The highs and lows of wearing a work uniform


This is a good thing.

Firstly, I’ll be able to save so much time in the morning wondering which tops are clean (hint: the number is none).

Secondly, I’ll be able to spend more on play time weekender clothes and less on trying and failing miserably to be office practical.

And thirdly, I think this will be good for my mind. I mean, some of the world’s coolest icons have a uniform, right? Karl in his monochrome, Patti Smith in her androgyny, every Wes Anderson character ever. A quiet look when worn consistently can often speak the loudest. So maybe wearing a uniform each day will stop me from endlessly trawling YOOX and turn me into a focused executive realness wonder woman.

Maybe everyone else will see how cool, calm and collected I am and want to wear one too. Every time you see people in the future they’re  wearing a uniform. So if all works out I could actually be the sole human being responsible for that movement. Maybe what lies in this cardboard box will be my legacy and mark the end of the obnoxious term ‘street style heroes’ as we know it…

Yep, I’m ready. Let’s do this! I mean, how bad can it be?

It’s strange to think that the clothes I’m going to be wearing more than any of my other current cloth babies are flat packed in just one cardboard box. Kind of sad actually.

It’s a polyester covered in plastic nightmare actually.

First we have a top. A… nondescript basic bitch t-shirt top to be precise (how’s that for sewing a design with words – look out Kathy Horne). What is this colour though? Not-quite-black, not-quite-blue. Not quite nice. Oh and a pencil skirt in the same confusing shade. Oh well, a pencil skirt never hurt anyone right? Hmm it doesn’t quite zip up right. Wow it’s huge. Wait, no it’s not, it fits when I pull it down low on my hips. Oh sweet baby cheeses is this a hipster skirt? I feel like Shakira. Just give me a shell chain belt and let’s call it a day in 2001 shall we?

Oh thank god I just found a natural fibre knitted V-neck jumper in this box of conformity.  And a vest too! My only opportunities to experiment with layering, albeit a very short experiment. Hypothesis: I can alter my uniform with layers. Conclusion: I can alter my uniform twice with layers.

The worst of it all though greets me at the bottom of the box like sad Abbi in the bottom of that ditch in the dog wedding episode of Broad City. White button up shirts with, wait for it, wait for it…. three quarter length sleeves. Boom!

Not since the days of working in my local department store at high school have I worn such an in-between, can’t-make-up-its-mind, sort-your-self-out sleeve. At the time, I felt like I pulled it off with my Zac Hanson awkward bob slicked behind my ears with a black alice band. Black chunky Mary Janes completing the 90s look that we’ve all forgotten about.

I mean sure, the three quarter length sleeve has some merit. If the success of those Celine furry slides have taught us anything, it’s that you can never rule anything out completely. And I’m sure the three quarter length is destined to triumphantly re-surge in an up coming Celine collection, cut perfectly just below the elbow and with an architectural cuff. And then all the girls will be wearing all the cuffs and their street style shots will be accompanied with headings and hashtags like ‘the cuffing edge’ and ‘can’t even cuff.’

But until then, and even then, I’m stuck with a sad three quarter length sleeve with no Alicia Cuffbert puns to be had. And I’m going to be stuck in a room filled with them, indefinitely or until I tell my work to go get cuffed. This is not a Wes Anderson film. This is death by synthetics.

In order to get through this not-quite-black, not-quite-blue phase, let’s talk about it.

Did you ever wear a uniform to work?

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