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From Elizabeth – The Freedom of Finding Your Uniform

For me dressing has always been about feeling confident and comfortable.

My personal uniform has evolved over the course of my life. When I reached a certain age, I found it much easier to work out a uniform that reflected me – one of the positives, in terms of getting older - no doubt!

My uniform is based on one basic principle: a balance of traditional feminine and masculine design details. Today those binary, gender-based categories mean even less in our society, and I want a style that reflects my role as a modern, professional woman. The challenge (and the fun) is in achieving the right mix. I have always loved men’s shoe styles made for women. Delicate shoes never looked right on me and made me feel unstable navigating an airport or busy city streets. To offset a masculine shoe, I like the contrast of colorful, whimsical socks.

A boyfriend jean
in a dark wash or vintage inspired pair of chinos, is often my choice for the bottom half. I tend to balance those with a top that has a feminine detail like a ruffle or an interesting color. If the top is a basic tee or more traditional button-down,  I mix in a feminine jacket or cardigan.   My jewelry is almost always delicate, so that it never has to change.  My most used bag tends to have clean, modern lines and is either white, black or navy.   If I'm feeling my clothes are super simple, I'll grab a novelty bag or clutch - an easy way to spice things up.

        The rest of my look is what you would expect for a busy mother of two who is often running to a meeting: simple! I own 7 versions of the same color lipstick! Here is a favorite I have bought over and over. Super moist and super pigmented.

        Developing a uniform can be freeing. It saves time shopping and thinking about clothing – time you can devote to more important things. And embracing a uniform can release you from being self-conscious about trends that aren’t really representative of who you are.

        It is different for everyone, but for me there is a balance between feminine and masculine that just feels authentic. It took me years to fine tune it, but now I almost never make shopping mistakes; I would say about 80% of my closet is used regularly.  20% is passion purchases.  Items I love to look at and wear occasionally - products that spoke to me and could not be passed up.

        Here's a few questions to ask, to begin defining your own uniform:

        1. What style do you find yourself drawn to over and over?

        2. What pieces could you never part with?

          I’d love to hear about your personal uniform and how you describe it! Please post below or send me an email, post on our facebook + instagram pages, or hit the "chat" button at the bottom of this page.


          • I love your ‘uniform’. I lean toward jeans, or leggings, tank tops and hoodies with mules or ankle boots (like LOQ). Scarves are a staple :-)

            Deborah B. on

          • I read your piece in uniforms. I hope people have responded.

            Your sense of style is close to mine, but you manage to put things together much better than I. Every time I see you, I notice how you style everything you wear.

            I’ve learned from you how important and useful it is to have some solid basics…and I don’t mean solid colors…I mean good, foundational pieces.

            Each trip, I take one of the scarves or wraps you have introduced me too. I usually wear shoes you showcase on your site. You have absolutely converted me to Chimala.

            I like frilly and colorful items, and have some. Yet, when I assess what I wear more than anything else, it’s clothing that is more masculine and comfortable and well made. So I guess those are the basis of my daily uniform.

            In addition, I don’t like to have the same thing as everyone else, so most big and well known brands don’t appeal to me. I LOVE being introduced to emerging labels that you find. That is part of the reason why I am a regular customer…that, and the fact that I admire you and what you are doing and want to support you.

            I’ll never part with my Chimala green army jacket. I got that from you…the car coat. I’ll never part from my midnight blue Steve Mono key ring. I wear the last scarf I got from you (Botto Giuseppe) as much as I can in the NY spring because it is so soft and wearable. And I LOVE my Alumnae creme slip on loafers. Oh…and the Bonne Maison socks.

            I tell you…you can be your own walking advertisement!

            Carina on

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