Fashion, Minimalism
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Mastering the art of the personal uniform

I love a good quote and when I was building the Two Babes site I stumbled across a real pearl by Stella McCartney:

“Personal style starts from within because it’s a philosophy and an attitude. If you’re honest and true to yourself, you will have the best sense of personal style.”

#PROFOUNDAF amirite????

It sounds so straightforward, but nailing down this elusive sense of personal style is not always easy. Kim and I are currently hard at work developing two budget capsule wardrobes that could carry you from autumn to winter. In the process of researching all things capsule, we realised that one of the very first steps in developing a capsule wardrobe is sitting down and examining what your personal style is.

Emmanuelle Alt – probably the most fierce supporter of the personal uniform to ever live.

Your uniform.
Your signature look.

Does it sound like a huge task? It’s not. It’s actually incredibly simple, go to your wardrobe and grab 6 things, chose the most comfortable, frequently worn items. What are they? Mine were:

  • Two skirts
  • One t-shirt
  • One blouse
  • Two pairs of jeans

Looking at these 6 items I realised that I was looking at so much more than my personal uniform, I was looking at my personal sense of style. I gravitated to these items because I love the way I feel when I wear them, I believe them to be stylish and I feel incredibly comfortable (ergo: confident) when I wear them. Here was the essence of my style. I am a bottoms and top person. I love skirts, I love a good pair of jeans, I wear them constantly throughout the week. I love dresses too, but I don’t wear dresses nearly as often as I do jeans and skirts.

Cool, so what now?

Now I know that no matter how tempting that sequin-covered shift dress may be, if I really want to sparkle, I need to find a skirt.

Having a personal uniform trended majorly in about 2009 when minimalism was at its peak. I often feel like our desire to be happy with less has waned a bit in recent years. Fast fashion is gaining momentum again, especially in South Africa where we have seen the arrival of chains like H&M. With low prices comes (almost) inevitable excess. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can shop consciously and minimally and not spend a lot. Isn’t that what we really want anyway? To have the amazing dress, shoes and bag and STILL be able to afford a trip to the Zeitz MOCAA to show that shit off?

Anuschka Rees has an amazing free wardrobe planning worksheet that can help you get started.

I can hear you rolling your eyes. I know! Ok. I know…

This sounds ridiculous. You’re a grown ass woman, how on earth could anyone, least of all me, suggest you perhaps don’t know what to wear every day.

Because you definitely don’t stand in your undies staring at your open wardrobe wondering what to wear.
You defiantly don’t browse online stores or RL stores for hours leaving with nothing.
You definitely don’t get dressed only to change outfits again and again until you cry and decide to cancel your plans instead.

Sorry? What was that? You kind of do actually do this? Really?!!! Me too, girl.

So let’s fix this.

This is what you are going to do this weekend:

  1. Pick your 6 favourite most frequently worn items.
  2. Jump on Pinterest and go to your outfits board, what have you pinned? How much of it is actually in your wardrobe? How much of it is wishful thinking? Do an audit. Be brutal.
  3. Do a try on session. Use what you have right now and try to put together at least 12 outfits from 6-10 of your most cherished pieces.
  4. Understand that there is a huge difference between your comfort zone and your personal style, push yourself. Test out those unworn items, you purchased them for a reason right?
  5. Make a “This is not my style” list. We all have those things we buy all the time that we never wear and we keep hoping things will change but they never do and before you know it you have a drawer full of velour and bodysuits. You need to examine the bad habits that lead to bad purchases.

Once you have done the above things, tell us. Either pop us a DM on social or email us and let us know what you found? While we chip away at the mammoth task of two capsule wardrobes, know that we want these to be as close to your own personal styles as possible, and we can only do that if you share, share, share. So get in touch!




  1. Lisa Jacobus says

    Loved this post. I am such a firm believer in the “uniform! Time and time again I have tried to purchase items thinking that I will wear them, daring myself to be something I am not. In reality that is just not the case, I just end up being uncomfortable and frustrated. At the end of the day I am a pants kinda girl, I don’t enjoy dresses or skirts and have very recently just made peace with that. Also Emmanuelle Alt is now my spirit animal..

  2. Danielle says

    Great article, looking forward to the capsule wardrobe post. Frustrated at the moment as I have nothing to wear and have a work uniform during the week so I dont really buy clothes… but before I do any shopping I will relook at what I enjoy wearing. Thanks ladies love your blog.

  3. Pingback: Get To Know Me: A Week In My Wardrobe | Two Babes On A Budget

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