After years of ruining my favorite clothes with paint and clay, I decided to simplify to avoid the frustration and disappointment. No more frantic mornings debating what to wear for me!
Instead of wearing a small smock over my outfit, I’d be smocked from head to toe from now on.
If you teach little ones, you know any exposed area – and I mean ANY – becomes a bulls-eye for messy hands. I decided on Dickie’s coveralls. Yes, the one-piece get-up worn by factory and road workers. My challenge, make the functional choice look cool. After purchasing several coveralls, I used fabric paint and patches to decorate each set differently.
One sports a color wheel on the back; another is strewn with patches of famous works of art. Each coverall set has its own look. Now, each day I slip on leggings and a camisole, throw on whatever coveralls are handy, and off I go!
You can get ready in less than five minutes and be ready for whatever your day – and students – throw at you…literally.
If the full body coveralls seem like too much of a commitment, you can try your own version of a uniform or a capsule wardrobe.
Many successful people have embraced the idea. A capsule wardrobe is a limited number of timeless, go-to pieces that can be augmented to work in any season.
If you are debating adopting either a uniform or a capsule wardrobe, consider the following advantages…
- Make fewer decisions each day.
How great would it be to have one less decision to make each day? Waking up to don a predetermined uniform allows you more mental space to use for a higher purpose. Plus, later on in the day – when you are on your hands and knees tying shoelaces – you’ll also be glad you don’t have to worry about the length of your skirt or the angle of your blouse. The freedom of movement you gain is astounding and freeing.
- Meaningless side conversations about my wardrobe are a thing of the past!
Art teachers generally have style. We are aesthetically in-tune people. Coming from the world of fashion, at first, I missed exercising my fashion sense each day. However, as time wore on and I noticed how much less time I spent addressing questions about my wardrobe, I couldn’t deny the uniform was a win. Now, my students focus on the art-themed smocks instead of admiring my clothing mindlessly. My uniform is now a teaching tool.
- Waste less time and energy while saving money!
Preparing a wardrobe requires time and energy. Shopping, tailoring, pressing, folding, sorting, and coordinating are tedious and never-ending chores. Opting for a uniform allows you to wash fewer loads of laundry, shop far less frequently, and devote less time and money to a work wardrobe. As a bonus, I’ve found I now have more to spend on nicer items I can wear worry-free on the weekends and in my personal time.
- Animated or illustrated characters have been doing it forever… and we call them ICONIC.
We are all comforted by the fact that Winnie the Pooh is always rocking his tummy-bearing red crop-top. Plus, Winnie gets to sleep in a few extra minutes instead of ironing a button down! Couldn’t you use a few extra minutes in your morning? Alice Gregory, a New York writer, embraced the idea of a uniform saying, “Wearing a uniform is … a way of asserting your status as a protagonist. This is the reason why characters in picture books never change their clothes: Children—like adults, if they’d only admit it—crave continuity.”
Every year, my school has a day when students become their favorite teacher and must take over their job. Last year, my “student teacher” surprised me by buying a set of her own identical coveralls and painting them to match mine!
It was fantastic and reminded me that a uniform is not necessarily dull. It can be a sign that you’ve arrived at a place where you are comfortable, confident, and even inspiring.
Do you currently wear a uniform? What does it consist of?
Would you consider a uniform and/or capsule wardrobe?