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Personal Uniform Challenge: The Joy Of Simplifying My Wardrobe

How I audited my closet and discovered my personal uniform.
February 16, 2023
By Victoria Vitale

What Is The Personal Uniform Challenge?

The Personal Uniform Challenge involves simplifying your wardrobe by creating a go-to outfit that you repeatedly wear with minor variations. The idea is to minimize decision fatigue and save time while still feeling confident and stylish.

  • Step 1: Audit your closet.
  • Step 2: Plan your personal uniform.
  • Step 3: Wear these outfits working, lounging, or going out over 2 weeks.
  • Step 4: Judge each outfit's comfort, performance, care, and versatility.
  • Step 5: Refine the items you chose. It's a journey!

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Having a personal uniform means wearing clothes that make you feel good and self-assured daily. It's about choosing pieces you love wearing because they're comfortable and practical for your day-to-day lifestyle.

Lately, I've been working on developing my own personal uniform. I took on the Personal Uniform Challenge wanting an excuse to really think things through. To start my challenge, I decided to go through my closet and do a bit of a review.

Here's how I audited my closet:

  • Choosing a color palette: I chose versatile neutral colors that looked good on me and went with everything. This helped me narrow down my choices and ensure that all the pieces I selected worked well together. It helped that I already completed the Color Palette Challenge.
  • Gathering all my clothes: I took all the clothes from my closet and placed them on my bed to see everything at once.
  • Sorting into piles: I sorted into three piles; keep, donate/sell, and unsure. I was honest with myself and didn't keep anything that I hadn't worn in a while, or that didn't fit well. I only kept the pieces that made me feel confident and comfortable.
  • Identifying my go-to pieces: I identified potential uniform pieces by looking at the items I decided to keep and identifying which ones fit with my color palette and personal style. These items became the foundation of my personal uniform.
  • Identifying the gaps: I added new pieces to fill any gaps in my wardrobe that fit with my personal uniform. These could be items that I already owned or purchased items.
  • Storing or donating: I stored my keep pile in my closet in a way that was easy to access. This pile was the precursor to refining my personal uniform. The rest I packed away if it was not in season or donated/sold unwanted items; a couple of things I set aside for upcycling.

By auditing my closet, I found out what I'm drawn to and what types of clothing I have the most of. To start shaping my personal uniform, I set aside around 15 items, not including socks and underwear, which I'd later create outfits with.

  • 1 All-Season Sweater
  • 1 Summer Sweater
  • 1 heavy layer (sweater or jacket)
  • 1 pair of dark-wash jeans
  • 1 pair of light-wash jeans
  • 1 pair of trousers pants
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 dress
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 3-5 accessories

From the clothes I selected, I put together everyday outfits in 5 distinct categories. To elevate my personal uniform (and give me a few extra outfits), I included a few accessories, mainly headbands, hats, and necklaces. I think these are the perfect things to keep around in a simple wardrobe because they can make any outfit look more dressed up.

My 5 personal uniform outfits:

  • Colder everyday staple: All-Season Sweater paired with light-wash jeans, a heavier sweater vest layer, black platform sandals, and accessories. 
  • Warmer everyday staple: Summer Sweater paired with leggings (optional), a dress, black platform sandals, and accessories. 
  • Monochromatic professional: All-Season Sweater paired with tan pants, nude platform sandals, and accessories.
  • Going out: All-Season Sweater (front knotted) paired with dark-wash jeans, nude platforms, and accessories.
  • Feeling crafty: Summer Sweater paired with overalls, black platform sandals, and accessories. 
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Building My First Outfit Around My Yak Wool Sweater

The first outfit I created for the challenge is my absolute favorite! Not only is it stylish, but it's also incredibly comfortable and easy to wear all day long.

To add some extra warmth, I layered my Oliver Charles undyed yak wool sweater under a neutral sweater vest. The colors work so well together, and I love how the combination looks on me. In fact, I can see myself wearing this outfit over and over again!

What's great about this outfit is that it's perfect for any occasion. If I need to run errands, I can just throw it on and go - no fuss, no hassle. And it's a great transitional outfit that I can wear as the weather changes.

I'm particularly thrilled about my Oliver Charles sweater - it's the perfect addition to my wardrobe. Overall, I feel confident and comfortable in this outfit, and I can't wait to wear it again.

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Building My Next Outfit Around My Summer Sweater

The second outfit that I created for the challenge is my staple for warm weather days. Personally, dresses are one of my favorite pieces in my closet, and I love layering my lighter Oliver Charles summer sweater underneath. If it happens to get a little chilly, I'll simply add some leggings or jeans underneath to complete the look.

This outfit has become a staple in my wardrobe because of how easy and comfortable it is. I can wear it to work, happy hour, or just running errands around town. It's effortless yet chic, and I always feel confident wearing it. I'm going to improve it with a merino wool dress to better align it with everyday wear.

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Elevating My Work Outfit With A Monochromatic Look

My next outfit is work-approved. This time, I decided to go for a monochromatic look, which is all the rage right now. Tan is definitely one of my favorite colors to wear. The great thing about wearing a single neutral color is that it allows you to add a fun pop of color with your accessories, just as I did here with a colorful headscarf.

To create this outfit, I tucked my Oliver Charles undyed yak wool sweater into a pair of stylish tan pants and wore the same shoes from my previous outfit. And, of course, I had to bring along my trusty laptop bag - it's practically my sidekick! To add some personality to the outfit, I layered a necklace over my sweater.

Overall, I think this outfit strikes the perfect balance between dressing up and comfort. Having one nicer outfit in my personal uniform is great for days when I need to elevate my wardrobe.

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My Everyday Staple: Yak Wool Sweater And Jeans

The fourth outfit I put together is one of my favorites because it's so easy and surprisingly versatile. I paired my Oliver Charles undyed yak wool sweater with dark wash jeans and some nude heels to elevate the look.

This type of outfit is perfect for a night out or any occasion where you want to feel comfortable and look great. Personally, it's the closest to my preferred style, and I absolutely love it! I added a thick gold necklace and a black hair clip for some fun accessories that really tie everything together.

What I love most about this outfit is how versatile it is. The Oliver Charles sweater is perfect for the office, but with a few simple styling tweaks, it can also be perfect for a night out. You can try knotting it up like I did, or maybe try tucking it in or layering it with a jacket. Overall, there's so much you can do with a quality classic sweater like this one.

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Crafty And Comfortable: My Go-To Creative Outfit

For my last outfit, I wanted a more crafty, artistic look that I'd want to wear when being creative. Comfort is really important to me when picking out outfits, especially if I have a lot of walking or sitting to do that day. Searching for a super comfortable outfit, I grabbed my sweater and layered it under a pair of overalls with black platform sandals and simple jewelry.

Thinking about how to elevate the look and incorporate a new accessory, I decided to grab my straw wide-brim hat and add it to the outfit. It definitely added another element to the outfit, and I liked how it pulled everything together to make it look like a more complete look.

I can see myself doing DIY projects, weaving, or going to a farmers market in this outfit and picking out the perfect bouquet of flowers. I like how the sweater was thin enough to wear under the overalls without making me overheat or look bumpy from bunching up. This is a great casual day outfit, and I can’t wait to wear it again.

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Take The Personal Uniform Challenge

Finding your personal uniform is just part of your journey in self-discovery. Even though you have outfits you love and wear a lot, there are simple changes you can make to elevate your outfit and make it slightly different and new.

Personal style is all about creativity and finding clothing that you feel your best in. I encourage you to take this challenge so you can see what items make up your personal uniform and find ways to elevate your style in the process.

Join others taking Oliver Charles clothing challenges in their Facebook group.

  • Step 1: Audit your closet.
  • Step 2: Plan your personal uniform.
  • Step 3: Wear these outfits working, lounging, or going out over 2 weeks.
  • Step 4: Judge each outfit's comfort, performance, care, and versatility.
  • Step 5: Refine the items you chose. It's a journey!

Victoria Vitale has a degree in fashion communication and enjoys sharing her experiences. Victoria is here to help you learn and grow your fashion knowledge.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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