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Career Advice

On your #WorkOOTD: Why a daily 'uniform' is a great idea for productivity

By karlnieto on July 7, 2015

Coming from a university where people are encouraged to dress to their own personality, dressing up for a job can be pretty confusing.

As for someone who has worked for a corporation where there is a strict dress code, I have realized that having your own personal uniform can help in making life easier and less of a hassle.

Of course when I say your own personal uniform, I don’t mean literally buying five pieces of one item and wearing those every day; what I mean is having your own color palette, having specific types of clothing you wear, and having less items to choose from.

I made sure I had my own personal uniform because of 5 major reasons.

1. Your personal style might be a little bit too personal for work
If I could choose, I would wear leather jackets, white and black polos, and jeans for the rest of my life. Then you realize that maybe your personal style is more fit for going out and not for when you're in your boss’ cubicle discussing business development or organization structure. It’s best to have a uniform of some sort, so you know you're always dressed appropriately for the work you do. Though it's great to always express yourself, there are settings where too much self-expression fashion-wise can be distracting for the people around you. Know if you're in that setting and if you are, tone it down a bit.

One of my first days at work I wore printed pants with a super crisp button down with a blazer, and it’s safe to say I realized that I wasn’t working for a runway magazine.

2. Picking your #workootd can make you really stressed in the morning
I was never the morning type of person. When I started to work, I realized that I didn’t have the luxury of time to bring out all my clothes, and try them one by one until I was happy with my outfit. It can get you quite cranky as well and frankly quite late! Having a 'uniform' makes picking work clothes confusion-proof.

Instead, you can use the brain power you usually use to plan your outfits towards preparing for the day ahead.

3. It can be quite expensive to invest in unique articles of clothing for work (AKA no repeating)
After a month, I realized that unique pieces of clothing are easily noticeable and can get quite tired and outdated. I found that sticking to the basics, made me more comfortable and never wondering, “is this still trendy?” It also erases the worry of people seeing you repeating an outfit. The less you start to worry about things like this, the more space you have to think about things at work.

4. The little things can throw you off
We've all experienced waking up late unexpectedly. The alarm didn't go off, maybe you were just too tired. If the answer is yes, then it probably ended up in the “I look like a total idiot/I feel so uncomfortable today” moment. I can’t even begin to explain how not having my own personal uniform has thrown curveballs at me, like pairing same colored pants and button down so I looked like someone wearing a crazy jumpsuit.

I realized I didn't need these crazy experiences to hamper my work style, so to speak. I polished my #workootd, and made sure that they were still aligned with my own personal sense of style.

Personally, I have navy blue pairs of slacks (different brands, different cuts), and I always pair them with white tops. I had gray pairs of slacks, which I always paired with black tops, and whenever I felt like being colorful, I had colored button downs that I almost always paired with black pairs of slacks. Black leather shoes is also a no-fail, and since I didn’t want to wear black shoes every day I just made sure I switched between black and brown shoes making sure that the belts matched. Even my mother realized this, so she also had her own set of work clothes that were strictly for work, a bunch of black dresses, a bunch of navy dresses, a bunch of gray dresses, a pant suit, etc.

Problem solved!