Thursday, July 22, 2010


Earlier this week, an idea hit me: what if I just wear a uniform to work? It stemmed from the fact that I spend a good amount of time every morning agonizing over what to wear. It's funny and frustrating how I've so many clothes and still feel as if I've nothing to wear.

I'd like to think that there has already been some self-improvement. It began post-Ondoy, when calls for donations made me decide to rid my closet of stuff I don't wear. (And yep, I know it's sad that it took a tragedy for me to realize that.)

I ended up with about four filled-to-the-brim industrial-sized garbage bags, plus a few others in paper bags. When Pam came by our house to pick them up, her expression was that of semi-shock: "Are you sure you still have clothes left?!"

That did it for me. I swore to myself that I'd stop buying clothes unless they meet the following criteria:

  • I don't have a similar piece
  • They are a guy's wardrobe staple
  • I can wear them for different types of occasions

I have made good on that promise. Every time there's a sale and I'm lured inside a store, when my hand starts to reach out for those clothes, I remember the amount of stuff I donated to Ondoy plus Pam's reaction so I snap out of my shopping reverie.

With my recent move, I further edited my closet. I managed to fill half a garbage bag, though I'm pretty sure I can fill it further—it's been a month since I moved and there are three columns of shirts in my closet that I've never even touched yet.

Hence, I thought about a uniform; it would help me edit my closet, manage my time in the mornings, and save money in the long term. (The tailoring and fabric requirements would constitute the short-term expenses.)

I am happy with my pants lineup: I have the prerequisite colors that would make it easy for me to mix and match, and they cover all dress codes imaginable, except that for an S&M-themed party. (Not that I'd go :-P)

My problem would be my shirts as some veer toward trendy than classic. Also, shirts that are bought off the rack rarely fit well, unless one is genetically blessed to be so... average. (Yes, I'm smarting.) Tall and thin dudes, I hear you. I offer my sympathies to the short and stout, as well.

I'm thinking of Cuban shirts or the guayabera as my uniform for the summer months.

Pleated guayabera shirt from ADAM by Adam Lippes

I know it's pleats away from looking like a gasoline boy but I don't mind :-P I would like to have them in white, light blue and light gray, should my skin tone permit the latter. (As an addendum to my shopping criteria: if it's a color available in Stabilo, it's probably not a good idea.)

For the rainy season, or should work or my mood require it, an oxford is a no-brainer.

From Gap

To wrap up this post, here's a beautiful entry from Put This On, "a web series about dressing like a grownup":

Start by simplifying.
July 14, 2010
by Jesse

Do you want to know how to start looking better?  Simplify.

Stop wearing clothes with logos, prints and crazy details.

Instead, focus on great basics.  When I say basics, I mean basics.  White t-shirt.  Blue dress shirt.  White oxford.  Blue jeans.  Gray wool pants.  Khaki chinos.  Blue blazer.  Gray suit.  Great boots.  Basic shoes.  Focus on blue, white, gray.  Buy good clothes that fit.


It’s OK for your clothes to be a simple frame for what’s important: you.

I think I've reached that period in my life wherein you just want to be as inconspicuous as possible and let your achievements, should they be too awesome to contain, speak for you.

4 * :

Laurene said...

This reminded me of freshman year. My initial plan was to wear Days of the Week shirts in college. I think that's a good excuse to repeat clothes. :) If somebody said, "You're wearing that shirt again," I could reply, "Uh-huh, it's Friday."

Jason said...

When I was in college, I kept a journal of what I wore to avoid repetitions. Of course, now I realize that was so pointless and stupid :-P

kantogirl said...

I think I've also reached a point in my life that I now want to simplify. Eh ms. prints and graphics kaya ako. But lately, perhaps also post-Ondoy where I've lost so many clothes, I mostly buy basics, plains, hardly any prints now. I surprised myself that I liked khakis, linens, pinstripes, beiges, whites, blues, grays, blacks. Of course, there's still the occasional shot of color, but yeah, mostly, solid blocks.

Jason said...

Thanks for sharing your story :-D

Ako nawalan na ko ng gana mag-shopping, especially after reading the NYT article in my latest post (08/09).

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