If you were ever part of a club or team for your extracurricular activities while growing up than you might remember the importance of unity in the sense of working together. The idea of community taught us the importance of caring for humankind as well as the basics of tying a spider knot into a piece of rope. For a good chunk of my childhood, I was in Girl Scouts. From what I remember of that time is that community was represented through small acts of compassion that was the metaphorical glue that held our society together; and that was represented all the way down to the green vest & hat I wore.
Thinking back on that as an adult, has me questioning if those silly uniforms actually carried a cognitive benefit in the effort to build confidence by placing less importance on what I looked like on the outside versus who I illustrated myself to be. This made me think- should I consider creating a work uniform as an effort to improve my performance at the office? Is it really possible to remain confident in oneself by wearing the same outfit every day, week after week? A bit of background, I work as a government contractor as an data analysts, so my work involves a lot of data mining while in the setting of a cube farm (think beige color walls and floors).
The challenge I am creating for myself during the month of August is to create a personal work uniform to wear to the office for the full 31 days. Now, let me tell you, there is no greater fear than looking at your closet and saying, “Why can’t I find anything to wear?” Or preparing your outfits the night before just to change it completely the next morning. So I am excited to leave that worry behind.
My choice in styling the uniform will be versatile enough that it will fit the office’s business casual environment, while also providing me warmth throughout the day (the office can be an ice box). The pieces will be transitional in case special occasions after work arise where I need to attend that I can quickly pair with a few accessories. My goal is to eliminate the daily (routine) anxiety of pulling something to wear and wondering “does this match?” Choosing a style that flatters me will ease any other doubts in my head that people might notice my outfits and think that I’m lazy, but if you think about it; creating a work uniform will put me in the ranks of some of the most successful people including, Barack Obama, Mark Zutherburg, and Steve Jobs!
With that in mind, I hopped over to my favorite store, Old Navy where I was sure to find items that fit my tall physic and would get me an incredible sale. What I found was a lightweight popover cotton striped tunic and my favorite skinny leg Pixie pants. This challenge is only lasting for the month, one pair of pants and 4 tops would do the trick since I am technically in the office Monday-Thursday (I tel-work from home on Friday’s). As you can see from image below, I am already off to a good start with my wardrobe with a savings of $72.03 dollars! That’s about an average of $2.30 per day over the span of 31 days for my work attire. I plan to wear my favorite black loafers from Crown Vintage and a simple black blazer from my closet to keep me warm.
Might I add, that I will still have the benefit of retaining the rest of my wardrobe and allowing creative expression on the weekends, because a girl’s gotta show off her ass-sets!
“The whole idea of uniformity is adopting a uniform for yourself, as it keeps things very simple”, said Thom Browne, Fashion Designer. I am excited to adventure to a new level of self-confidence and truly owning my sense of style and project that image to those around me by shifting the focus on what I’m saying and not what I’m wearing. Following the steps of a local DC women in my area, Renata Briggman who effortlessly wore the same blazer, slacks, top, shoes every.single.day for an entire year, I think this should be an exciting month!
I will be sure to document this series for you all during the month of August and will do a recap post in September!
What would your summer work uniform look like? Comment below your thoughts and if you’re willing to join me this month for the challenge!