Thursday, July 31, 2014

Uniformity Blows

I have never worn a uniform before*.

The kids across the street went to private school but I never envied them their uniforms even though school uniforms are supposed to not only be a pop culture fetish but also a fashion look that comes back every once in a while.

In any retail job I've ever had, the only clothing rules I followed had more to do with how messy you would get at the job - when I was a coffee barista, I had to worry about oil stains from the coffee beans - or how cold you would get in typical office air conditioning. Otherwise, what I wore was my own choice. Even my non-retail, corporate jobs have been office casual and I pretty much wore what I wanted.

The clothes I'm wearing for this job I would normally only wear at home. The shirt is one I actually stopped wearing in public years ago when I realized the knit is so off grain that the button placket eventually pulls diagonally across the body and needs constant adjustment. However, it happens to be navy blue, so it's the right color, and the only piece of clothing in this color that I own. I've been trying to make myself buy some fabric to make a better substitute but all the navy fabric I've seen in Joann's and Hancock's were dull and uninteresting. Also, the thought of making something that I don't really want to be wearing in the first place is sewing my own hospital gown...why do that?

Note: I just went out and bought two navy t-shirts from Old Navy on sale, $8 for both! You can't beat that.

I now see how important clothes have been and are in my life. No one can see ME now. I have become my uniform, my graying hair (can't decide if I grow it out or not), and my sensible shoes (worn b/c standing on my feet all day).

Anyone else out there wearing a uniform, or am I the only one, in this sewing community, that is?

Has it done anything to your self-esteem?

*Except for a few months in the Brownies/Girl Scouts.


Anonymous said...

I love uniforms in theory, but haven't liked any of the uniforms I've actually had to wear--the colors haven't pleased or flattered me, the fit usually leaves something to be desired and it's invariably an icky fabric. However, when I worked in a business casual setting, I wore a small capsule wardrobe & loved that I didn't have to think about what to wear unless I wanted to. Thinking about clothes can be fun, but most days I just want to look good without a lot of effort. It's been a few years, but I still feel a little frisson of pride over that self-designed "uniform" capsule.

Trumbelina said...

I did have to wear a uniform back when I worked retail. It was lame, but I liked it in the end for two reasons: 1. my real clothes didn't get messed up, and 2. I found that it helped me to "play the part". I'm a pretty shy person sometimes, and the uniform helped me to play a different person at work that was quite a bit more gregarious.