The personal uniform
// Cheetah Powers

I don't know how you guys feel about mornings, but I can't fucking stand them. My energy levels are well into the negatives when I leave my heated mattress pad (shut up, I'm old) in the morning to hit up my totally uncool but publicly visible minimum wage job. The last thing I'm concerned with is maintaining a stylish personal groove … until my fifth coffee at around 2pm. At that point I usually look down and yell, "What the fuck!" when I see what my dog has allowed me to leave the house in.

I'm sure you all feel my pain. When you set off to school or work at seven in the morning and you put on whatever you found lying on the top layer of the laundry hamper, you really don't expect to run into your ex, the future love of your life, or a Hollywood casting agent. Of course, these are the situations where that kind of shit's going to happen. It's too bad that you wore your most busted-ass dad jeans with Crocs, you turkey!

The importance of a personal uniform cannot be overstated. My friend Giles has got it nailed. He wears nothing except skinny black jeans and plain collared polos every day of his life, and I bet he saves a fortune on poorly thought-out fashion purchases. Although I don't expect everyone to take it to this extreme, it is an amazing relief to wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you're going to put on.

What you have to do is cultivate a consistent daily uniform of go-to, mix-and-match pieces that are serviceable, not too stained, comfortable, and understated. Then, if you're feeling ambitious, you can throw on some extra bling or accessorize to customize each day's look. This way, you can minimize the time spent humming and hawing in front of the mirror and spend more time fixing up your haggard face.

Here is an entire week's worth of outfits utilizing only a few articles of clothing. It works for both men and women, and you don't have to waste any brain power at all.

Pair of black jeans: professional, flattering, and stain-repellent
Plaid shirt: duh
Denim shirt: always a classic
Rugged work boots: comfortable, and good for any event except formal. Get a range of sweet socks for "flair".
A few plain or subtly patterned t-shirts or sweaters
Warm cardigan: layer under or over your usual layers for extra thermal insulation
Toque: to cover your gross bed-head.

The end. This is how you get “a look”.


Cheetah Powers is a long-time hoarder and lover of fabulous clothes. She believes that a truly stylin' outfit should always be affordable, universal, and easy to pee in.

//Cheetah Powers, columnist

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com