I was going to wait until the end of November to update you on the Uniform project. The thing is I started early (I couldn’t wait!!) and I have some results ready to share with you.
Did I enjoy it? Was it liberating or boring? How did the navy corduroy suit fare?
First things first. The navy corduroy suit was a RTW item, bought on-line without trying on. It arrived a day or two after I ordered it, and I put it on immediately and wore it all day long.
The next day I made a few alterations
- 5cms removed at CB waist, and tapered through to the hip line
- added an extra belt carrier as just three is not the right number
- reattached the buttons on the button fly (why?) as they were not sewn on effectively
- moved the buttons on the cuffs to get a closer fit around the wrists
- I considered changing the buttons on the front of the jacket and trousers, but they were quite nice IRL. If I get bored with the suit I may change the buttons.
I wore the suit everyday. Trousers and jacket. And of course I took the jacket off sometimes as it was pretty warm – either outside or in a heated office. So mainly it just looked like dark trousers. I do know lots of women who wear black trousers nearly every day, so this was not that unusual. And of course many men have a navy suit and maybe a grey suit and they get away with wearing just a few items day in, day out. So what I did was not that different from how many people dress.
I enjoyed it very much indeed. I especially liked putting the suit over a chair at night and putting it on again the next morning. This was the best bit, in many ways. It felt completely stress free. I knew the outfit would work whatever I was doing. It is like a Babygro – complete, in and of itself. Of course it needed a top, and shoes etc. But it solved the what to wear problem completely and effectively. I am not sure anyone noticed I was wearing the same thing. If they did, they didn’t comment. Well one colleague did – he said “Why are you dressing like an architect?”. I think it was a complement in that he noticed the graphic, structural, pared down look of my outfit. But when I started to explain the Uniform Project he glazed over straight away. “Too much information?” I asked and he burst out laughing. The net effect of the uniform project for me was that it, sort of, took clothes out of the equation. Of course positives and negatives, but overall i liked the reduction in noise, variety, change, thought. The Obama quote is appropriate:
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. 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.”
I don’t want to compare myself to a President, but I think I devised this project to help me deal with work overload. I am carrying a great deal of stress at the moment and this has impacted on my productivity outside work. Many evenings I am reading a book, watching Netflix or listening to a podcast – usually but not always with a knitting project. There are times when you want to lower the pressure on yourself, and if you find yourself in this position adopting uniform dressing may be a good plan. Given the level of my job I couldn’t just adopt “weekend dressing” ie jeans, T, jumper. But this outfit allowed me the comfort and ease of weekend dressing while still appearing relatively sharp.
Lots of followers and IG friends have asked for a day-to-day account of how I styled the suit. I have a few photos below to show the sort of things I did. These were taken at the weekend with some of the tops I wear for work. These pictures to some extent expressed by intention to boost the suit for a stylish outcome. And I did wear versions of these looks for work.
Here is another group
I hope these images show the kind of versatility of a plain, neutral trouser suit.
However I despite the notion that maybe I would have some fun with the suit, subverting it by “pimping up” the outfit, I actually had little inclination to depart from the obvious. What I thought most days was “can I wear yesterday’s jumper again?” And most days I wore plain navy socks and shoes as well.
The first few days I wore colourful belts. Then I cracked it. Fascinated by uniforms as such, I reached for an ancient Girl Guide belt in traditional brown leather, and an interesting clasp. I tried this on with my trousers, the hooks hanging down over the pockets, begging to carry something for me. Originally I think I had a pencil, whistle, compass and literally a thing for getting stones out of horses hooves. I have just left them empty at the moment but they could carry my headphones, my house keys or even a small camera. My husband says I have become an eccentric. I am beginning to think he’s right. Maybe I have always been one. But I am a happy eccentric.