Making the Case for Uniform Dressing

By now, you've probably heard of the concept of uniform dressing as it applies to everyday wear--essentially, having a go-to outfit formula, or even a specific style, to mitigate the amount of time spent deciding what to wear.

It actually comes with sound reasoning, backed by science, to adopt a uniform. According to neuroscientist and psychologist, Daniel Levitin, as a way to avoid information overload and "decision fatigue," great minds like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and even Mark Zuckerberg (following in former President Obama's footsteps) continuously wear the same garb day-in and day-out.

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Don't fall prey to the misconception that wearing a uniform means having a boring sense of style. Arguably, not worrying about certain aspects of the dressing process allows you to be more creative with makeup (if that's your cup of tea), accessories or statement pieces (and all the things discussed previously in the post about having a neutral wardrobe).

But, the most significant result of uniform dressing is the newfound freedom and focus you'll have on more important tasks or decisions: whether it's a project at work, a big meeting upcoming, or just having the mental capacity to listen more intently and respond more thoughtfully to people. I know that sounds a little ridiculous and extreme, but it's the ultimate endpoint. This is the notion of decision fatigue: the more choices you make in a day, the harder each one becomes for your brain.

So, I have a couple of 'uniforms' and dressing rules that I generally follow to lessen the time spent staring blankly into my closet, or ripping nearly everything I own off the shelves and hangers.

Photos by Joanna Totolici

Photos by Joanna Totolici

  • Monochromatic: It's been highlighted as a more recent 'trend', but monochromatic dressing is the simplest, sure-fire way to a) match your clothing and b) create a 'uniform'. More specifically, though, I can default to black (or dark) jeans, and a black shirt with whatever shoe... anytime.
  • Denim & Stripes: It's a classic, timeless, globally appealing look to pair denim with stripes. You can find me, on most days, wearing dark denim and Saint James stripes. If not stripes, a solid black shirt (like this Everlane cotton v-neck tee).
  • General Rule: If you're wearing something loose on top or showing more skin, bottoms should be tight(er) and more covered up, and vice versa!