I’m not someone who stresses out about dressing in the morning, pulling out every item of clothing and changing into numerous different outfits before settling on the one I started in 30 minutes later. That is not me, generally I just dress and go with little to no fuss.
Problems occur for me when disorganisation sets in and we have not kept up with the washing. Then I really struggle. The stress comes when I literally have nothing to wear, not figuratively, literally have nothing to wear. (When I say nothing, of course I mean nothing appropriate that hasn’t been lying in a pile of gym clothes and socks for the past week.)
I came across this article online a few months ago by Matilda Kahl called Why I wear the exact same thing to work every day. Kahl was fed up with yet another pre-work outfit dilemma and decided to revamp her work outfit into 15 simple blouses, a few pairs of trousers and a blazer for winter. Basically a work uniform, or if you’re male, a suit.
Reading this I had two thoughts:
1. I thought, that’s what I do.. kinda. I have five work appropriate outfits I feel comfortable in. They meet the dress code, they fit well and I generally have underclothes that fit comfortably with them. These five outfits work for me all seasons, in winter with thick tights and boots, in summer with bare legs and sandals.
2. She has 15 blouses? Wow! I have four. Four blouses, three dresses and two skirts.
That is why I have challenged myself to grow my work wardrobe by adding three more failsafe outfits to the mix. Clothes that are comfortable, good quality and make me feel good.
So the pics below are my starting point:
Five days worth of outfits that I wear over and over again. I ummed and ahhed about how to photograph my clothes and I finally thought, well if I wear these outfits pretty much once a week and in the case of these items, have been wearing them all for over a year. Then I should be able to handle posing for a photo in them. So every morning this week, Ben followed me out to the park across the road and took a few pictures of me. It was super awkward and I was completely out of my comfort zone. But I’m glad I did it. For one, these are clothes my family back home probably never see me photographed in. It’s also a random little snapshot in time which is completely mundane now, but could make an interesting keepsake for the future. I loved seeing pictures of my parents when they were younger and looking at all the fashions they wore.
Here we go:
Monday: I got the dress on sale at River Island last summer, I think it cost me £15. Love the pattern and colours. The boots were also on sale at a Kurt Geiger outlet near my work, these were £19 and are so comfy. The cardi was a freebie that I picked out from a pile of clothes that my old flatmate couldn’t fit in her suitcase back to Australia.
Tuesday: The dress is from Dorothy Perkins, I can’t remember the cost now but I imagine it was around £15. The boots are as Monday.
Wednesday: This skirt is an ASOS purchase that I got about 3 years ago. It is so easy to wear and I get a lot of compliments in it. Definitely a keeper. I wear this with blouses in summer and thin jumpers in winter. This blouse is one I got at Spitalfields Market for £10. The black open toe shoes are from the Clarks outlet near my work and cost £20. The necklaces are from my parents, the silver heart from my dad for my 25th birthday and the little green tiki from my mum when I first travelled by myself to Japan. It was gifted to her by my grandparents when she left to travel to England at around the same age.
Thursday: This little black number is something I picked up at H&M for £16. This is my go-to shape for dresses. High neck and A-line skirt. I hope this dress lasts forever. The black courts are from Clarks for £20. The skipping girl necklace I bought for $20 at the Cuba Street Carnival in Wellington. I was at uni at the time and I remember I couldn’t really justify the cost being a poor student. I still love it though, nearly 10 years later and wear it every chance I get.
Friday: The blouse is Warehouse brand and I think I paid around £30 for it, making it my most expensive work item. The skirt is from ASOS for £18 and the black courts again are from Clarks for £20.
These clothes are pretty monochrome, I do have much more colour in my casual wardrobe. Looking at these costs too, I also realise I spend much more on my casual and socialising outfits that I do on my work ones. I obviously have my priorities right.
So now I’m on the look out for three more outfits to add to the mix. Shopping anyone?
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