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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, June 5, 2017

So what's your uniform?

This is a question that has long interested me.

Do we all, in some way, have a clothing uniform - an outfit we default to and wear most often?

If we do, do we give it enough thought? 

Is it our most comfortable, easiest to reach, no thinking outfit, or is it something we plan and develop?

This article suggests those of us who do dress my uniform think about what image we are projecting with it.

I am interested in your thoughts.

Do you have a uniform?

If so why?

If not why not?

Is your uniform planned or unplanned?

An interesting question as we all get dressed for the day.


KS_Sews said...

I love dresses and that's my uniform when the weather allows for open-toed shoes (June-mid September...maaaaaybe early October when we're lucky!; I don't want to wear ANYTHING else during summer! I do, but I don't *want* to.

Fall and spring I prefer dresses with tights and boots over pants.

When I'm not in a dress I almost always go for 3-piece dressing; pants/skirt + top + cardigan/jacket. I feel incomplete with just a top and skirt/pants :)

As for color, I have a wide variety in my wardrobe but do love blue (almost all shades), grey and black and white prints. I love black and white prints!

Kathleen Meadows said...

I wouldn't describe what I do "dressing in a uniform" - at least not in the sense the author of the article describes his. I have outfits and definitely gravitate to a particular silhouette and colour palette as well. I can reach into my closet and drawers and pull out what I'm in the mood for pretty quickly - about 5 min to decide and get dressed. And truthfully this isn't a methodology I've developed over years, it feels like something I've always done. The notion of a uniform is rather horrifying to me. But then I don't like the do the same thing everyday whether that's how I dress, how I live or work. Too confining and predictable :)

bbarna said...

During my bank career days, my uniform was dress pants, t-shirt tops (polyester made me sweat too much) and blazers. I have a rotation of 6 pants, 10 shirts and 4 blazers that I wore. I had about 25 scarves that were the spice in my wardrobe.
Now that I am semi retired ( no banking, but I do have a longarm quilting business that I run from home), I wear jeans and t-shirts, and a cardigan most days. I almost never wear dresses or skirts, in fact I only own one of each. Long ago I cleaned out my closet and chest of drawers to hold only the clothes that I loved and that fit me. It was the best thing that I have ever done for myself.

Carol in Denver said...

Either black or navy pants, black socks & shoes (and underwear). Most often a knit top with a pretty scarf and/or a topper jacket or sweater. Recently pulled out some UFOs and finished a hand-dyed blouse made from an old Issey Miyake pattern, modified with Louise Cutting's asymmetrical collar. Blouse is shades of dark blue with a bit of orange hand-dyed trim on collar and vertical pocket, and one orange button. Such fun it was, I hope to keep making more creative clothing and wean myself off the so-easy tees.

LinB said...

Either a fairly plain pair of slacks, in any color of the rainbow and some not found in nature, with a patterned overblouse -- or wildly patterned trews and a solid overblouse. I'm leaning more and more toward long overblouses ... always always always with a sleeve. No one wants to see my flabby old arms; the sun is not my friend.

Lynn said...

Funny, I don't think of it as uniform, but more of a style. I tend towards simpler styles in pretty colors but casual and comfy. I wear pants or shorts most often with a weather appropriate top: tank, tee, blouse or sweater.

paloverdeblooms said...

Knee-length, A-line or fuller skirt with a knit top. Sometimes a longer skirt and in winter (hot, dry climate) a cardigan and maybe a jacket. My outfits generally conform to the need to be able to dance in them because for many years I didn't have the opportunity to go home from work before I went folk dancing. That's no longer true, but I still gravitate towards the same type of "uniform."

Anonymous said...

Makes sense in the work setting the article author describes - I never managed it to that extent in my office work days (identical suits and shirts!) but if you were starting from scratch to have a work wardrobe and had a chunk of cash to deploy it would be sensible if somewhat dull.

In a more meta way I guess I do have a "pants and shirts" uniform in my current retired life, few to no skirts or dresses in the rotation at any season. 50 years ago my mother would make herself a couple cotton dresses at the beginning of summer and refer to them as her uniform for expeditions away from home.....I'm less organized!


AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

Being a die-hard Seattle Seahawk fan, Fridays for me are "Blue Friday" where one with my condition wears team apparel - Every. Single. Friday. That is my weekly, no brainer uni and you can count on me to be wearing it. Half of my closet is a dedicated #GoHawks zone where you can find anything from ragged old sweatshirts to formal gowns to ugly holiday sweaters. I plan which outfit I will wear each week especially during football season and always keep it tasteful. I actually sew coordinating pieces to go with my purchases.

Chabe said...

I wear mostly skirts these days, usually with a knit top. I have greatly simplified things by finding the sillouettes that suit me (knee length fitted skirts or longer a line skirts). If I want something more dressy, I will wear a woven top. No prints on the bottom. It is not a uniform but it eliminates the chance of a "bad" combination. Plain darker bottoms, printed lighter tops. I also got rid of all the warm colors. Makes getting dressed pretty simple.

Kathrynsb said...

I have been a trial lawyer for over 30 years and saw the Denise of the suit, blouse and little neck scarf/tie
Now I weather slacks, heels if boots,a knit top and a leather jacket because it is frowned upon to appear without a jacket
In summer it's dresses and heels with no hose
Jackets aren't expected with dresses
All solid colors
Only real gold jewelry can go through the xray scanner and it's aco!ossal paint remove rpjewelry everything else I go into the Courthouse so it's no jewelry or gold and yes this is all planned. Years ago slacks met with disapproval
Juries inspect every stitch of what I wear so I keep it upscale and understated

Kathrynsb said...

I had many typos I couldn't see through the print on screen

theresa said...

If we are building something and working at a job site, the default uniform is jeans, long sleeve cotton button up shirt, neckerchief, work boots or work shoes and a ball cap or sun hat. Otherwise it is usually a short sleeve camp style shirt in anything from a Day of the Dead print to a Dr Seuss, to anything in-between, good jeans (or jean skirt), Clarke's or sandals on my feet. Church wear is usually a blouse and skirt; maybe a dress and even sometimes, jeans and a camp shirt. I've been trying to branch out and wear other things but I spent 21 years in the military so a uniform is so easy.

Theresa in Tucson

Janet said...

As a middle school teacher there is plenty of running around on my feet. So the plan has to start with my new balance runners. So depressing, but true. My work world has become very casual, I used to dress in pants, skirts and blouses, and nice shoes. But the work culture and my feet have changed. I wear dark jeans with a blouse or knit T with a sweater or vest. I sometimes add some fun jewelry. For warmer weather, I have linen pants and flowy blouses and a few dresses. Today I am wearing an Inari Tee dress and cropped leggings with comfort sandals. (that are still not as comfortable as my runners)

Ellen W Miller said...

Long ago I read an article by a fellow sewist who wrote that she wore black pants and a white shirt so as not to distract her customers when they came in for fittings. She tried wearing a colorful scarf to jazz up her uniform but she sewed the scarf into too many seams!
This struck a chord with me, but unable to commit to such a limited color palette, I stopped trying to create a uniform.