Why Everyone Needs a Work Uniform

Getting ready for school was so easy. You never had to think about what you were wearing, you never had to dress up or down you just wore what you wore and it was the same as everyone else. When I started work I realised quite how much I missed that simplicity. So, inspired by that nostalgia, and my desire to embrace a little bit more minimalism in my life I created a work uniform. While I’ve not quite gone as far as Matilda Kahl, who wears the exact same outfit to work every day, I do follow the same template and I’ve really curated what’s in my wardrobe.

I’m honestly so glad I’ve created a work uniform. Because I wear things from the same template every day, I don’t have to spend time picking out an outfit. I’m also a lot happier and more comfortable in what I’m wearing. I know that my uniform suits me and that all of the pieces I own go together because I invested some time in working out what I wear the most and what made me feel the most confident. Having a relatively set work uniform is a great way to feel like you have your own sense of style, in part because you do, or at least I think I do a bit more now.

Putting a work uniform together is kind of like putting together a capsule, or minimal, wardrobe. To find mine I used the coat hanger method, which is where you hang all your coat hangers the wrong way around, then turn them back when you’ve worn a piece. It’s a super simple way of working out what you do and don’t wear. I realised I wore trousers every day, but ignored the dresses and skirt I had taking up space. Once you know what you wear the most, refine that list down to 2 or 3 key outfit templates.

My work uniform is pretty basic. I wear the same black trousers (I own 2 pairs don’t worry) every day. They’re from Finery and are a mid-rise slightly cropped style. I’d like them to be a little wider on the calf, but they’ve been through a lot and worn well so I’m not going to complain. I wear the same pair of mono 1461 Doc Martens, unless I have a client meeting then I’ll wear a slightly less beaten pair of dual Monkton strap Docs. I do change up my choice of top, though. If it’s warm outside I’ll wear a collarless shirt, normally in white, although I do have one in dark grey I really like too. Sometimes I’ll wear a plain white shirt instead, but that’s only if it’s a casual day in the office. If it’s chillier I’ll wear a high neck jumper, with a t-shirt underneath. That’s about it, I don’t really wear many accessories other than my watch, Datter rings, and OMCH earrings, which I wear every day, and a plain black suede belt.

My uniform has seen me through placements in consulting, PR, and advertising and I’ve never felt out of place. I’d advise anyone starting a waiting a few weeks before you start the process so you know the kind of level of formality that’s expected. If, like me, you’re in a position where you’re moving offices and environments I’d suggest going somewhere non-committally smart casual, like a nice shirt and trousers or a simple dress that way you should be somewhere in the spectrum of what’s acceptable wherever you are and you can easily dress it up, or down, a little bit.

If you’re interested in minimal wardrobes more widely, which if you’ve gotten to the bottom of this you just might be, I’d highly recommend checking out Sophie’s blog The Life of a Private Girl, because it’s been a huge help/inspiration to me on my journey to becoming a bit more of a minimalist.

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6 Comments

  1. April 19, 2017 / 10:05 am

    Completely agree that a work uniform makes things so much easier! I have five tops from H+M that I rotate with different black trousers for work. I also wear them for going out when I don’t feel I can get away with a t shirt. Unfortunately my two sisters do the same thing, and have the same tops so now we have to co-ordinate or end up wearing the same thing!

    • Natalie
      April 21, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Hahaha love that you now have a family uniform! On the plus side it must be easier to “borrow” an extra top if one of yours in the wash? Having those multipurpose items in your wardrobe is so great

  2. April 19, 2017 / 10:51 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I wear the same thing erry damn day. Also, in Australia where I’m from it’s rare to find a school that doesn’t have a uniform. So easy compared to the US.

    • Natalie
      April 21, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      Isn’t it just the best? I had a school uniform until I was 17, I’m kind of glad I didn’t have any outfit pressure when I was growing up.

  3. April 21, 2017 / 8:16 am

    I actually just wrote about this! I’m in the studio most days, working with materials that I really can’t risk getting on my non-uniform clothes. For me, having a uniform certainly simplifies things, but it’s also made me treasure the days when I can take liberties with my outfits.

    :~) alexandra | http://www.glowygirl.blogspot.com

    • Natalie
      April 21, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      I’d never thought about it like that, but you’re right when you get to dress outside of your uniform it’s so much more fun! About to go check out your post as well now!

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