Wearing a "Uniform": Helpful Simplicity or Utter Nonsense?

March 05, 2016 2 min read

As I began hearing and reading more about capsule wardrobes, another concept came up: not just wearing a limited range of clothing, but wearing the exact same thing every day.

I wore a uniform in high school, so for me, it wasn’t a huge leap to envision the advantages of this. Obviously, there is the mental barrier of back then, someone made me do this, and now people are choosing to? But, there was and always will be more ease and simplicity when the what-to-wear question is taken out of the equation.

I first read this article when it circled around on facebook; it’s now been shared over 120K times. Matilda Kahl, a woman art director at a large advertising agency in NYC, basically got tired of sweating over her sartorial choices in the morning ("Is this too formal? Is that too out there? Is this dress too short?"). To simplify her morning struggle, and even the playing field with her suit-wearing colleagues, she adopted a “work uniform”: a silk white shirt, black trousers, and a black leather rosette around her neck. She’s been wearing it now daily for about 4 years.

Photo: Business Insider

She likened the simplification to setting up a bill for online auto-pay – doesn’t it feel good to have one less thing to deal with every month?

When you put it that way, I can agree: one less thing to worry about! But, I admit, when I first heard the concept defended like this, I thought it was absolutely laughable. “Free up your mind,” they said, “you can save your focus and creativity for your work, or for more valuable pursuits!”

Yes, I am sure that not having to choose my clothes each day would free up a tiny part of my brain. Unfortunately, the rest of my brain is clogged up with other minor considerations like “how to raise 3 human beings to be kind, considerate, hard-working, grateful, and generous members of society.”

Let me tell you, my daily clothing choice is a drop. in. the. bucket, folks!

But, maybe Matilda is onto something? Have you ever tried this? Do you think it makes sense or would impact the effectiveness or freedom of your day? Or, do you love choosing your clothes and you would miss it? Weigh in with your comments below!


Leave a comment


Also in Shop Good Blog

On Justice & Privilege

June 09, 2020 3 min read 1 Comment

A few stories, as I parse through the complexities of privilege & justice…


Growing Up Together

When I was in Bangladesh, we visited a village outside of Jashore (a city in which Basha has a production centre, where I visited a brothel) to call on some homes of women who sew blankets for Basha

We spent time visiting in Dhomina’s relatively large home. The space had been expanded to include a separate cooking space — built upon because of the income she earned making kantha for Basha, for us. Amazing!

Read More
How I Learned to Be A Good Cook (With 3 Fail-safe, Versatile Dinner Recipes)

May 29, 2020 7 min read 2 Comments

I've shared my favourite reads in the past, and today I'm sharing some faves to cook.

This is not a cooking blog (obviously) and I haven't styled any plates or hired any food photographers. I am no expert, but I do cook great food. This assertion is not self-congratulatory! I have little (no) inherent skill and I attribute all of my good cooking to 1) other people's excellent recipes, 2) access to fresh, reliable, & varied food, and 3) time (ie. the time I currently have currently to cook AND the many years of practice).

Read More
A dignify/basha update during the pandemic

May 15, 2020 4 min read 1 Comment

What is happening with dignify?

How are the women in Bangladesh doing?

What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on what you're doing?

These are all questions I have received over the last two months, so here are some updates.

Read More