There is one thing that you can be sure of when you see me. I will be wearing black, white or grey.
It happened somewhat by accident. I was pinning outfit inspiration and when I viewed my feed, it hit me. Everything was black, white and grey. Without intending to, I had uncovered my signature style.
And so for the past two years I have pretty much worn only these three ‘colors’. They’ve become an everyday uniform of sorts.
What I didn’t expect is that my new monochromatic style would have a lasting impact on how I feel.
It’s now easy getting dressed. There’s no time wasted in the morning scrambling to coordinate an outfit.
With black, white and grey, you can’t go wrong. I always feel put together and stylish.
And so, unexpectedly, the adoption of a uniform has made me feel calmer and happier as I’ve removed an (albeit small) daily cause of stress.
Friends of mine have had similar experiences. One friend said when working 12 hour days and suffering from insomnia, he wore the same black jeans and white t-shirt combo for two years. This daily uniform helped calm his mind during an otherwise stressful time.
Successful leaders like Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have taken the same approach. See this popular Mashable article on “Why Zuck and other successful men wear the same thing every day.”
For women, it can be trickier to adopt a daily uniform. And so I loved this article for Harpers Bazaar by the art director at one of New York’s biggest ad agencies. She wears the exact same thing to work every day.
At the end of the article she says something which really resonated with me. “Today, I not only feel great about what I wear, I don’t think about what I wear.”
That’s kind of how I feel.
Part of my mission at The Bare Essential is to make fewer, better choices (whether it be about non-toxic skincare products, healthy food or clothing), without forsaking style and the little luxuries we crave.
Below are some of the ways wearing the same things every day has upped my style while simplifying my life.
Fewer Decisions: The simple choice of wearing a daily uniform has spared me many wasted hours wondering “what on earth am I going to wear?” By eliminating small, inconsequential choices, it frees my mind up for other, more important, decisions. Barack Obama has the same idea - although for him the stakes are a little higher. He purposefully wears only gray or blue suits because he has “too many other decisions to make”. Mark Zuckerberg has cited a similar rationale for wearing his signature grey t-shirts.
Saving Time: One of the greatest gifts of streamlining my wardrobe and adopting a daily uniform has been the gift of time. No more standing in front of my closet convinced I have nothing to wear and then settling on an outfit I invariably regret the moment I leave the house. Getting ready each day has become quick and easy. Wearing black, white and grey, no matter the combination, I literally can’t go wrong. Which brings me to my next point...
Feeling Put Together: Black, white and grey always go together, so I feel put together with minimal effort. My capsule style wardrobe consists of fewer, better pieces, which has surprisingly made me much happier. I'm not saying that you should adopt a monochromatic philosophy like me, but maybe sticking to a certain color palette will likewise make it easier to streamline your wardrobe, save time and eliminate inconsequential choices, all while embracing your preferred style.
Saving Money: By sticking to a monochromatic, capsule wardrobe, much of the trial and error from shopping has been removed. I rarely regret purchases as I can be fairly confident everything I buy will get a lot of use and heavy rotation. This also helps me to feel more confident making investment purchases.
My Signature Style: I’m fortunate that my company has a casual dress policy. For me, this means that (other than a few “client meeting” dresses I own), my casual clothes double as work clothes. As a result, I can take the money I would otherwise spend on work clothes and invest in better everyday clothes. I also feel myself at work. It's rare that I wear suits or formal attire. When I want to be a little more formal, I put a blazer over my jeans/skirt/dress and wear heels. I can also transition from day to night easily.
Have you tried an everyday uniform? Would you?
Katja Buhrer is a clean beauty and wellness writer in Brooklyn, New York City. Sign up for her free weekly wellness tips via her website.
Image by the talented Nikki Gregoroff. Check out her beautiful instagram account @miilk_house