Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Uniform

Though it has been a very long time since I was in a school that dictated my attire, I seem to wear a uniform most days. Not a real uniform of course, those things are terrible. For three long, torturous years, I was forced to wear itchy pleated plaid every day. Button down shirts. Knee socks. Catholic school. It's a good thing I got myself kicked out of there.

It's funny though, because as much as I hated them as a kid, I can see the appeal in uniforms now. As a parent, especially as the parent of little girls, I can see the benefit in knowing exactly what they need to wear to school every day. It might take some getting used to, but I can see the mornings going a lot smoother than they do now. There are a few schools, even public ones, in the district that wear uniforms. Ours doesn't. And, really, I am fine with it. The girls already have learned to express themselves through fashion, and taking that away would take some of the fun out of the day. It sure would make back to school shopping cheaper.

The uniform to which I refer here today, isn't really a uniform at all. At least not in the literal sense. I'm talking instead about the things I wear all the time. The clothes that I come back to when I've tried, and failed, to branch out a bit. My uniform.

I read an article in a magazine a while back about the subject. How most women, by their 30's have a uniform. A committed sense of style. I'm not edgy or traditional or contemporary. I'm not trendy or cutesy or any of that. The only word that comes to mind when I think about my wardrobe is comfort. I'm not sure that is a good thing.

Sure, it's great to be comfortable. It makes everything else that you have to deal with on any given day easier if you aren't fighting with your clothes constantly. But is it a style? That, I am not so sure of.

When I was working at the mall a few years back, I had to dress for work. Not dress up, by any means, but I had to break out of my uniform. I couldn't wear capri jeans, hoodies and flip flops. I couldn't wear my uniform. It was nice to dress up a little. Because when I don't have to do that, I tend not to. Half the time I put a skirt on, the kids ask me why I am dressed up.

For Christmas, I got a gift card for clothes. I walked out of the store with 4 new tops. One was cute, totally predictably me. Two were almost identical to each other, the same color even. I asked myself if I really needed two of what was essentially the same shirt. Of course I did, I rationalized. And then there was the fourth top. It's not like anything I have in my closet. It's dressier, first off. It's not something most moms would wear to the park. It's comfortable though, which I liked. But it's totally not my style. It's edgy. Am I edgy? I'm not sure. I haven't worn it yet. I don't know when I will, to be honest. But I hope I do.

We all have a uniform. What is yours? And what are you going to try to do to push the envelope a little? I have a shirt hanging in my closet. And someday, I'm going to wear it. Someday.

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