1week1outfit work uniform

I took the 1 week, 1 outfit challenge!

When my oldest child was in 6th grade, she came home one day from school and announced that the girls in her class were making fun of her because her clothes didn’t match.

Her classmates had a point: my daughter’s clothes were a haphazard combinations of colors and patterns, chosen solely on the basis of what was clean and felt comfortable on her skin. I never said anything because if she was happy with how she looked, what else mattered? And who decides what “matches” anyway?

I gave her a few options to consider. If the teasing bothered her, I could help her get dressed in the morning. If she needed new clothes, we could go shopping. Or, she could keep her routine as-is.

She rolled those choices around in her head for a minute, then shrugged. “I think I look fine.” And that was that. Never heard another word about it.

The work uniform

I thought about that conversation this week, when I took the #1week1outfit challenge. I wasn’t worried about colleagues’ judgment, but I did wonder what wearing a “work uniform” would feel like and if anyone would notice. Would I be as sure in my choices as my daughter? Here’s what I wore, five days straight:

1week1outfit challenge Lisa Steward handmade earrings

Lisa Steward handmade leather earrings

  • Navy and white striped sleeveless top (washable)
  • Navy silk suit jacket
  • Off-white slacks
  • Allen Edmonds Park Avenue oxfords
  • Handmade Lisa Stewart leather earrings

Decision fatigue is real

By the end of the week, word had traveled, and a few colleagues had even joined the challenge. Everyone felt that wearing a professional work uniform was either 1) freeing or 2) confining. What was interesting to me was that both camps had men and women in them, as well as what I would call creative and non-creative types.

Buy less, buy better

I shop for clothes a few times a year – usually when I am forced to go to the mall for something else – and believe in quality over quantity. But over the years, I’ve still accumulated way too much stuff. If I decide to go the “work uniform” route like Melinda Kahl, I want to buy a made-to-measure suit, a few blouses, and be done. It will be expensive, but less than what I spend now. I’m researching custom women’s clothing now, and would love to hear from anyone who’s gone that route.

Minimalist living

Minimalism is a small (no pun intended) but growing movement, as more and more people discover the joy of less. One helpful blog I came across recently is Paris to Go. It’s got directions for creating a small wardrobe, and living a minimalist, zero-waste life.

I’m so glad I took the challenge and look forward to simplifying my morning routine. I’ll post more soon; meanwhile, if you have tips, do share! A work uniform may not be for everyone, but in the words of my daughter, I think I’ll look fine.

'I took the 1 week, 1 outfit challenge!' have 5 comments

  1. June 21, 2015 @ 7:15 pm Lisa Stewart

    Wow! Thank you for including my leather earrings in your post! Your ensemble looks great.

    When I was 5, I came happily bounding down the stairs in my chosen ensemble: striped shirt, poka dot pants, wingtip shoes. My mother told me to go back to up to my room to change my clothes because I looked like the court jester. Little did I realize I was 15 years early! Story of my life, I guess. 😉


    • June 28, 2015 @ 3:26 am Wingtip Women

      Funny story, Lisa! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for designing such lovely things. I get compliments on the leather earrings every time I wear them.


  2. May 27, 2015 @ 6:36 pm Sabine K.

    Great post! Very inspiring. I find that I have a lot of black and white in my wardrobe. I like the ease of mix and match between the different graphics and textures in a very basic (non) color palette. Almost like Matilda Kahl!


  3. May 12, 2015 @ 12:39 pm Ariana

    Your daughter sounds wise beyond her years- good for her for realizing that she should dress the way she wants, not the way the girls at school tell her to! I wish I had learned that much sooner than I did.

    And your daughter is lucky to have such a cool mom 🙂 What a nice experiment in the workplace. Thank you for sharing it!


    • May 17, 2015 @ 12:58 pm Wingtip Women

      Thank you for the kind words! My OTHER daughter attended prom earlier this month in a waistcoat, patent leather brogues and a bow tie. They both have their own distinct style, and I learn from them every day.


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