Do You Have a Style Uniform?

In giving advice on How to Be a Stylish Mom, Alison over at Wardrobe Oxygen offers, what I think is some fantastic advice for any busy woman, not just the mammas. One thing that really jumped out at me was the idea of creating a uniform. She says:

So what if you wear jewelneck cardigans, lace-trimmed camisoles and flat-front trousers almost every day? If the outfit flatters and is appropriate for your lifestyle, then do it. The most stylish women have uniforms. No one criticizes Carolina Herrera for her collection of crisp white shirts – in fact women dream of being as chic as she. Stop trying for variety, and look for quality. Buy fabrics that you love and love you in return. Choose colors that make your skin look amazing and make you smile when you see them time and again. Find silhouettes that flatter and buy in bulk.

My mom uniform consists of dresses. I find them easy, flattering and fun. A wrap style makes it easy to nurse or pump. I can slip on a dress in the dark and know I will look polished for most any occasion. Fabrics like matte jersey and ponte glide over my curves and are easy to launder.

For some women, their uniform is a pencil skirt and cashmere turtleneck. For others, it’s a button-down shirt and dark jeans. Accept your body and your lifestyle. Stop and think about the pieces you already own that you constantly go to in your closet and drawers. Ask a trusted friend what looks best on your body and stock up on that style.

Stick to a certain color palette so that it is easier to mix and match. This way, you won’t need as many pairs of shoes, as many belts, as many bags, as many accessories. I am one to pair black or white with jewel tones, but many women love a warm palette of browns, creams and greens or a collection of grays and navys with rich colors of merlot, amethyst and teal. Find the palette that pleases and compliments you and feel free to purchase multiples when you find the perfect color as well as silhouette.

She also recommends extending that uniform to your accessories as well . . .

What’s the point of a wardrobe of pencil skirts and cashmere turtlenecks if you don’t have go-to uniform shoes? Last year I loved in peeptoe pumps – I had them in leather, snakeskin, leopard print, patent and silk. I knew this style of shoe and the height of the heel worked with most of my dresses, skirts and trousers. Now that I have a baby to carry around, I am desire a shoe that is a bit more stable and wearable for long hours. I found a great T-strap from Sofft that came in a dark red patent and looked like a vintage shoe. I could wear it for hours and not feel any pain, and it looked great with trousers and dresses. Instead of looking for other silhouettes to add to my closet, I bought this same shoe in black and found a very similar silhouette from the same brand in a brown croco-embossed leather and had a shoe wardrobe to get me through all of summer and most of the fall. Make a uniform with your accessories – it’s okay to wear the same earrings or necklace every day – stop thinking of it as boring and consider it your signature piece! Purchase a bag that looks great every day with your wardrobe (tip: a color will be more versatile than black or brown), and make sure that it has enough room for a few kid essentials.

While I love this idea for shoes, especially, I do like to vary my accessories. It just makes life fun.

I would say that my "style uniform" is a professional looking dress (because you can just toss it over your head and be done!), some flats (love Hush Puppies Angel II - have them in a ton of colors and textures; they are the ultimate in comfortable, but cute), and appropriate jewelry - some days it might be a simple cross pendant, other days a big chunky beaded necklace and dangly earrings. Oh and an oversized bag, usually in a bright color. I would say that on an average day, my style uniform would be something like this:

My Style Uniform
Kenneth Cole ruched sweater dress $99 -

Hush Puppies small heels $40 -

Kenneth jay lane jewelry $90 -

Sekonda strap watch $72 -

14k jewelry $55 -
  What about you, dear readers? Do YOU have a style uniform? What does it consist of?

  • Alison

    I am so glad you liked the article! I agree about accessories – I love them and they add fun and personality to an outfit. However I know many moms can’t imagine having the time or the energy to have to change up the uniform every day. I was there, I know. Luckily as my little one has gotten older I have been able to reclaim my personal style. :)

  • andrea

    I love this concept. I guess I sort of do have a style uniform: dresses & pumps (usually peeptoe), I even have jewelry staples. I mix it up sometimes, but I’m usually most confident in some variation of that. Guess I should embrace it, instead of buying pants occasionally because I feel like I should…