I’ve been pondering the idea of “uniform” lately. Periodically, as I read Vogue or some other fashionista rag, I happen across an uber-stylish woman–like Aerin Lauder–who subscribes to the uniform theory. That is, she has a particular look from which she rarely wavers because it’s always flattering and takes the guess work out of getting dressed. For some women it’s always wearing a patterned shift dress with tights in the winter and sandals in the summer. For others, it means having a closet full of a zillion interpretations of the class white blouse and classic black pant. For others still, the “uniform” is a limited palette. I read at some point in New York magazine that Renaissance Man-designer Karim Rashid only dresses in all pink or all white. Not only does the uniform simplify the whole getting dressed thing, but it brands you with a strong visual identity.
So my experiment for the next few (months, years?) is to try the uniform. I’m limiting my basics to shades of black, white, or grey (with the occasional lavender piece cause really I just can’t NOT wear my favorite pants). I’m not banishing color entirely—that will come in the form of accessories and outer layers. I’m interested in focusing on the visual interest that can come from layering textures and creating stark contrasts. I’m also interested to see what happens if I not only limit my palette, but also limit the number of items in my closet. Can one really stylishly get by—as Lucky magazine would have you believe—on only a handful of basics that you mix and match willy nilly each month?
I’ve been dressing this way for about a week now, and I have to say that I feel more myself in a way. I actually don’t own a ton of black, white, or grey so the limited palette is forcing me to be extra creative in putting together an outfit, and that seems to be really feeding my all-around creativity. It’s also making me appreciate color more—the richness of my turquoise pashmina, the fleshiness of my peach scarf. And yes, I am loving that I get to indulge my love of oh-so=Parisian black/white stripes (as in the above outfit, which features three different stripy layers). Of course, it also means that I have to pay more attention to getting my laundry done each week, a task at which I am already failing miserably. Sigh . . .
So what are your thoughts on the uniform? Do you have your own version? Are you for and/or against? Would you committ hara kiri if someone told you you could only wear this or that color from now on? What are your fashion musings?