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Get your wardrobe under control by adopting a uniform, Obama did

05/11/2015 03:43 EDT | Updated 05/11/2016 05:59 EDT
It's a familiar feeling for some people, opening the closet, staring into it and thinking, "I have nothing to wear."

That's where the fashion philosophy of a uniform comes into play, solving all of your fashion dilemmas before they even happen, predetermining what you will wear the third Wednesday in July — and every other day before and after that. 

Stacey May Fowles writes for The Walrus and The Globe and Mail and uniform dressing piqued her interest and she decided to delve into the topic. 

"Basically it's the idea that you buy some staples, some things that you feel like look good on you, and then you buy that multiple times and wear that everyday," Fowles explains.

The rationale behind the uniform

Throughout her research, she came across different takes on the idea but many people she spoke to didn't even vary their outfits in colour.

"I met somebody who did it. I basically noticed that every time I went out for dinner with him, or have a drink with him, he'd be wearing exactly the same outfit. So after a while, I worked up some courage to broach it with him," Fowles told CBC's Information Radio.  

"I found that he viewed it as a whole philosophy, it was a choice he deliberately made many many years ago, it wasn't something new he was doing, to wear exactly the same thing everyday."

He viewed it has a way to convey a message to people of reliability and knowing what to expect, Fowles said. 

As Fowles began to interview others that pursued this fashion trend, she found that more often than not, it had to do with adding control to their lives, there was an obsessive quality about it, it was not something they had simply fallen into it.

"They were people who were really scheduled, really regimented," she said. 

"People who have to make a lot of decisions love this because the more they can eliminate gratuitous decisions from their life, the more they can use their mental energy on things that they feel matter."

Some of the big names Fowles came across that have adopted uniforms of their own included Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and President of the United States Barack Obama. 

"I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make," Obama told Vanity Fair, telling the magazine that he only wears blue or grey suits. 

Making a budget

Fowles found in her research that choosing to wear more of the same, did not necessarily mean a smaller bill. It did however indicate more predictability when it came to annual budgets on clothing, a big part of that being that uniforms limit impulse purchases.

"I do think that men's fashion lends itself to this uniform style of dressing much better, the business suit itself is a uniform," Fowles said. 

Meanwhile, the fashion industry is mainly geared towards getting women to spend more money when they buy into new trends, something that can be sidestepped with a daily uniform. 

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