How do you Develop Your Own Signature Uniform?

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There is a common misconception that having a lot of choice with our fashion is what gives us freedom, however is it often the exact opposite. Usually the more clothes we own the harder it is to choose what to wear each day. This happens because there is no consistent theme to what we buy, resulting a closet full of clothes that we don’t wear. 

One way to turn this around is by developing your own signature uniform. Having a signature uniform is about creating a look that is repeatable and yet never boring. This winning combination should represent you in the best light possible, highlight your best features, be appropriate for the work environments your find yourself in and at the same time be unique to your personality.

Developing a consistent theme is all about working with a few key elements in our collection and making them the basis for everything else we decide to add. Because a majority of our time is spent at work it makes sense for most of these pieces to be functional and adaptable to the working environments we find ourselves in. Doing this will save a lot of time and money when it comes to our clothing choices. This is what makes a signature uniform so valuable and so smart. 

Here are my top ten tips to help you create your signature uniform: 

1. Understand the best shapes for your body type

Each of us has a unique body shape, measurements and height. Before you invest in new pieces, do some research and find out what garment shapes and lengths will accentuate your best features and elongate your shape (or to use a technical term - silhouette). These are the ones that will make you feel your most confident in and that you naturally find yourself wanting to wear. 

2. Choose a few key silhouettes or outfit styles that suit you and stick to them. 

Once you know the best shapes and styles that work for you choose a few of the best, the ones that you will be most happy to wear regularly. Make these your signature styles. You can mix the up with colours and fabrics to give a real sense of “the same but different”. 

3. Consider your lifestyle

Understand what the regular environments and events are that you regularly find yourself in. This will predict the level of formality and flexibility you have with your garment choices. This means that your signature uniform needs to work well across your daily needs and the environments that you find yourself in. 

4. Take note of the garments you gravitate towards.

Have a look at your current collection and notice any current themes that stand out. Do these apply to the points above? Do you look and feel your best when you wear certain items? If so keep them. Note what the themes are and keep this as a basis for your signature uniform.

5. Repeat the winners

If an oversized shirt and tailored pants are what you feel most comfortable in and they work with your daily routine, repeat this combination by having a few oversized shirts in different colours as well as tailored pants in a couple of different shades and textures. In this way your look will appear different every time all the while repeating the same shape. 

6. Choose a few colours that will go the distance

Choose mostly neutral tones and a few of your best key colours. Keep your colour palette minimal, with shades that can all work together. In this way you will get maximum use out of your signature uniform look by being able to interchange most pieces with ease. 

7. Source a few signature pieces. 

Signature pieces are those that can add extra wow factor to an otherwise simple wardrobe. It may be a signature blazer with gold buttons on the cuffs or something else that is in line with your personality and style while at the same time fitting in with your work aesthetic. A signature piece is something that you can wear regularly that people will remember you by.

8. Set a budget

Understand how much you want to spend on clothes and stick to it. In order to create a signature uniform invest in pieces that are quality and that will last for a very long time. In this way your money will go much further and you will be more satisfied with your purchases.

9. Make sure you are comfortable. 

Nothing allows us to be remembered more than when we are at ease. Our clothing can create a confident persona when we are comfortable in what we are wearing. Comfort comes from both making sure the sizing is perfect as well as the wearing outfits that reflect our personality.

10. You have to love what you wear

Only buy or wear something if you love it. When you love an outfit it is usually a combination of a few elements, the best fit, style and design for who you are and your lifestyle. Buy multiples of the styles you love, in different fabrics and colours and interchange them, you will never get bored. 

There is a process and strategy to developing your signature uniform, however it is never boring. Understanding the key elements that make you look your best and developing on that theme allows for plenty of variety while at the same time simplifying your fashion collection and making it easier to choose what to wear each day. Having a signature uniform allows the best of your personality to shine through whilst at the same time, saving you time and money. The perfect winning combination.

Lalita Lowe