16 Mar 2017

Style Notes: Back In Uniform

Style Notes: Back In Uniform on vickiarcher.com

Bring back the uniform.

Well, not exactly, but if we had a uniform how easy would it be to get dressed in the morning?

What a time saver if we knew what to wear with what.  Facing this dilemma and massive time waster put me on the path to “uniform” dressing.

Smaller than a capsule wardrobe, my idea of a uniform is the one outfit I can repeat, that works for me and that I feel well put together in. I never become anxious about whether I have been seen in the same before because I don’t mind. If I like something, I am happy to sing its praises.

Uniforms have always been a practical way to solve dressing. So why not borrow from the concept and create our own unique uniform. “Uniform” dressing isn’t for all occasions, that might frustrate our inner fashionistas a bit too much, but I do favour a consistent look for work most days. The pants may be different lengths, widths and fabrics but they are still trousers. The sweaters, tees and blouses may alternate but they work in the same category. The same goes for shoes and jackets. Jackets might be part of a suit or they might be alternate fabrics; either way all the pieces tell the same story.

Finding a “uniform” is the easiest way to dress for routine and I love the simplicity of it. Knowing an outfit that ticks all the necessary boxes not only makes dressing so much easier but also helps with shopping. When you know what to wear you know what to buy. And that means fewer mistakes.

Style Notes: Back In Uniform on vickiarcher.com

Men have the perfect uniform when they wear a suit or a tuxedo.

Their choices are limited, they in the most part look elegant and they find their flair with a tie. I take so much inspiration from tailored suiting and find a feminine version, my perfect uniform.

Don’t be afraid of a “uniform”. It is not boring and doesn’t ever have to be. It is working for us, not against us. Many of our aspirational icons wear a uniform of sorts and if you look at their photographs you will see a common thread in their style of dressing. Think of French women, Emmanuelle Alt and Caroline de Maigret, they have their “uniform” well under control.

I see uniform dressing as one part of our personal style; a practical element to our signature that is descriptive about who we are. Finding our uniform is a way of analysing our style, breaking it down piece-by-piece and working with what we rely on.

The kind of day-to-day life we experience doesn’t preclude wearing a uniform. Whether a suit and all the trappings are your joy or a caftan and sandals because life is sea and surf, it is the winning look that is important.Think about jeans. Jeans are probably the most common and practical “uniform” of all. How easy the invention of denim has made fashion choices. Jeans, shirt and jacket, one of the most simple uniforms ever.

Style Notes: Back In Uniform on vickiarcher.com

My uniform is a simple formula; suit + under tee or tuxedo blouse button up collar = ready to go

Then all I have to think about are shoes, bag and which lip colour.

Being back in uniform is not all bad. xv

Back In My Uniform

the jacket and pants

theory blazer  ||  theory pants  ||  joseph silver grey blazer  ||  joseph straight leg pants  ||  joseph midnight blazer  ||  joseph pants

the tuxedo blouse and tee

pintuck bib tunic  ||  derek lam tuxedo   ||  helmut lang oxford stripe  ||  eileen fisher jersey  ||  eileen fisher silk shell

images, peter lindbergh for iwc watches shot in portofino, italy


VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post: ,



Taste of France

President Obama said he always wore only gray or blue suits in order to have one less thing to decide on each day. There was a story in Harper’s Bazaar a couple of years ago by an art director who decided to wear only white shirts with black pants, for largely the same reason, to simplify her life.
Having a signature style is always a good idea.

Mimi Gregor

Funny, when I have had a uniform imposed upon me, I bristled. But now, most days I wear the same thing, day in and day out. The difference, I suppose, is that I get to choose it. My “uniform” isn’t something that I planned out. Indeed, I don’t think that it’s a good idea to try to do so. All you have to do is observe yourself. You probably tend to wear your favorite things repeatedly — I know I do. Isolate what makes them your favorite. For me, it currently is the turtleneck — in cranberry red! — worn with either black jeans or my black tulip skirt. I also have a red knit St. John skirt that happens to match one of my red sweaters exactly, even though it is a different manufacturer. I like to wear them together, add a wide black belt, and no one would know that it isn’t a dress. Once warmer weather is here, my “uniform” will change, of course. Last year, it was my black tulip skirt worn with a black and white striped, long-sleeved pullover. People will not remember that you wore this the last time they saw you; all that they remember is that you look well-dressed every time they see you.


It makes me sad that Cate Blanchett has frozen her forehead and given in to the Hollywood fear of aging. or at least looking like you are older. She is such a beauty .. naturally.
I had a friend who wore a “uniform” to work every day. She worked in a law office so she had to wear dresses / skirts .. she wore only black and white. So it was easy to mix and match and she added color with accessories..


Most of the clothing I see in the stores is over-priced, poorly-made and awful. If it looks cheap on the mannequin or model, then how it is going to look on a mere mortal? The embroidery I see on most of the jeans, jackets and blouses? Perfect if I were in a Mariachi band, but, sadly, I am not. As a result, I purchase fewer, better-quality basics and fill in with more reasonably-priced options and add accessories at all price points to keep things current.

I too, prefer ‘uniform’ dressing, and to me that means those great staples that I can put on and always looks pulled-together in. Pieces that still look great after they’ve been cleaned. As long as a woman is impeccably groomed, she can put on anything and look great. Diana Vreeland was never seen as a ‘great beauty’, but boy did she have style! Wore what she liked, when she liked and always looked fabulous. Buy and wear pieces that you love and don’t let retail dictate what you ‘should’ look like this season!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital