According to the internet, the average adult makes 35,000 conscious decisions every single day. And some of those decisions are more mentally taxing than others, including this biggie: choosing what to wear each morning.
Seriously. Erin’s biggest client is an entertainment company staffed primarily by savvy, fashion-forward twenty-somethings. Heather works at a start-up full of guys in skinny jeans. These environments are tricky in terms of daily wardrobe, particularly for the two of us, who are 40-something moms of three kids each. Neither of us has read Vogue or InStyle in months, and most of our disposable income goes to club volleyball and ballet lessons, not clothes. (Sorry to terrify those of our readers who are younger moms!)
So we decided to take our friend Nina’s advice and adopt her working mom uniform. That’s right: for three whole months, we committed to wearing pretty much the same thing to work every single day.
Here’s how it went.
For starters, a quick search of each of our closets revealed that we each own a half-dozen work-appropriate solid black or solid navy dresses. (This shouldn’t surprise any of you who know us in real life. We’re kind of boring lawyers and we own it.) Then we bought a couple extras so we could completely avoid laundry for about two weeks. We suggest this one (Lands End is almost always running some kind of discount or coupon so you can probably get it on sale…also it haaaaasss pockets AND it’s machine-washable!) and this one as solid options.
And the results? Total game changer.
First, we looked put together and professional every single day with an absolute minimum of effort. Getting dressed became a three-minute process with no real thought involved. Turns out you even look professional with a 3-day-hair-ponytail if you are wearing a black dress. It was a true relief to eliminate the daily task of gazing into the closet and trying to put together something decent looking.
Second, Nina is absolutely correct that a black or navy dress and some pointy-toe heels or flats works in just about any setting; we stopped worrying about looking out of place compared to our coworkers.
And third, NO ONE NOTICED.
Seriously, none of our coworkers noticed we’d suddenly starting wearing more or less the exact same outfit every single day. The only person who said anything was Erin’s seven-year-old daughter, who asked her, “Why are you wearing black stuff all the time? It’s so boring.” (Seven-year-olds – so judgmental.) We were kind of humbled by this (like, seriously, nobody cares? Apparently not…), but it was kind of liberating too. Black dresses every day!
The whole thing has been a resounding success. We’re not quite ready to donate all of our other work clothes or our weekend attire just yet (in particular, Erin has a fondness for ridiculous skirts she can’t quite shake). But Heather did a major closet clean-out last year and reduced her wardrobe by roughly half. And neither one of us has really needed to buy new work clothes in a long time.
We have to say, the longer this goes on, the happier we are with our all-black-and-navy work wardrobes. It’s been a genuine stress reliever not to worry about work clothing. And we’ll take any stress relieving efficiency we can get. Especially if it means we’re saving some money too. Thanks, Nina, and cheers!