If you’d talked to me twenty years ago about a daily uniform, I would have written you pages of teen prose about individuality in the face of the system and how dare anyone try to take away the only way we had to express ourselves.
But. The older I get the less time I want to spend thinking about what I’m wearing. I love clothes–I mean, my hobby is making them–but I don’t want to have to pick from a closet where I have to remember, “This is too cold, this is a little tight, this feels too formal, this doesn’t work under that,” and so on. I’m moving towards a formula, if not an outright uniform (part of why I’m spending the summer making blue shirts).
This Harper’s Bazaar interview with a female art director at Saatchi (from 2015) really helped me put the whole “uniform” thoughts into better words and action. What she says about working in a creative office is so true:
“…office style is commonly informal in my industry. We have been given the opportunity to reflect our true personalities in everything we wear, every day—to extol our ‘creative spirits’ in everything we do. As if all of that wasn’t enough, let’s add to the mix the extensive pressure on women to uphold a flawless appearance. Here, we ultimately end up with an unscalable mountain of high expectations. No wonder many people walk around feeling that the world owns them, when it really should be the other way around.
The thought of reclaiming the driver’s seat can feel overwhelming, but even small changes can make a huge difference. The simple choice of wearing a work uniform has saved me countless wasted hours thinking, ‘what the hell am I going to wear today?’ And in fact, these black trousers and white blouses have become an important daily reminder that frankly, I’m in control.”