There's an article in real simple this month that is a wonderful iteration of the perfect uniform. The article, the well-balanced wardrobe, uses the food pyramid as a model for thinking about what to have in your wardrobe. Lot's of basics on the "bottom", a few pattern's and special silhouettes in the "middle" and a "show stopper" on the top for special occasions. I'm not really into the pyramid construct but totally like the list they've made for what they're calling basics. To me that's the perfect uniform, with the addition of unique vintage or seasonal trendiness to augment the stuff that works everyday. At the end of the day, the perfect uniform is an idea about being freed up, feeling comfortable everyday and expressing who I am, at the age I am, in an easy and confident way. The goal is to step off the gerbil fashion wheel my friend and settle down when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. And this article has a fabulous list to start with, even if you don't get everything on it:
• black tank-not on my list
• crewneck sweater-they recommend opting for thin knits in cotton or wool.
• jeans-I love levi's 501's and then a couple of really trendy, expensive ones for the season.
• long-sleeve white tee-they recommend american apparel. I also like j. crew.
• khakis-not a must in my world, but still a good basic if you need it.
• black turtleneck-cashmere for sure.
• white button-down-yes, yes, yes.
• long-sleeve black tee-I only have one, but should get more because they are great.
• cardigan-again cashmere here.
• short-sleeve white tee-they recommend going for cheap ones because white tee's get gross fast.
• black pants-not on my list and I won't be adding it.
• denim jacket-they recommend darker wash.
• short-sleeve black tee-again american apparel, j.crew and, as with all the tees, petit bateau is another great source.
I think this is a great start, sans some of the pants since I don't have to dress up all the time at work. I'd add some great printed or patterned skirts, a couple of fabulous blouses, run the basic sweaters in lot's of colors, add some vintage jewelery and call it a day. That's my personal perfect uniform. It'll be different for someone else, of course. Whatever the look, the concept is the same. Easy, expressive, confident, fun, comfortable and signature. And then on to the rest of the day. Works for me!