by Joanna Davis
The other day I was having lunch with a friend of mine, who always looks well put together, and the conversation drifted towards how much time and effort women spend on putting themselves together, choosing outfits, buying clothes and so forth. To my utter disbelief, she told me that she hated shopping, and only bought new clothes as infrequently as possible. I was shocked. Really?
Beyond this, she also said that she had no time for deliberating about what she was going to wear, and spent very little time, if any, thinking about it. “But, you always look so good and well put together,” I remarked in astonishment. Immediately I set to work on extracting her secrets!
It turns out she was never really interested in fashion. She was a busy woman and always had more important things to think about. But it was important for her career and her confidence to look good and be presentable. She struggled for a while, choosing to only put effort in when it was important, say for a meeting, or a date, but found that she was often caught off-guard and felt embarrassed, or avoided spontaneous social gatherings because she didn't think her outfit would be up to scratch. And so, she developed a few techniques that allowed her to look presentable, and even well dressed, without having to spend more than a few seconds thinking about it.
She said that for a time she used to work as an airline stewardess, which was easy for her because she never had to agonise about what to wear. It was simple - wake up, grab one of the five identical outfits hanging in the closet and hey presto, she was off to work. She even enjoyed staying in the uniform after work to meet friends for drinks; after all, the uniform was a flattering outfit and helped to initiate a few conversations! The trouble was when she changed careers, she really missed the simplicity of the uniform, and tried to create one for herself in her new career. After that, she decided to create another look for her social life and casual outings. That was when it struck me that she has always had a consistent, yet tasteful and elegant, look about her. While I always took this to be her style, it turns out that what I was noticing was her uniform.
Of course, unless you are a stewardess, or are in one of the few other uniformed professions, you cannot wear the same thing every day without raising some eyebrows. The trick to creating a great uniform-look is to stick to a simple formula that works well with several variations, like the simple light and white look with our White Stripes Waterfall Jacket.
For example, if your base “work look” is a tidy grey, knee high skirt with our Q'neel 3 Quarter Sleeve White Blouse, and black three inch heels; it will still work with another white or light coloured blouse of a different style, cut or pattern. Swap out the skirt for black trousers, or choose a different set of black heels and the same is probably true. The main point is to ensure that any of these bottoms can be worn with any of these blouses, and any of these shoes can work the same way. Too bland? You can add flair with scarves, necklaces, and other jewelry to keep the overall look fresh and unique. Again, it's best to keep the set of accessories that are part of the uniform to one side, so they can be grabbed without consideration as and when you need them.