There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “A man in uniform is simply irresistible.”
This sentiment, of course, originated from the military back in the day. A man in uniform was both highly respected and considered quite handsome. As a matter of fact, I remember seeing photos of my Dad taken when he was a Navy pilot in WWII. He was not handsome in the traditional sense, but in those Navy whites, he was a striking figure of a man.
Watching a Chicago Bears game recently, I was mystified as to why the Bears were wearing bright orange shirts. I thought the team looked more like an overgrown pumpkin patch than a force to be reckoned with. The usual dark navy, on the other hand, looks much more powerful, fierce and intimidating from this stylist’s perspective.
And when I worked as a counselor in a private high school where uniforms were required, I noticed a distinct difference in student behavior and attitude on “out of uniform” days. It was a subtle difference, that’s true, but it was why, even on testing days like the PSAT for the juniors, uniforms were still required. The kids hated it, of course, but studies have shown that when students are dressed for business, they perform better on tests.
You can look it up!
Crazy me, when I suggested that the faculty also be required to wear uniforms, you would have thought I had said something outrageous . . . even sacrilegious. An outcry of “no way” could be heard ‘round the world.
So why do we have this notion that a uniform strips us of our individuality and creativity? I’m a stylist, not a shrink, but I think there is a feeling out there that a basic uniform means everyone wears exactly the same thing, and that the thing they wear is uncomfortable and restrictive. Forget the fact that it makes life much simpler and easier and the fact that our appearance should accurately reflect who we are, what we do and how we do it.
I contend that a uniform does not have to be cookie-cutter same or uncomfortable/restrictive.
When I get dressed, I do not want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary thinking about what to wear or when to wear it. I have a business uniform and I have an arsenal of accessories that allow me to be creative. Belts, jewelry, scarves and shoes are called upon to individualize my look, but the basics are always the same. Even for my stay-at-home workdays, I have a casual uniform. If I need to run out to meet someone at the last minute, I can throw on some earrings, a scarf and a jacket or sweater and I’m out the door. Slam bam, thank you, Ma’am.
And because I make sure all my clothes fit well and are tailored for comfort (they love me), the issue of “restrictive” becomes a non-issue. Throw in the dollars I save on clothes shopping? No doubt about it, for me and for many of my clients, it’s a win-win from every imaginable perspective.
Maybe if you try it, you’ll like it!
As for the Chicago Bears? I know this for sure. The offensive line should always be dressed in dark navy.