My Uniform

My elementary school in Tampa had uniforms, and I loved them. Getting dressed in the morning couldn’t have been easier. The hardest decision was whether to wear a skirt or a dress. When middle school came around, I (like every single other kid in my grade) was so thrilled to finally ditch the uniform. We could wear whatever we wanted… finally!!! (Within dress code, of course.)
Reality set in really quickly when I went to back-to-school shopping with my mom. My little sixth grade self was so disappointed that I had to wear Gap Kids every day. Plus, figuring out what to wear was always a morning ordeal. (I, to this day, suffer from “Nothing to Wear” syndrome… haha.) Needless to say, after about a week, I realized just how lucky we had it in elementary school! (Isn’t that always the case?)
Even with a closet full of clothes and the absolute best intentions to come up with new outfits… I fall back into a routine. It’s more or less a uniform. While the originality is most certainly not there, it’s easy. And it takes the guess work out getting dressed. Especially now that it’s cooling off, the uniform I wear even more solidified.
Broken down, I frequently wear:
I do this for a few reasons. The first is what I’ve described above: it’s easy and simple. No guesswork and no frustrations. The combinations are extensive. So even though I’m wearing the same formula, I can do it with the different moving parts.
The second is that it’s comfortable. I do my best work when I’m comfortable. I don’t want to have to think about my clothes during the day. Whether it’s a tight waistband or scratchy sleeves or pinching shoes, I want to be focused on what I’m doing rather than what I’m wearing. And yes, I am comfortable wearing leggings (which I often do when it’s appropriate, like running boring errands on the weekend). 
The last reason is that it simply works for me. I have the hardest time finding pants that fit. My legs are a bit too short for regular length and a little bit too long for petite. Jeans are just about the only things that work, and even then… I have better luck in the juniors department at Nordstrom and crewcuts. Maybe I’ll wear a skirt with tights or a dress with tights, but the jeans thing works. And I like the way the button up and sweater looks. (Not to mention the fact that I’m always freezing in the office and it’s perfect layering!)
What works for you? What makes you comfortable? What’s your uniform?


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Kellene Elise

I have my own formula too! This season it is a layering top, cardigan, skirt, tights, boots… Sometimes I swap boots out for flats or add knee socks… but the basic plan is always the same and it does wonders on the days I don't have time to question my closet… 🙂

This Lovely Little Day


I have a uniform too. I realized that maybe I should switch up my wardrobe and not not buy so many sweaters and skirts. I can't stand wearing pants all day, they make my stomach hurt (which I know is all in my head…).


I wear black slacks every. single. day. during the week because it's so easy. I'm also unadventurous in my wardrobe. But it makes getting ready in the morning a snap.


Carly, I know you're very Type-A like me so I wanted to mention something I've noticed in some of your posts. I think your spell check might be changing the word "whether" to "weather." Or maybe it's a simple mistake. Similar thing happened to me for years – I kept confusing "incite" for "insight" which I now realize was a huge goof and sometimes I'd mix "repoire" for "rapport." Darned homophones!


My uniform is pretty similar to yours – a button-down or sweater (sometimes I really mix it up and go for a striped shirt) with jeans or skinny black pants and comfortable shoes. I just like to pretend that I've developed my own style so that I don't feel like I dress the same all of the time!



I do the same exact thing in the winter… except mine is usually jeans, some form of tall boots or booties and either a sweater or a shirt and cardigan. I always wish I had more time to be creative with my outfits but when it comes down to it, I just don't have the time and this is just to much easier 🙂

I also suffer from "Nothing-to-wear" syndrome. Maybe I'll make it a New Years resolution to become more creative with my outfits 🙂



Everyday is different for me. This morning was one of those mornings where I couldn't figure out what I wanted to wear, especially with what shoes to wear with the outfit I chose. After 15 minutes I finally just said "Screw it! I'll wear these and rock them all confident-like!"
I'm usually a jeans and nice top kind of girl, because that's what's comfy to me. I can wear jeans at work, but I try to dress professionally most days so I'm taken seriously!

carelessly graceful


I wanted a uniform SO BAD. I just liked the preppiness of them and how easy it would be to get ready in the morning. But of course, I was the only one who wanted them. Talk about nerd.
My "uniform" is definitely a tank top with some sort of cardigan, jeans, and comfy shoes like flats or Toms. It's rare that I deviate from that outfit!!


I never thought about shopping in the children's section at J.Crew! I love their jeans, but I have the problem of the jeans fitting me in the butt and thigh, but being WAY too big in the waist. This may be a personal question, but at J.Crew, what size bottom do you normally wear in womens, and what size would you wear in childrens?

Kristin Casamassina

I never thought of shopping more in the juniors section for jeans. I have the same issue with the lengths of pants. Sometimes I can swing petite lengths, but more often they are just a bit too short. Thanks for that tip!


Hi Carly,
I SO relate on the pants issue. They're always too big or way too low-rise! What's up with super-low rise anyway? What's your opinion on Gap kids? This post was super helpful, I'm definitely doing some serious crewcuts shopping over winter break!

; )


despite living in san diego, i am usually wearing jeans, a shirt, a sweater, a jacket and a scarf because my office is always freezing. when i'm not at the office i'm usually in a dress or skirt and i just add or remove layers based on the weather.
i have the same problem finding pants that fit. i really like AG jeans though.


I was just commenting yesterday that i am so predictable lately in my formula. Mine is skinny jeans/cords, button up/blouse or long sleeved shirt, vest, flats or boots and most days a statement necklace. Even today's outfit: black ballet flats, pink cords, black long sleeve shirt, black puffer vest, yellow/pink/green statement necklace. 🙂
It makes it so much easier to get ready in the morning since I'm a full time working Mommy to have a mix and match wardrobe full of things I feel comfortable in.

Haley Hoewt

Jeans, riding boots, layering shirt, and my north face vest with pashmina scarf! It's funny how much I can relate to this blog. My mother dressed me in gap kids and crewcuts (BEFORE it was cool..when it was just straight-up goodie-goodie) and I HATED it because everyone else was wearing the hollister staple. Looking back at pics, the outfits are adorable and now i definitely miss it. boo


I went from public school in elementary/middle to a Catholic high school where we had to wear uniforms. I LOVED my 4 years of high school due to the uniforms. It made morning soo easy! All I had to decide was what color shirt (blue, pink, white or white,maroon polo), sock color (always white), and if I wanted to wear blazer, cardigan, or vest. I honestly miss that and wish I could still wear a uniform at times lol.

Jaime Petkanics

Love this! I am so victim to my own uniform – you saw it last week 🙂 Skinny jeans (dark), oversized blouse or sweater, and ballet flats (tory of course) or low wedges (and sometimes boots if the weather warrants) – sometimes you just got back to what works, and luckily, I have no office dress code at the moment 🙂
Jaime @


I miss summer because I have a summer uniform–a shift dress! In the winter it's usually to cold to just wear a dress and flats.

Julia D.

I can completely relate to the feeling of missing wearing a uniform, as I wore one for three years in high school. I'm definitely with you on the comfort things, though there are some situations where its priority is farther down the list. Usually I wear leggings or jeans and a button down under a cardigan or sweater. Love the outfit!

Chelsea Grey

This outfit is so cute! Those shoes look so comfy! I never had to wear a uniform, but I always wished that I did because having "cool" clothes to fit in was challenging. PS. I'm originally from the Tampa area…Palm Harbor to be exact 🙂