Uniform Dressing

I should stop scoffing at the fashion media for suggesting the “uniform dressing” concept.  At the same time they urge people to buy the trendiest clothing!

These ladies of the US Navy Women’s Auxiliary in 1918 had no choice in the matter, but I’m sure their sartorial choices every morning were very easy.  As it is for the female personnel of today’s US Navy!

TheDelineator Nov 1918Naval Uniform


The late Steve Jobs wore a black turtle neck daily. He wanted to avoid mulling over sartorial choices every morning because the guy had more important stuff to think about on any given day.

Steve Jobs jobs-jpg

Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her pantsuits — I wonder if she’ll keep this uniform if she’s elected president? (I am not endorsing any candidate here. My blog is non-partisan).


Me, I love thinking about clothing and what I’ll wear that day. At what point does a style of clothing become a “uniform”?

My uniform


I’m discovering that I reach out for similar clothing each morning because that’s what suits my lifestyle; pants (preferably knit) and a tunic length top every single day. Which makes me a follower of the “uniform dressing” code. I like to sew a lot of varied clothing styles, but I want to make it count. How many years do you think I’ll be able to sew? Hopefully, a lot more, but who knows.  These are my “uniform” thoughts for 2016. Who knows, I might change my thoughts in 2017.

Here are three basic things that definitely fit my 2016 uniform wardrobe. Note that all three are designed for knit fabrics:


V1411 HemIMG_2178

Back to the aforementioned knit pants: I just finished the fourth pair using this pattern. You can read about my excitement about the first pair in this previous post. The pair on the right, in navy blue ponte knit (fabric purchased from Sew Much Fabric ),  is the most recent one, and I already have the materials ready for the fifth pair, this time a stretch woven fabric. I’m constantly reaching for these knit pants. They fit me, fit my lifestyle and I feel good in them. I am also going to try my hand at jeans in 2016. I’m prepared for sewing jeans; watched two Craftsy classes, read articles and books, have the notions and stretch (!) denim ready.



M7286 V9087

I prefer tops which cover my middle portion, and most of the derriere, so that is what I reach for in the closet. The tunic length is actually my preferred length. Above the hemline, I go for a whole lot of variety in neck & sleeve detail. And, just love the new sleeveless Vogue Pattern tunic and the McCalls T-shirt version.  Not to speak of my thing for stripes…..


1801 1804

Maxi dresses are  a possible summer uniform in 2016. Well, I say that every year, and these have been on my sewing list for a few years now, but I have not made a single one. Not sure why.  By now you’ve guessed that I want to keep my legs mostly covered. In the early 2000s I made many sleeveless, calf-skimming straight dresses (no darts) and wore them a lot. But they went out of fashion or died with too much wear. The modern maxi is floor length and mostly fitted at the top.

Beyond the above three, there are many other clothing choices which I incorporate into the basic three. I have much loved short jackets which I wear over the longer tunics, and I love the look! Short jackets also look great with (future) maxi dresses. Long cardigans are increasingly inhabiting my closet this winter!

Readers, tell me about your daily clothing choice. What do you think is your “uniform”?

Bonus Image: Photo bombed by a wind gust!


May the sewing force be with you…


15 thoughts on “Uniform Dressing

  1. Pretty much my uniform is a fleece onesie. But when I leave the house, and for years now, it seems to be jeans/pants and a t-shirt/shirt. The last dressy occasion I attended I wore silk dupioni pants and a sequin t-shirt and felt just fine. Saw photo of Martha Stewart in sequin pants and a silk t-shirt and that looked great also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A fleece onsie. Now, Judy, I’ll have to have a talk with you. Just kidding! If it keeps you comfy and happy, that’s all that matters. Whenever I see you, you’re exquisitely dressed.


    1. Thanks for the compliment, Linda 🙂
      Agree with you about the long tops. I have plenty to hide 😦 unfortunately. Still, there’s an elegance to long tunics….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I worked in the nonprofit arts world for many years, and was always trying to come up with a wardrobe that didn’t scream POOR in fund raising and donor meetings, that didn’t cost more than my wages in dry cleaning. Essentially, a uniform. I finally sewed myself the equivalent, (jacket, pants, skirt) and wore them to pieces. Key elements: dress shields and good fabrics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really, really like wearing the clothes I have to their end. Thank you for the dress shield reminder. Of course, good fabric will always look good during the life of the garment.


  3. I have a uniform per se. The company I work for there are literally 2 people (myself and the owner) so dressing up is not an issue. I tend to wear the same outfit for the week. Jeans, tunic top and some type of sweater and my basic black hijab (scarf, head covering) life is def easier like this. But there are some days I want to look fancy! 😂😂😂 they are rare but it happens! Great blog! 👍🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. glad you enjoy the blog, Siri! Speaking of hijabs, Dolce & Gabbana have come up with a line of hijabs for their Muslim clientele!! I’m sure you can make better ones…..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lately my uniform has been dress pants, a nice tee tucked in, and a sweater or jacket over the top for work or church. (Layered over Cuddl Duds because it’s darned COLD here…) Jeans and a sweater at home and on weekends. Sometimes the sweater is a cardi with a blouse or shirt under it. The pants have been boring: black or navy. I feel the need to branch out into at least one more color. When the weather warms I’ll think about adding skirts back in. Dressing up means putting on some jewelry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue! It sounds like the quintessential corporate “uniform”. I have no need for that but sometimes I wear my tailored jacket. The key is to keep it casual enough without looking somewhat of an “overkill” for my casual life.


  5. I wear pants and short sleeve knit tops in the cooler months; when it gets hot it’s always sleeveless tops and shorts or knee length skirts. I don’t wear maxi dresses in the summer, either. Do they need slips underneath? I did have one or two maxis in the 70’s that I wore, and my mother had many that she wore in the 70’s also. Did you ever wear them? Would you use woven or knit fabric? I’d like to see you sew one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I had made just one full length red maxi skirt with a printed wrap top in 1973-74 and wore it a lot. Wish I had a picture of that outfit. I had forgotten about that until I read your post. But never wore a full length maxi dress.


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