These days minimalism is all the rage. When it comes to clothing, people will proclaim the wonders of capsule wardrobes, or even wearing a “uniform” and cite examples like Steve Jobs. There is something to be said for the simplicity of removing a daily decision. What to wear? – the same thing as yesterday and the day before, and the day before that.

I can’t quite get behind the whole philosophy, because I love to mix things up. I love color and having lots of it to wear. But in many ways, I’ve found myself forming a uniform. My everyday wear consists of jeans, flats/sneakers (or boots if it’s particularly cold), a tank top, and a cardigan. If there isn’t embellishment on my top, I’ll add a funky necklace.

The thing that makes this a non-uniform is the color I bring to the mix. I have cardigans and tanks in every color of the rainbow:

If my feet were more cooperative (i.e., not size 10.5, not prone to fallen arches) I’d probably own shoes in every color of the rainbow too.

For years I’ve thrown two colors on together and headed out the door. Purple and orange, turquoise and red, blue and pink, whatever suits me on a particular day. In the past year I’ve gravitated towards a bright color and a neutral (brown, tan, black, gray, white, or even navy). But when it came time to buy a new purse this fall, I went with a bright teal. Color makes me happy.

I end up with more of a “uniform” when it comes to how I relate to others. I smiled and nod, and duck my head and keep walking. I pretend I’m busy so I don’t have to engage. And I think many others join me in this pursuit. Nobody talks to their neighbors any more. If I’m running errands, I keep moving and get the job done. Conversations with strangers? Who does that?

But what if we all took a minute to look each other in the eye, say hello, really connect? What if we stopped focusing on ourselves and what we are wearing? What if we pay attention to others around us instead? Imagine how things could change, just a little bit at a time…

What is your uniform?

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