I’ve been working at my new job for two weeks now. I’m really happy to be back at work for many reasons: I’m meeting loads of lovely people, I’m earning plenty of cash and it’s so lovely to not have to deal with Centrelink anymore. There is one thing that’s starting to get me down though: my uniform.
Don’t get me wrong, my uniform isn’t hideous or anything like that. The reason I don’t like the uniform is that I don’t particularly like being told what to wear. I also don’t like being locked into wearing the same outfit every single day. I don’t relish the idea of not being able to express myself or show off my personal style on a daily basis.
I know that this sounds like a really bratty thing to be whinging about, but it’s a big deal to me. My favorite part of the day is getting dressed in the morning. I love picking out an outfit, doing my hair and my makeup and getting dressed. For me, fashion is more than just following a trend or selecting something flattering, it’s a creative outlet which allows me to express my personality and my mood. When I’m dressed in an awesome outfit, I feel like the most fabulous version of myself. My confidence increases, I’m smiley and bubbly and my good mood usually remains intact for most of the day.
Having to dress in uniform every day has taken away some of my creativity and my ability to express myself. I feel like I’m being stifled each time I slip into my uniform. It’s as though I’m wearing a costume, pretending to be someone else. I just don’t feel like ‘me’ in that uniform.
I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can inject a little bit of personality into my uniform. My boss is rather strict on the uniform policy, so I doubt that I’ll be able to get away with much. However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a few different things to see how far I’m able to push the envelope. Here are some of the things I’ve tried:
– There aren’t any restrictions on how you wear your hair, as long as it’s neat, tidy and out of the way. I’ve tried some simple hairstyles, like plaits and ponytails, but now I’m starting to get a bit more adventurous. I’ve done a couple of ballerina buns and even some vintage-style up-dos. These have all gone down well, so I feel confident that my hair is one thing that I can change on a daily basis without attracting the wrath of my boss.
– I’ve gotten away with wearing some jewellery. For the most part, as long as I’m not wearing anything that is going to catch on any of the merchandise, I think it should be okay. My boss also doesn’t seem to be too thrilled with big earrings, so I’ll have to leave my chandelier-earrings at home. I’ve worn some funky rings and cute earrings with my uniform, and all have earned me some awesome comliments.
– I’ve been having a play with my makeup as well. Once again, I think as long as my makeup is well-applied and doesn’t look too extreme it shouldn’t be an issue. I spent my first couple of days wearing light, neutral makeup, but over the last few days I’ve dabbled with glittery eyeshadow and neon pink lipstick and all has been well.
– Because I need to be up and moving rather early in the morning, it’s a chilly walk to the bus stop. I’ve been reveling in the cold, because it gives me an excuse to wear my vast collection of hats, gloves, scarves and coats. I don’t think I’ve worn the same hat to work two days running so far. Wearing a fun hat always gives my mood a little bit of a boost. I’ve been swathing my body in furry jackets, long pea coats and flowy ponchos to keep out the cold.
– My handbag has been another piece of my outfit that’s been changed every few days. I need a fairly big bag, because I take the bus to work, so I need to pack myself all manner of snacks and activities for the trip (because I am, in fact, a six-year-old).
So there are plenty of things that I can do to express my own style while wearing a uniform. If I had my own way, I’d be able to dress exactly as I please every day, but for now I’ll settle for adding a few quirky touches to an otherwise dull uniform. I’ve been hanging out for the weekends, when I can let my imagination run wild and put together spectacular outfits that make me feel wonderful. It’s on these days when I finally feel like myself again.
Do any of you wear a uniform to work? What do you do to incorporate your own style when you have to adhere to a strict dress code?