Friday, February 11, 2011


When I was in university I had a professor who was a legend - you know, one of those teachers who spawn stories that get handed down from one year's class to the next. This fellow was famous for having reduced the problem of dressing every day to a simple art: five white shirts and five different coloured ties, one for each day of the week. He probably had a few pairs of pants, too, but they must have been identical because we couldn't tell.

Well, I'm feeling really sorry for all those times I sat in a lecture hall and shared a "Red tie, it must be Tuesday" joke with my classmates. Not just because it was kind of mean. But because my own students, the kids I tutor, could be telling the same joke about me.

I used to make decisions every day about what I would wear. But somehow, at some moment after we left the city, the words "simplify my life" got applied to my wardrobe. I now have a uniform. A Mucky Boots uniform.

Blue jeans. T-shirt. Half-zip fleece. Puffy vest. Warm socks. That's it.

By my count I have four fleeces, identical except for the colour (grey, purple, navy and teal), and three puffy vests (navy, purple and fancy purple check). Not counting any variations in t-shirts, since they're invisible under all my layers, that makes twelve different combinations of fleece and puffy vest. Do my students say to themselves "Today is Thursday, it must be purple fleece and navy vest day"? Has my fashion sense been reduced to little more than a joke?

Here's the thing: I don't really care. There's a reason I have settled on this as my uniform for the cooler months - it's comfortable, functional, and it gives me layering options for different temperatures. Plus I like grey and blue and purple. I don't spend any time ironing, or fretting about what to wear. I can go to the hardware store, out for lunch, or to a tutoring session without feeling over- or under-dressed.

So I'd like to apologize to that professor from so long ago. He was on to something that in my silly, self-absorbed youth I missed. And I'd like to pass on these words to my own students: laugh at me now, if you like. I can take it. I'll just smile and wait for the day when you, too, will come to appreciate the beautiful simplicity of a self-chosen uniform.


Rae said...

Don't feel bad. I do the same thing! I have a certain kind of jeans I like. Every pair looks the same, so it appears I wear the same pair every day. I have polos (same shirts, different colors) and sweaters (same sweaters, different colors). So. I wear the same clothes every day, just changing the color scheme, because it's easy and I don't really care too much. Guilty!

Paula said...

I wear overalls, every day. I was asked at work in an employee profile interview why I wore overalls, I said, "what can I say? I do better in a uniform".

Now that I'm not working, when I'm not outside (In my overalls), I'm wearing what passes for pajamas all day, which is yoga pants, camisole, t-shirt, hoodie. On days when it's colder, a flannel shirt goes under the hoodie.

So I totally understand and embrace the uniform. I think maybe I should look into the puffy vest thing, though.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I'm smiling as I read your post. Gone are the years of wearing high heels often, I wear scrubs at my job, and sadly on my days off too !
I tend to dress for comfort these days, couldn't care less about fashion.
I think it has something to do with growing older, or just more comfortab;e with your own decisions and not those of others.
I like your attire :)

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Fantastic! I totally agree with you, Miriam.

Back in my country, I used to work at fancy offices and you know the picture: high heels, lovely skirts and blouses, or slacks, and so on.

After I moved here, I changed to JEANS! Day and night. Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring. And T shirts also (I refuse to wear the "harness" bra!). I make it look a little different each day, by different colours of T shirts. That's all. Period. Life is good!!

Have a great week-end girls!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Personally, I love this outfit!

I need a puffy vest, though!

Anonymous said...

I tutor in decent jeans and a black sweater, three-quarters of the year. In summer it switches to dark t-shirts. The kids have no idea how many dark tops I own.

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