A couple of weeks ago I read an article titled "The Science of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear the Same Thing Every Day." I thought it was a fascinating idea, that men like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and many presidents wear (or wore) the exact same thing every day to pare down on mental clutter and decision-making. Then a few nights ago I read another article about a woman who started wearing the same thing to work as an art director, and she has had some of the most interesting responses from co-workers. One of her bosses almost gave her a raise because he was afraid she didn't have the money to buy more clothes! <<I'm not linking to the article because it's got some ads on the website I don't necessarily want to endorse, but if you want to look it up, just google Matilda Kahl. It's gone totally viral.>>
I thought the idea was pretty groundbreaking. I mean, how many times have I been in a hurry to leave the house and been stressed because I couldn't decide what to wear, which in turn made me late and even more stressed? And how many parents and teachers sing the praises of school uniforms for children? It seemed like something I should start implementing in my life.
And then it hit me...
I already do this!!!
I pick one outfit per tour and I wear it every night, without fail. I haven't always done this, mind you. At the beginning of my career, I thought I needed to wear different clothes every night, but good gracious, do you know how difficult it is to pick out ONE ensemble that meets all the requirements I have for stage clothes? They have to be comfortable, modest, not too boring, but not too flashy, and then there is this intangible factor--a feeling I have to get while wearing the clothes. Like I am comfortable in my own skin and not wearing a "costume." If I feel strange in the clothes, it affects my performance and my ability to really focus on what I'm there to do instead of on how I feel or look in my clothes. So, one outfit per tour is all I can muster. Maybe if I can find another top that works as an alternate, I will bring it out, but I won't change anything else about the look, and it's been life-changing!
It goes beyond the stage, though. It used to be that during the day before it was time for stage clothes, I would wear something different every day backstage. But even that has become too much when I'm traveling and working and being creative every day, not to mention taking care of my kiddos. So by default, or out of pure desperation, I have developed somewhat of a "day uniform" as well. It consists of: black legging jeans, black moto boots (similar here), an Everlane t-shirt or Madewell top (similar here), and a long black cardigan. The only jewelry I wear these days are rings. Besides my wedding rings, these two (both gifts from the world's best husband) are in constant rotation. They are so delicate and wearable and timeless. I can't get enough!
Here's a picture of me today in the Madewell tee.
It's really freed me up to be more productive and creative and also to enjoy my surroundings and the people I'm traveling with, instead of always being concerned with what I'm wearing. And I don't think anyone's even noticed!
I know my job is a bit unique, but I think the same rules apply in whatever job you find yourself in--a lot of my mom friends who stay at home have come to wear the same thing each day too, for the same reasons. I'd love to know if any of you have a daily uniform and how it's affected your life. If not, would you ever consider wearing the same thing every day? Do you find that picking out your clothes is a lot of work? Has anyone but me read this funny little book?
P.S. My soundtrack for this post was Dave Barnes' "Hymns For Her."