As I’ve simplified my wardrobe over time, I’ve moved more and more towards wearing what I call a “uniform”, instead of what fashion tells me to wear.
My uniform is simply classic, comfortable clothing that looks good on me, wears well and doesn’t date easily. It’s all practical and good quality.
That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes and rash decisions (I’m looking at you, AliExpress!), but generally, as time has gone by, my clothing has become more and more timeless.
Timeless doesn’t mean boring though. Timeless, for me, just means clothes that fit well, feet great and look terrific.
Why wear a uniform?
Fashion is an ecological and humanitarian disaster. Everyone’s aware of sweatshops and child labour producing clothes that seem to last a nanosecond, but nobody knows quite what to do about it.
A uniform is the answer. While we can’t ever really know where our clothes are from, or prevent them being made in sweatshops (if we’re buying to a budget like I am), what we can do is buy less, buy wisely, and buy items that we’ll get lots of wear from.
That’s a uniform.
You can read about my uniform in the pages on this blog about The Project 333. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’m gradually learning what suits me, and what I like. I’m learning my uniform.
For me, that’s button down shirts, tank tops with scarves, jackets, jeans, and boots. A fair bit of denim, a fair bit of leather, and good quality shirts.
Creating your own uniform
If you’re going to create your own uniform, I’d suggest you start with The Project 333, and what you already own. Ignore fashion magazines, and focus on what you already have – it’s the best guide, it really is.
Over time, concentrate on replacing cheaper versions with quality versions. For example, fake leather boots with real ones, or cheap denim jeans with well-cut jeans. Maybe replace cheap t-shirts with t-shirts in better fabric, and cheap shirts from a discount store with well-made shirts in heavier gauge fabric that will last better and look nicer.
Avoid fashions, especially short-lived trends, and instead build your wardrobe on items that will last.
Finally, cut down on the number of items you possess. The Project 333 recommends 33 items of clothing for any decent wardrobe, and I’ve found this to be plenty. Fewer items of clothing in your wardrobe enables you to see what you have, and use what you own.
I’ve always thought fashion is fun, but foolish. I always felt disappointed that what looked great on a supermodel looks terrible on me.
By ignoring fashion, and learning what looks great on me, I’ve been able to feel better about myself, while being gentler to the planet.
That’s a win-win in my book 🙂