer on top if it’s a bit chilly outside. And that’s it. I’ve decided to de-clutter myself from obsessing over color coordination during the week becuase it’s really counterproductive. I now have much smoother mornings, in which I don’t rush, and I also don’t dread the moment I open the closet with no idea about what to wear. And, on days when I do have an excess of time, I wear whatever I want. I don’t discard my more complex options and put them away for a season. I just prepare a nice range of clean, basic options for the week. I have new peace of mind, and I feel more focused during the day, knowing I feel confident in what I’m wearing.
Here are some of the looks I’ve created in the past 2 months of wearing uniforms:
Do what works for you. If you love color, add it in! Patterns? Of course! The goal here is to know what looks good on you, and have it prepared and clean. Let me know if you decide to try it in the comments below!