Conscious and Unconscious Uniform

Uniform can be a funny thing. For example, when it comes to school uniform some parents (and teens) dislike uniform where many find it makes life easier. I can see both sides (and I certainly take issue with the price of some secondary school uniforms that can only be bought from specialist shops) however I also find uniform to be reassuring.

Police wear uniform, as do medical staff, fire personnel, security etc. Being able to recognise someone through uniform is important and again, reassuring. Obviously, this is a case of necessity however there are other groups too, drama and sports clubs, hobby-related clubs, charities and more that choose to wear uniform in one form or another, for example, printed t-shirts. They don’t have to wear uniform but choose to because it shows that members belong to a group and that is often a point of pride.

I call this conscious uniform wearing, choosing a uniform for your work, your school and to show that you are part of a specific group. The flipside of conscious uniform is unconscious uniform wearing. Have I coined a new phrase here? Probably not! To me unconscious uniform is, almost without meaning to be, wearing a uniform despite not having to or realising that you do.

I wear an unconscious uniform. I work from home full time, occasionally taking myself off to the library to work just to take advantage of a different space to my own office but 98% of the time I work alone. Given that I work alone you would think that I’d wear PJs, slipper boots, my husband’s favourite D&D t-shirt (because I can) but I don’t. It’s only recently that I realised that I have unconsciously created a work uniform of my own.

One of the many pieces of advice people offer freelancers and anyone who works from home is to get dressed for work, even though you’re working from home. It makes sense, after all it’s more motivating (and you’re less likely to jump back into bed). My uniform consists of numerous plain smart casual tops (all the exact same style but in numerous office-friendly shades) and either my “smart” jeans or black trousers. I wear the same every work day and I hadn’t realised I was doing it. I have been donning a uniform without even thinking about it.

Do you wear a uniform, consciously or unconsciously?

This fabulous infographic ‘from promotional goods company 4imprint offers more info on the ins and outs of uniform wearing and is really quite interesting.


PS: I’m thinking of adding dress down Friday to my working week so that I can add a new shade to my identical collection of work tops!