When you have a house guest for a week — and that house guest demands entertainment (ahem, Kat Williams) — you quickly discover whether your closet is (or isn’t) working for you.
The simple truth is that my day-to-day life mostly revolves around writing and going to the gym, and so most of the time, I live in yoga pants, tank tops and a cashmere hoodie. But when there are places to go, people to see, and perhaps most importantly, photographs to take, yoga pants just don’t cut it. Plus, I love having a reason to dress up.
So, back to the original question: is my wardrobe working, or not? I was delighted to find that yes, it is, and I think a large factor of its versatility is that I dress in a kind of uniform.
Now, if you wore a uniform to school, the very mention of the word is enough to make your skin crawl. Trust me, I get it: I was swaddled in itchy green regalia for years, and as a result, predictably rebelled against any kind of sartorial statute.
But these days, I get it. Wearing the same kind of thing every day helps so much. In fact, whenever I spend time with Shauna, we inevitably end up discussing this subject… And she invariably brings up the fact that all fashion designers wear a uniform.
There is a lot of research surrounding the fact that we only have so much decision-making power alotted per day, and the more decisions you’re forced to make about trivial things (what am I going to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner? What am I going to wear? Should I work out today?), the less energy you have for creativity. It’s better to have your everyday life structured and organised, so that you can expend that energy on being innovative.
This is one of the reasons why I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. It’s why I go to the gym every day, and why it’s a non-negotiable. (Even the simple act of asking yourself, ‘Can I really be bothered working out?’ saps the energy that is crucial for creativity.) And it’s why I’ve started to wear iterations of the same thing every day, too.
I don’t wear the exact same thing, because I know it would bore me senseless. But I buy the same shape and cut over and over again, and everything goes together.
A tank or cropped t-shirt + a high-waisted A-line skirt + boots = sartorial magic.
This outfit is what I always feel best in. It shows off my best features. The skirts may vary in length or pattern, and the tops may have a stripe or a slogan, but it all goes together. This recipe is easily adapted for colder temperatures (add a sweater, jacket, and stockings)… And, perhaps most key, it feels like me.
I’m wearing a bejewelled long-sleeved t-shirt from J Crew’s kid’s section, a lilac A-line midi skirt from Chicwish, Ashlee boots by Miista, and a Kate Spade handbag. (This weather has been so amazing… I love being able to wear a sleeve for a change!)
If you want to have a go at replicating my recipe, try these:
It’s delightful to find something that works… And it only took me 30 years!