Why Some Women Are Choosing “Work Uniforms” Over Fussy Flair

posted: 09/09/15
by: Courtney Reimer

Does your morning start with a frustrating fight with your closet and end with various rejected clothing items and accessories strewn about the floor? Perhaps a work uniform is in order.

Some women are finding that instead of having that regular wrestle of "does this shirt go with these pants and what shoes should I wear and oh I forgot an accessory" can be avoided altogether by adopting what they call a "work uniform."

Matilda Kahl, a creative director at an ad agency in New York, wrote in Harper's Bazaar about her solution to that daily struggle: 15 white silk shirts and a few pairs of black trousers. She accessorizes it the same each day, with a simple, black leather bow around her neck. "There's a group of people that have embraced this way of dressing for years--they call it a suit," Matilda wrote, referring of course to the popular choice of men everywhere.

(Photo courtesy Harper's Bazaar)

Then there's a slightly more casual approach to the work uniform, as embraced by Kathryn Brown, who works in tech and is an advocate for women and girls in her industry. Her solution: a white shirt, skinny jeans and a scarf. "I was joking about it with my office manager. One day I said, 'You look so cute every day, but I just can't do it.' I can't coordinate," she told Today.com. "And I went to [the consignment store] Buffalo Exchange and sold all my fussy clothes."

Other good solutions for easy work uniforms that go beyond the literal same-thing-every-day maxim: items that are "one and done" like dresses or jumpsuits, or dark jeans, a crisp white top and a blazer. You can adopt a work uniform without being rigid about it, just using the same types of pieces every day.

And in this great "12 Tips to Find You Own Chic, Easy Uniform" article from fashion blog The Cut, we love that they point out a uniform can extend to makeup, too: pick a signature look (say, red lips and understated eyes) and keep it simple.

Perhaps most important of all: having a work uniform frees you up to focus on things that matter more, like getting your work done and getting the most out of your day. We love how Amy Zinck put it in her conversation with Today about the virtues of a work uniform: "It's not a matter of not caring what you look like. It's not caring to spend as much of your valuable time getting to that look."

And anything that makes the morning rush a little less chaotic is A-OK in our book.