Ah, the infamous “u” word. The many settings associated with uniforms have the ability to transport you back in time from sitting in your high-school history class waiting for the bell to ring, to the healthcare professional who nursed you back to health, or even the waiter who served you at your one-year anniversary dinner. Although codified styles of how to dress have been used by institutions around the world for decades, their significance in sustainability is oftentimes dismissed because of the “boring” and “predictable” rep they get from societal standards. However, uniforms are more relevant now than ever in the conversation of conserving resources and moving away from fast fashion.
Like many, the concept of uniforms being synonymous to everyday life is not a new concept to me. Since I could remember, my father has walked out the front door in all black before every workday to proudly represent our family hair salon. I know, a hair salon may seem like an unconventional establishment to enforce a mandatory work uniform, but there is a larger purpose at work here. You see, the unvarying colors help build the foundation for a strong brand image so that customers can easily distinguish their hair salon between the competition. While doing so, many indirect spill-over effects are created in the process of sticking to one archetype for the items used for everyday wear. Here is a blueprint on how to create a uniform for various activities and stick to it.
For me, this is getting ready for class. To save time in the mornings I set out the entire outfit I plan to wear on my desk the night before so it’s one less thing to worry about when trying to log on to online class. What makes this doable in a flash, however, is the color system I have created for myself to guide my self-imposed uniform look.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be moving a few hangers to the front of your closet, making a list on an index card, or even taking a mental note of it. Whatever it is, make sure it’s simple enough not to forget and to actually stick to. For example, I have a special part in my dresser for two pairs of joggers that I rotate on a weekly basis that I wear throughout the day while attending class and running errands in-between.
When shopping for clothes, stick to one to three focal colors for your closet. It will enable you to mix and match items, so that the final look can still be cohesive, while dramatically reducing the addition of new items into your closet since they all technically look the same. I start with an all-black canvas for most of my outfits, which can seamlessly be accentuated with gold hoops or a bold pink sweater. Think of the staple colors as building the foundation to your style that you can mix and match, and heighten with a new hairstyle, piece of jewelry, shoes, etc.
Having a few items that can be swapped out to create several different outfit combinations is what the goal should be. By taking the above advice of selecting a couple of base colors, you will always be able to piece an outfit together on the fly. With that being said, if it is a special occasion, like a wedding or graduation, by all means do not feel guilty about getting an outfit for the event. Just don’t make it a monthly habit. Better yet, rent the outfit! Platforms like ÀLA.HAUSSE will let you rent the one-time outfit, giving you variety for the special occasion without blowing your budget.
As stated above, don’t blow your budget on an outfit that only a few people will end up remembering and that you will only wear once. The beauty of having a uniform is that you have a few staple items that can be rotated in between each wash. So, shop smart and focus on purchasing things that are a) something you will shamelessly wear for months (or even years) to come and b) can withstand the test of time.
Exhibit A: Former Barneys Fashion Director Marina Larroudé wearing the same shirt and shoes on two different occasions but revamping the rotated look with different accessories and bottoms.
By simply choosing to assign five shirts to each day of the work week and recycling the look for the next six months, you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint by circumventing impulse buys. Do the planet and yourself a favor by sticking to a rotation of clothing items allotted to certain weeks of the month, or even better days of the week.
In a society where repeating outfits has been made into an unspoken fashion faux pas from the pressures of social media, incorporating a self-imposed uniform into your everyday routine can be scary at first. However, when you own your own unique style that’s made up of pieces you love and would wear for years to come, people notice you not because you’ve repeated the same top nine times already, but because you are willing to make a statement and #WEARYOURPURPOSE.
Not only do uniforms save time getting ready, but they will dramatically reduce your credit card bill and carbon footprint in the long run. While many of our “uniforms” currently consist of sweatpants underneath a blouse (thank you Zoom), you can add a sense of purpose to your everyday life by choosing to pass on a new turtleneck from a fast-fashion retailer and wear your tried and true cable knit jumper instead. At the end of the day, it’s the choices we make each day that have a compound effect on whether planet Earth will suffer or thrive. Let’s strive for the latter.
Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
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#ALAHAUSSE #WEARYOURPURPOSE #HAUSSEPEOPLE