Uniform Dressing (Or why I started wearing the same outfit to work everyday)

Today marks the end of the first week of me wearing the exact same outfit to work each day. I've toyed with this idea for over 6 years (see my post from May 2017 entitled What's in a wardrobe?), but never quite took the plunge until now. I have reduced the size of my wardrobe during that time, but a lot of that had to do with me needing new clothes after losing a bunch of weight. Even then, I kept pieces that were too big for me because I didn't want to spend the money to completely replace everything. I decided that once I got to where I was truly happy with my weight and how my body looked, I would finally pull the trigger. That day still hasn't come, but that's a different issue that I'm continuing to work through.

For the past few years, my main work outfit has been a casual button down shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Since I don't interact with the public, this has been a perfectly acceptable way to dress under the State's more relaxed dress policy. As comfortable as that was, jeans are heavy and not really the ideal choice for summer. I also felt underdressed sometimes, not that I really cared that much. The thing is, I was already moving towards a uniform by doing that, in part because I only had about 7 shirts that I'd wear. But that did force me to have to try and remember how recently I wore one so I don't wear it again too soon. Nobody would have likely said anything or even noticed but still.

A few weeks ago I went through all of my clothes in anticipation for my new work "uniform" clothing to arrive. I purged everything that was even a little too big for me, nearly all of my t-shirts that weren't a simple black crew neck, and all of my sweaters. I was left with a couple pairs of jeans, a few pairs of shorts, a pair of dress pants, most of my casual button down shirts, some t-shirts, and two hoodies. Added to that were a couple new pairs of khaki shorts, three pairs of khaki pants, and five black polos. So my new daily work attire is a pair of khaki pants, a black polo, and a pair of casual Skechers. I think the outfit is both flattering and not overly dressy for anytime wear. 

My decision to do this comes more from a minimalistic lifestyle approach than that of trying to reduce decision fatigue, which is the reason wildly successful people like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama do. However, making one less decision each day is certainly helpful. I don't need to stand in front of the same handful of shirts each morning or the night before. Now I just grab a pair of khakis, the next polo on the stack, and then move on with my life. All of the thought has already been done in advance and doesn't have to be done daily. On most weekend days and days off, I do the same thing only with a pair of shorts and a black t-shirt. It's a tiny change that doesn't make a huge difference on it's own, but adding small things like this together adds up quickly.

I've already found great comfort in how I feel in my clothes from day to day. Having a consistent way that the clothes fit and feel each day wasn't a difference I anticipated. When I'd wear clothes from different brands and/or made from different materials, I was more or less comfortable depending on what I had chosen. I'm also going to be able to save money, not having to have a variety of different things that match or look good together. This means less stress selecting, maintaining, and organizing. Less space is needed to store them and laundry is easier to do. It also means more confidence in how I look. I immediately received some compliments at work which weren't necessary, but didn't hurt to hear either.

I can't imagine I'll get tired of wearing the same thing everyday because clothes aren't something I particularly care about. I just need something functional and comfortable. Wearing a classic look that never gets old means I can go with this outfit indefinitely. I plan to see how I feel after six months or a year and then report back.

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