life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

do you wear a "uniform"?

not a real uniform, like a police officer or a flight attendant or a mail carrier or the guy who sells you a Happy Meal.

not a quasi-uniform, like a medical professional in scrubs.

but some sort of "uniform" you've created for yourself, that you wear every day.

for years, when I had to wear "business attire" instead of "business casual", I usually wore a skirt suit, but I tried not to wear the same style of suit every day, I'd wear a dress every now and then, and even ventured into pants suits when I didn't have to make a court appearance. I didn't want to look like I was wearing a uniform, I wanted to have a sense of style.

there's a woman who works in my office building, I see her on the train periodically as well. Her "uniform" is an outfit she's put together. she has the same outfit in black, navy, brown, gray and dark green. it consists of a long skirt that ends just above her ankles, a matching jacket, white blouse and an oversized beret that completely covers her hair. black ballet flats most of the time, never a shoe with a heel. one day I saw her wear a slight variation -- instead of the skirt and jacket, she was wearing a short-sleeved black dress over a long-sleeved white blouse (I guess in deference to the summer heat). I suspect there is a religious significance to this outfit, sort of like how the Chasidic men all wear long black coats and wide brimmed hats.

there's another woman I see frequently, when I am in Penn Station catching my train home. hers is obviously a self-made "uniform". one of the plus-sized catalogues sells these great mix and match cotton knit pants and tee shirts, you can buy them in every color under the sun. and apparently she did. thing is, she never "mixes" only "matches", so that one day you may see her in a red tee and red pants, the next day in a lavendar tee and lavendar pants. and so on. and I've never seen her wear anything other than these cotton separates. I own some of the same pieces, they're cozy and comfortable and easy to take care of....but to wear them every day?

these days my choice is usually pants and a shirt or blouse, but again, I try to mix things up so that I don't look like I'm wearing a "uniform". still, I can't help but wonder if a "uniform" wouldn't be easier.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

No uniform, unless you count the fact that its some form of college t shirt every day now.

The first woman you described, as soon as you said her beret covered her hair, I jumped to Orthodox Judiasm. The skirt, well, I've lived out of NY as long as in, so that could be any number of things.

If you opened my closet to look at work clothes, you'd find about 20 blouses. Similar cut, three different sleeve lengths, in a rainbow of colors. When I find something I like and looks good on me, the habit is to buy it in multiple colors.

At least the pants varied...

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