There’s a new breed of stylish ladies taking the corporate world by storm and their non-traditional take on fashion offers lessons for us all.
Cue the outfit repeaters. Ladies, we see you, and hell yeah we salute you!
Spear-headed by Huffington Post heavy-weight Arianna Huffington, this outfit repeating movement has a message for us all – personal uniforms are in, and stressful, outfit-finding mornings are out.
Characterised by a defined “look” or repeated set of items, personal uniforms cut down the time it takes to get ready in the morning by removing the need to create a new outfit each day.
Well-known male subscribers like Steve Jobs and Karl Lagerfield have donned personal uniforms for decades. But now working women are breathing new life into the movement aimed at reclaiming our mornings and breaking down social constructs around how women should dress.
Through her initiative Thrive Style, Arianna Huffington has been campaigning to normalise repeat outfits and says her aim is to help women feel as comfortable as men do when it comes to consistently wearing the same thing.
“I don’t hide my repeats, I celebrate them. When I’m getting ready for an event, I don’t spend time agonising about what to wear – I pick out one of my frequently worn favourites and call it a day,” Huffington says.
And Arianna truly does walk the walk, regularly wearing repeat outfits to media events and highlighting her them with the #repeats hashtag. Check her out on Instagram at @ariannahuff.
Now – for the ladies who enjoy their morning ritual of creating an outfit, wearing the same thing day in and day out may not be for you. However, you don’t need to adhere to the movement to benefit from its lessons so read on with enthusiasm!
A personal uniform can help to:
- Increase your productivity – by saving you time getting ready in the morning;
- Reduce stress – by removing the need to create a new outfit each day; and
- Save money – by reducing the size of your wardrobe and the need to constantly buy new clothes.
The fourth, and perhaps most significant benefit to a personal uniform, is its ability to help build a sense of identity and make you feel empowered at work.
Sigrid McCarthy is Editor of Australian fashion magazine Intent Journal and said her personal uniform helps her feel confident in the workplace.
“I feel strong and capable in my clothes,” McCarthy says. “There’s a freedom in that, I find it empowering.”
“I don’t judge other women for wearing the same thing over and over, in fact I love it.”
“I think it shows that they’re confident in who they are.”
Other well-known followers of the personal uniform trend include Matilda Khan from fashion label Saatchi Saatchi and former Australian Vogue editor Sheila Scott, notorious for her black and white wardrobe.
The key take away here is that we no longer need to spend hours getting ready in the morning. Men have been wearing the same small repertoire of shirts and trousers to work for decades and the time it saves them in the morning can be a serious competitive advantage.
Success in the work place is based on our capacity to perform and our professional skill set. Not on how we look or how many times we wear a certain pencil skirt and blouse.
As Arianna Huffington so eloquently put it, “That doesn’t mean we can’t still take the time to thoughtfully select an outfit for a certain occassion — it just means we no longer feel like we have to.”