More Uniformity

Maybe calling it a uniform is somewhat deceptive?  Although keep in mind I spent 12 years in Catholic school. Uniforms don’t scare me.

I have no desire to spend every day in khaki pants and a navy blue polo shirt, day in and day out, but my current system consists of 1. buying random t shirts on sale at Target in ugly colors and 2. buying aspirational clothing that I don’t actually reach for when it comes time to get dressed.  Things don’t go with each other.  Things don’t fit.  Things are pilly or uncomfortable.  Those things need to go.

This uniform is really meant to be a list of things I should have on hand at all times, and to help me eliminate buying extra stuff that doesn’t look good or that I don’t need. If I have all five t shirts on hand, then I don’t need to buy ANY random ugly colored t shirts at Target.  I am ALWAYS happy when I see that I have a clean navy t shirt or a clean white t in the drawer. So why not just have those?

This is not meant to be a collection of expensive pieces I can have forever. I spent my days being pawed by little children, working in my garden, and running around town. My clothes get ruined on a daily basis, and I don’t currently have a tremendous amount of disposable income.  I go through t shirt after t shirt after t shirt, they need to cost $6.  That’s just how it is, right now.

Also, like I said before, this list doesn’t include fancy dress up clothes, as that’s not my issue on a day to day basis.

5 of each thing doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you add in bottoms, I think you can see that this is actually SO MANY clothes, and hopefully with tons of mix and match potential, especially when you count the nine thousand pairs of shoes that I own and lots of fun skirts.

I also feel like this will help keep me on track and help me shop smarter.  I can be on the lookout for one great (but cheap) button down shirt that fits perfectly, and then if it gets stained/worn out/too big/too small, I’ll throw it out and go get another one from the same place.  I know I like the t shirts from Old Navy, I know I should have about five around in navy/white/one other color, I can get another one if one gets worn out, and the rest of the time, I won’t buy t-shirts.

Sound like a plan?

Anyway, here is the uniform so far, with the understanding that I am sure some of this won’t work.  But this is what I have OR what I have recently ordered online OR what I am keeping a lookout for.

Five T Shirts, 2 white, 2 navy, 1 in one other color.  These are the perfect tee from Old Navy, in v neck and crew neck.  They have the best cheap t shirts, imho.

Five Long Sleeved T Shirts. It’s about to be summer, so I am not buying these right now, but in general, imagine that top picture with long sleeves.

Five Tank Tops.  This is also uninteresting, and generally only worn under other things.  Picture some ribbed tank tops and some spaghetti strapped tank tops.

Five Sweaters. We’re going to get to this when fall rolls around.  I have way more than five sweaters right now so I will need to weed this out, not buy more.

Five “Other” Shirts.  So. you can see, there is room in this plan for “fancy tshirts”, just not an endless supply of them that I never wear.

This is the lace inset t shirt from American Eagle, the kimono t shirt from American Eagle, a fancy blouseish thing from Banana Republic that is not this one but is similar that I already own, a button down t shirt from the men’s section of American Eagle, and a polo shirt from American Eagle.

Five Long Bottoms. Again, these are not $200 jeans. I am sure $200 jeans are lovely, but I am not in a $200 jeans phase of my life.  I a in a “where did that stain come from?” phase of my life. Hence, Old Navy $29.99 jeans.

These are the Old Navy Sweetheart Jeans, the Old Navy Dreamer Jeans, and some Old Navy trouser jeans that I need to have taken in at the waist and that aren’t on their web site anymore.  Plus a pair of Old Navy leggings in black, and the Merona women’s utility pant from Target. I am sure it’s the lamest thing in the world but as someone who is proportioned so that my pants are always falling down, I love that drawstring waist.

Five Shortish Bottoms.  I am all about the Bermuda short.  I have been blessed with chunky thighs and the bermuda short is my best friend.  However, I have a hard time finding bermuda shorts that don’t make me look like a girl scout leader unless I buy them at American Eagle, so I don’t even try on the shorts most other places these days.  And then there’s the orange shorts (from J. Crew, the only place I could find them, so rather overpriced, but what can you do). I don’t know, ok. I have an inexplicable need to wear a navy polo shirt, some orange shorts, and some silver shoes. I blame the internet.

I am sure cropped jeans are the high of dorkiness, but I don’t care. I have a pair and I love them and wear them all the time, and when I see them on someone else, I always think they look cute.

I only put the work out shorts on here to make the numbers come out right, but I do own two pairs of long Under Armour compression shorts and I love them.  I wear them on every run.

I have altered these numbers slightly from my original plan because honestly that’s not a lot of shorts.  But I don’t really love shorts and I was hesitant to buy more.  What I do love though, are skirts, so now the plan has five skirts in it.  (And I kind of want more).  I could wear an elastic waisted poofy skirt with a t shirt over it every day of my life.

The first one is a chevron striped knit skirt from Old Navy.  It’s not extremely flattering, but eh. I should probably return it, but it was about $12 and it will probably get all pilly in about two minutes anyway.  The second skirt is Ann Taylor Loft, via Ebay.  Third is Gap, via Ebay. Fourth is the American Eagle printed tribal skirt.  Final one is a white one I found at the thrift store, originally from the Gap.

I’d honestly like one more navy printed skirt and a green floral skirt.  And maybe a really hippie tribal one.  And a fun wrap skirt.  And maybe a nice a line denim one. Skirts are my downfall.

Five Dresses.  To make the numbers come out right, I’d need to have five dresses, but I honestly don’t know that I’d ever have that much use for five dresses.  I think the three I have are probably pushing it and may get returned if they’re unflattering, and then I’ll give  up on dresses and buy five more skirts.

This is the American Eagle embroidered dress, the Lands End Polo Dress, and the American Eagle ruffle dress. I am dubious, but I figured I might as well give them a shot. (I ordered this stuff online and am waiting for it to come, when I will probably return it all, but at least I’ll know what I am looking for if none of this stuff works out.)

Things I Still Need:

I really want an orange scarf,and they have a nice one at Target, although sometimes theirs are kind of skimpy so I need to go try it on.  I also really want a chunky yellow necklace, but I am thinking I might just try to spray paint one I already have. I’ll let you know how that goes.  I am waiting to buy that rope belt from Lands End until I find out if I like the dress I’d wear it with (the polo one), and for it to go on sale. In no universe am I paying over $40 for a belt.  I recently had to throw out a bunch of scarves because they got all pilly so if my children ever stop getting sick and I can find my GPS I might venture to Joanne’s to see if I can find some fabric to make into scarves.  It’s a rectangle of fabric – how hard can that be to make?

I also love that chain necklace, but I am waiting until I am wearing an outfit that I think I could wear it with before I let myself buy it. This is why I need a green floral skirt. Can’t you see a green poufy floral skirt, some gold shoes, a navy blue v neck t shirt, and that chain  necklace? I totally can.

Questions? Holler.



7 Responses

  1. If you want to make scarves, you can buy plain white silk ones online (I get them from Dharma Trading Company) and dye them. They are really cheap and nice. You can buy fancy dyes or silk will accept Koolaid or food coloring as dye. We have a bunch I made for play silks.

  2. I love this. I have been trying to formulate a version of this for YEARS. A few summers ago, I only allowed myself to buy dresses. They were easy to throw on for work, kept me looking less schlumpy on the weekends, and prevented me from buying crap I didn’t need that wouldn’t match anything else, etc. The summer Only Dresses strategy has been in effect for three years and I’m rolling with it for 2012.

    LOVE everything you have picked out. So so so cute.

  3. I can’t wait to see what you think of that dress on the left, in person, it’s so cute online!

  4. You know what I’m going to ask: how did you make the pictures in a row post-Picnik?!

    Also, my plan post-baby-weight is to Wear Only Dresses (Summer) or Dresses And Tights (Winter). We’ll see how that goes. Also I totally bought those Merona utility pants. ALL HAIL THE DRAWSTRING.

  5. Holy crap, E. You just solved a MAJOR wardrobe problem I have had for going on three years. I bought a cream and aqua skirt from Anthro and have had SO MUCH TROUBLE trying to find something to go with it. Until now! I HAVE A NAVY V-NECK TEE THAT WOULD BE PERFECT. How did this not occur to me before? THANK YOU.

  6. I love everything about this uniform business. Seriously. Also a huge fan of the navy, white and orange combination.

    If I ever get organized (and disciplined) enough, I’m totally stealing this idea.

  7. […] personal Whole30 challenge, I’m still excited about going to the tropics. Taking a card from Elizabeth, I decided I don’t need a lot, but I do need some new stuff for summer. Last summer I lived […]

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