Strict dress codes aren’t required when you’re self-employed, especially when you work from home. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a fashion rut. When Summer turned into Fall, I got serious about decluttering my clothes. Then I start thinking about what to wear at home while working. Hence, my first new year experiment – dressing for productivity.
Clothes are made to be worn
I never got really got into fashion. Yes, I use to match my sneakers to my outfit growing up but eventually all that stopped. As of late, I’ve been obsessed with the capsule wardrobe trend. Only got as far as researching though until now. As I said when the season changed from Summer to Fall, I took the opportunity to go through my clothes.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing that is composed of interchangeable items only, to maximize the number of outfits that can be created.– Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_wardrobe
I filled up a bag with clothes that don’t fit anymore as well as stuff still with the tags on it. Some I know I had for over 5 years maybe 10. And since I don’t wear “name brand” stuff, I’m not going to waste time trying to sell any for extra cash. The only good thing about cleaning out my closet is that I now have more space for new items.
Can I ask you a question?
When you get dressed, do you notice that you reach for that same item every time? I know I do and its why I started using the trick of placing your hangers facing backward. Once you wear that item you turn the hanger the natural way. So when you need to make a decision about what to get rid of it should be easy to see.
My problem was that I wasn’t getting rid of anything. When it came time for me to switch my closet for the seasons, I would just pack my clothes away. My second issue was that I haven’t purchased anything new in a couple of years.
I’m your least fashionable person.
I know that I’m in need of a serious boost in the fashion department. So please send help, I’m currently drowning in a sea of Pinterest pins. But those aren’t my only problems. I also think my productivity is on the decline because I don’t get dressed in the morning. And at the same time, I don’t want to waste time figuring it out every day. I need to start dressing for productivity. I need a daily uniform.
So what are the benefits of having a “daily uniform”?
A perfect example is Steve Jobs – black top (typically a turtleneck), blue jeans, and sneakers. Having a daily uniform helps eliminate indecisiveness, therefore saving time. The time you get back, you can do something else with it.
Dressing for Productivity
I remember watching an IGTV video (that was what it was called back then) from a woman business owner and she shared one of her favorite CEO Tips. Which was to eliminate basic unnecessary daily decisions that you make like what to eat and wear. Her daily uniform was simple – a white shirt with leggings in the Spring/Summer and black turtlenecks with leggings in the Fall/Winter.
I wish I could do this. New York winters ain’t for the weak (RIP David A Arnold). However, my goal is to get to her level of simplicity. Wait, scratch that. Her daily uniform doesn’t have to be my “I’m outside” wardrobe, it could be for work.
My “dressing for productivity” work-from-home uniform will be:
- Bottoms – a pair of leggings or shorts
- Tops – sweatshirt or t-shirt
- Footwear – funny slippers, slides, or knockoff crocs
As you can see I’m going to comfort but far from pjs.
For my actual wardrobe capsule, I’m still going for comfort but a little more put together. From my research so far, I found two great tips I will use. The first was to identify what I like about what I already wear. During the warmer months, it’s sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt. When I’m out, I carry a sweater just in case I get a little cold.
Then when it’s colder, I swap the t-shirt for a sweater. Again, it’s my goal to be a little more polished while remaining true to myself. Let’s take a look at what I have come up with so far.
My Dream Basic Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe
- Bottoms – a pair of jeans or sweats
- Tops – tank top with sweatshirt or t-shirt with button-down
- Footwear – sneakers or boots
- Outwear – coat, scarf, and hat
I will finish off with one or two accessories, like a necklace or a pair of earrings. With a basic idea of what like, and what I currently own, I moved on to planning out what items I needed to add. This is where I took inspiration from outfit posts seen on Instagram. Yes, I’m the person who will buy the whole outfit off the mannequin. Remember, I’m your less fashionable person, so I let those who are inspired me.
To keep everything organized, I created a Trello Board – no, not a Pinterest board.
In the past, I’ve used Pinterest but you can only pin your inspiration. This is why my Trello board is so major. No more saving to my phone or on Instagram and forgetting about it.
I’m really talking to myself here – I just deleted over 900 (yes I know) pictures and screenshots from my phone. This is why I love using Trello. I can visually see what I have (with the quantity), and what I want and even create outfits. So if I happen to stop into a store, I can pull out my phone to see what I need so I’m not wasting money.
Eliminating other decisions
Now if I can just figure out what to do with my hair, then I will be golden. I went natural over four years ago but haven’t found a steady hair stylist or barber I like. Being natural has taught me that I like having shorter hair but I don’t the task of doing hair. This is another one of those daily decisions I’m working on eliminating.
Let’s keep this conversation going!
It doesn’t matter if you work outside the home or not, chime in. Do you have a daily look or uniform you tend to go for? Do you think it makes you more productive?
Here are some articles I found interesting: