Real reasons to find the look (outfit) that elevates your mood & makes you feel invincible, then wear it on repeat. It's uniform dressing at it’s best. With less stress, more presence.
Don't dis the uniform
Once upon a time, the idea of repeating an outfit was anathema to me. While other kids were busy doodling in their notebooks (or actually paying attention in Chemistry class) , I was sketching outfit combinations like a mini Anna Wintour in the making (in my dreams!). I meticulously documented each ensemble I wore, down to the accessories. BUT even when I stumbled upon a look that made me feel like a million bucks, I'd shelve it for weeks, if not months. Why? Well, let's dive into that.
Insight: Studies have shown that clothing choices can significantly impact one's identity and social perception. The reluctance to repeat an outfit often stems from a fear of stagnant identity or repetitive social signaling. In my case, finding my identity in high school.
The Fashion Faux Pas That Wasn't
The reluctance to repeat an outfit is a mindset that contradicts everything I've come to understand about the transformative power of fashion. The clothes we wear make a statement, not just to the world but to ourselves. They can elevate our mood, boost our confidence, and set the tone for our interactions.
Insight: According to "The Psychology of Fashion: How Clothing Affects the Mind," what you wear can indeed influence your mental state and your interactions with others. This lends credence to the idea that if an outfit makes you feel good, it's worth repeating.
The Lasting Impact of First Impressions
We've all heard the saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." It's cliché because it's true. What you wear plays a pivotal role in how you're perceived, especially during those crucial first encounters. So, if you've discovered an outfit that encapsulates your essence and makes you feel invincible, why wouldn't you want to relive that magic? Of course you would!
Insight: "The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing" discusses how attire can affect cognitive processes and performance. This suggests that an outfit that makes a strong first impression could also be enhancing your cognitive abilities.
Uniform Dressing: Why It Works
So, if we find an outfit that elevates our mood and makes us feel invincible, why not wear it again and again? Or better yet, extract the essence of that killer combo and recreate it in similar iterations. If a blazer, jeans, and boots make you feel like you can conquer the world, then by all means, make it your uniform. Uniform dressing is a form of streamlining the process of outfit creation.
Quote: "When you wear something that just feels right, you are confident. And it is also great to have a trademark look. It makes you memorable and distinctive,"
personal branding guru, William Arruda
The Formula for Success
For instance, if a blazer, jeans, and boots combo is your personal style nirvana, explore that theme. Switch out the blazer for different cuts or colors. Experiment with various types of jeans—skinny, flared, or straight-leg. Play around with boots; go from ankle-length to knee-high. The possibilities are endless, but the essence remains the same: You've found your formula for feeling fabulous.
The Icons Who Got It Right
Some of the most successful, and some of the chic-est celebs turn to an near "formula" for their daily dressing. Take Carolina Herrera and her trademark, Vera Wang in all-black, and many other designers who sport a trademark look, perhaps as a simple backdrop to their colorful and varied designs for others. Steve Jobs understood the power of a uniform. He chose a black turtleneck, blue jeans, and New Balance sneakers as his daily attire. By selecting a uniform for himself, he ensured that "he had one less decision to make daily," Jobs famously said.
Quote: "I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
former president, Barak Obama, on wearing a same-suit uniform, daily, while in office
The Take-away : Become a Repeat "Offender"
Being a repeat "offender" (again, the refusal to repeat outfits that you KNOW you rock!) isn't about laziness or a lack of creativity; it's about recognizing what works for you and leveraging it to your advantage. It's about cutting down the time in decision prison, that can cripple us in front of our open closets.
And In a world obsessed with the "new," there's something incredibly empowering about finding your signature style and sticking to it. So go ahead, be a repeat "offender"—because when you feel great, you look great, and that's a look worth repeating.
Ready to get the looks worth repeating...ones that make your soul sing? Let's do it together.
Vera Wang Photos: Frazer Harrison and Dimitrios Kambouris for Getty Images
Carolina Herrara Photos: Frazer Harrison and JP Yim for Getty Images