why it helps to have a uniform

by Susan

Oh you all, this week is killing me. I have a huge project launching on Saturday, I’m crazy busy at work, I’m trying to get ready for Sunday’s half marathon — and of course, on top of that, everyone in my house has a million doctors appointments this week, all scheduled months ago and all falling during the school/work day. Plus? I seem to have a head cold. Just to make things more fun.

In other words, it’s a completely normal working mom kind of week.

This is the kind of week where I do not have one extra second or ounce of energy to waste on choosing an outfit. Which makes it a perfect week to have a uniform.

My uniform is a striped top, most typically navy and white, and solid bottom, ideally in some bright color. Add a belt around the middle, a pair of comfy flats and a necklace that won’t make me crazy and I’m out the door. I’ve worn some version of this outfit every day this week. And last week. And possibly the week before.

(Seriously, it’s cuh-RAY-zee here right now. Also? 90 degrees today. Send help.)

Everyone has a uniform, whether you realize it or not. For lots of busy stay-at-home/work-at-home moms, the uniform is yoga pants and a t-shirt, or (shudder) pajamas and flip flops. Your uniform is whatever outfit you throw on when you don’t have time to plan or curate an outfit. Which, for most of us, is most of the time.

Here’s the secret to the uniform: It doesn’t have to be some combination of workout clothes or things you found laying on the floor in the closet as you were racing to get everyone to school. It’s easy to pull together chic, stylish outfits that require no thought at all — think a simple tee (one that fits properly and does not have the logos of any local sports teams or businesses on it) and a comfy bottom (ideally not designed for a yoga studio or gym). That’s all it takes, and you can wear it every day and look totally pulled together.

I don’t get dressed, for real, until after I take my kids to school — now that we do the drive-through carpool line, I wear my running clothes to drop them off, and then I go running and shower and get dressed in clothes that I do not want to sweat in. But my deal with myself is this: I don’t leave the house for the day until I have put on some actual clothing, even if that’s just shorts and a tee. No hanging out all day in my running clothes, both because that’s gross and because it’s so easy to put something else on — and look nice.

What’s your Mom Uniform? Do you make a point of getting dressed every day, or do you feel like you need a reason to take off the yoga pants?