Strug­gle to get dressed in the morn­ing?

One woman ex­plains how wear­ing the same thing ev­ery day has changed her life

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FASHION - By CARO­LINE LEAPER

As much as they love to set and track the lat­est trends, peo­ple in fash­ion do love a uni­form. Tommy Hil­figer re­vealed just last week­end that he wears the same shirts and chi­nos ev­ery day.

Phoebe Philo, for all of the painterly prints and vivid en­sem­bles that she cre­ates, has sported the same, sleek, min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic for years. And Mul­berry de­signer Johnny Coca is rarely spot­ted with­out his sig­na­ture DMs and a kilt.

In the real world, wear­ing the same thing ev­ery day might seem like a weird so­lu­tion to of­fer up to the ‘what the hell shall I put on this morn­ing?’ prob­lem.

But for art direc­tor Matilda Kahl, whose cre­ative role at Sony Entertainment sees her work­ing on vis­ual iden­ti­ties for artists, it started with the re­al­i­sa­tion that she just didn’t have spare hours in the day to worry about her clothes.

“I no­ticed that choos­ing a new out­fit ev­ery morn­ing, that met all the dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions from my­self and the out­side world, took up too much time,” she ex­plains.

“Not only when ini­tially pick­ing out clothes, but also through­out the day, as I could find my­self think­ing about if my skirt was too short, or if I was dressed ‘cre­atively’ enough to rep­re­sent my ti­tle. I re­alised that all of these mo­ments of self-con­scious­ness in­ter­rupted my abil­ity and, quite frankly, were a waste of time. So, I sim­ply de­cided to delete them per­ma­nently from my work life.”

Her idea was sim­ply to start wear­ing the same thing ev­ery day, set­tling on a uni­form of a crisp white shirt with a rib­bon tied around the neck, teamed with black trousers.

“I can tell you the cashier in the store look pretty con­fused when I asked if she had 15 ex­tra sets of the whole out­fit,” she jokes, “but all in all, choos­ing the uni­form was a pretty pain-free process. I’ve al­ways felt that black and white is a cool and classy look, so I knew right from the start that that was what I wanted to go with.

“It was a three week hunt for the per­fect pants and blouse, but I found one with a di­ag­o­nal but­ton line which had a unique look to it.”

“My only ad­vice is, don’t over­think it. The thought of pick­ing out the ‘per­fect uni­form that you’re go­ing to love for the rest of your life’ can feel like an im­pos­si­ble as­sign­ment. But it’s not about that. Try on some­thing you feel comfy in, wear it for a month and just try it out. Re­mem­ber, you can go for the same shirt in many dif­fer­ent col­ors, or switch be­tween a skirt and a pair of trousers — there aren’t any rules.”

The re­ac­tion, she says, was not judge­ment from her col­leagues in the cre­ative in­dus­tries, but un­der­stand­ing — par­tic­u­larly from women who still strug­gle to choose what to wear each morn­ing, and think her so­lu­tion is ge­nius.

“Men are usu­ally sur­prised and don’t fully un­der­stand my mo­tive when I an­swer their ques­tions, but women tend to un­der­stand the un­der­ly­ing stress of con­stantly want­ing to look good at work, but rarely find­ing the time or en­ergy for it. After al­most five years with the out­fit, I haven’t got bored.”

The best part of all though, she says, is that her mea­sures to stream­line her work­wear wardrobe have spurred her to have so much more fun with fash­ion at the week­ends.

“I still have my reg­u­lar wardrobe on nights and week­ends, so I still do get to chan­nel my cre­ative urge through my clothes, too, it’s just at an­other time when I’m not try­ing to fo­cus on my job. On Fri­day nights I al­most jump into my wardrobe and di­rectly go for the most col­or­ful and crazy thing in there.

“I feel like I have a braver at­ti­tude to­wards clothes now — the uni­form has made me take my ‘reg­u­lar’ self a lit­tle less se­ri­ous I guess. Clothes should be fun, right? Just not some­thing you have to ag­o­nise about ev­ery sin­gle morn­ing.”

Ear­lier this year Face­book co-founder Mark Zucker­berg posted a pho­to­graph of his wardrobe.

His sar­to­rial choices re­vealed a lim­ited col­lec­tion via an up­date — on Face­book, ob­vi­ously — in which he joked about fac­ing a tricky sar­to­rial choice upon his first day back in the of­fice after pa­ter­nity leave.


Matilda Kahl had an epiphany after a par­tic­u­larly stress­ful morn­ing try­ing to get to a meet­ing on time. It started out the way morn­ings do for many of­fice dwellers pick­ing out what to wear.

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