An ongoing goal of mine over the last few years has been the hoary old cliche of getting organized. I am not by nature a particularly organized person, but I’ve come to learn that I value (and really, need) order and structure in order to feel relaxed. It’s kind of a tough combination to need organization but to actually be clueless about (and, to be honest, pretty bad at) real organization. But anyway, one inadvertent side effect of these ongoing efforts has been to reduce my decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue is basically the stress one feels at having too many choices. (As an aside, I try to reduce the amount decision fatigue Will experiences by … not always giving him choices. I know that is antithetical to a lot of modern parenting advice, but I think it helps. More on that another time.) Where I used to stress about what to make for dinner, I now can relax, because I meal plan. Where I used to feel paralysis shopping for makeup and personal care products, I can now just go in and out of the store with what I need, because I buy (or make!) the same things every time. I’m trying to automate things. Now it’s happening to my wardrobe.

Every day I wear one of two outfits. They consist of “home clothes” and “people clothes”.

Home clothes: Old Navy yoga pants, a nursing tank, and a Lululemon scuba hoodie. (Yes, I spent like $100 on a hoodie, and I felt kind of ridiculous doing it, but it was worth every single penny. It’s in the wash right now and I miss it.) I put this on when I get up in the morning and I am dressed for the day. Stacy London might be a little horrified, but I wear this grocery shopping, to the library, or to take Will to preschool. I actually am a little horrified by that myself, but look, they’re not pajamas.

People clothes: leggings, a nursing tank, a long flowy cardigan, a circle scarf, and boots. I wear this 90% of the time when I’m out in public or at church. Next time you see me, make note. I will be wearing some version of this outfit.

My personal uniform didn’t come about because I was tired of choosing something to wear every day, per se; it started out of necessity. After having Anna, I became so discouraged and frustrated not being able to wear “real clothes” that it really started to get me down. I found I was a lot more comfortable (physically and mentally) when I wore leggings and flowy cardigans instead of trying to force myself into the biggest pair of jeans I own. So one day I decided to just wear the same thing every day, more or less. It was a decision borne out of desperation, but it made me feel kind of empowered.

Empowered how? Well, I feel good in what I wear. So that’s a plus. I don’t have to spend a lot of time deciding what to put on every day. The biggest decision is which scarf to wear. Plus, I feel like myself. I actually really like clothes and fashion, but there’s something to be said for knowing what works for you and having a signature look.

personal uniform

The ultimate sweater. You can’t see my surroundings here, but this is also the ultimate bathroom.

Another bonus is that when I can fit back into my real clothes again, I can toss all of the things that don’t fit into this paradigm. When I go shopping I can do the same thing. It’s made life so much easier, and frees me up to be able to focus on and think about other things. I facetiously said that my new year’s resolution was to wear leggings or yoga pants every day, but I was only half facetious. Now my only problem is to figure out a warm weather equivalent! Bring on the maxi dresses!

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