Uniforms create a sense of unity and belonging, they save you time in the morning and money when shopping and they keep you looking professional. But, in the process, they can also result in an individual feeling like they’ve lost their own sense of identity or aren’t allowed to showcase it. Luckily, this isn’t the case at all! No matter what your role or restrictions are, there will always be overlooked and underappreciated pieces to personalize and people who think just like you and create accessories just for the role. From updating your nursing uniform with unique scrubs for women that suit your style to amplifying your housekeeping uniform with a box of cute periwinkle gloves, the options are only limited by your personality. Before we can start personalizing and throwing our style into every inch of our outfit, though, we have to understand how to do it properly.
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Pay Attention to Your Color Palette
You’ll want to note the colors in your uniform, what works with them and what colors work best with your complexion. By establishing some sort of color palette that works with you and your uniform, it will become easier to start building up a work wardrobe where all of your pieces can be mixed and matched easily to create a look and perpetuate your personality professionally.
Shape Your Silhouette
While you may be bound to a boxy uniform shirt or an awkwardly short sweater, there are always ways to make it work! By simply noting the shape that your uniform creates, it can become easy to figure out accessories or pairings that will conceal, counteract or complement what’s going on — it’s just about being aware!
Lean Into the Look
While red may be your least-favorite and least-flattering color, the more you try to fight it, the worse it will get! Or maybe you hate how baggy your uniform pants are compared to your everyday leggings — but is hating it helping? No matter how you feel about your uniform on a personal level, it’s important to look at it as a symbol of your profession and lean into it. Embrace the notes of red in your uniform scarf with a subtle red lip and nail to create a classic and unavoidably adored look that you never knew would look so good. Embrace your scrub pants that feel a little loose and pair them with more fitted and flattering scrub tops and cute shoes and see if it doesn’t flatter your body better than your leggings ever could!
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Pieces to Pair
While there is only so much that you can do with your uniform itself, there is always a ton to be done around it! Once you’ve established a color palette, noted the silhouette that your uniform creates and how you’d like to work with it and started embracing your uniform as a symbol of what you do and accomplish every day, consider adding to the mix (and, hopefully, making a match)!
- Bags: Even if your uniform can’t be heavily personalized, you can be enveloping and carrying all of your boring work stuff in a bag that’s entirely you.
- Buttons and Patches: Whether they are on your jacket, pinned to your lanyard or sewn onto your bag, buttons and patches are an amazing way to pack a big burst of personality into a small and subtle piece.
- Lanyards: Whether it is a heavy clump of work keys or your own set of keys from (and for) home, a stylish lanyard is the real key. Lanyards can be found in every color and pattern you could possibly desire and, considering how subtle they are as an accessory, they can be enhanced to full wackiness! If necessary, you can always tuck these into your pocket, but when you want to accessorize and showcase your personality, your lanyard is great left hanging on your neck or dangling from your pocket.
- Hair Accessories: Even the most strict dress codes and uniform policies won’t deny you the benefit of tying your hair back. Not only is this great for your ability to work, but finding a cute set of scrunchies, clips or even a headband that complements a part of your work uniform is a great way to tie your entire outfit together. Accents like the color of the logo on your shirt or the color of your socks that are peeking through are great to play off of!
- Socks: Your socks are a subtle and often hidden style statement — which is why catching a glimpse of them can be so fun!
- Supplies: Every job has its associated supplies and — while they may be common items — they don’t have to be common at all! Your supplies are essential and worth investing in anyway, so why not take this a step further and invest in your confidence and personal brand as well? From a fun green drill in your hand to a pink stethoscope hanging nicely on your chest, this is a way to actively look your best and outwardly express your personality WHILE you work.
While many roles that require uniforms also have policies in place to determine what accessories can or can’t be worn, there are also roles that have seen accessories created just for them with their policies in mind!
- Nurses, for example, have strict limitations on accessorizing — which is why personality-filled pieces like nursing caps, watches, stethoscope covers and badge reels exist! When combined with the color of your scrubs, there is the potential for your accessories to really pop! Items like this are a great way to amplify your professional image and brand as well.
- Housekeepers are often limited in terms of what they can wear due to policies in their place of work, but also due to the fact that their duties don’t support most accessories. That being said, items like unique colored gloves, uniform complementing scrunchies or those with job-focused patterns, a neat lanyard for all of your keys or a cute mini sanitizer holder are all affordable and easy ways to add some personality to your ensemble.
- Construction workers tend to have a bit more play when it comes to their uniforms. The pieces that a construction worker wears will have specific requirements, such as boots being steel-toe, or clothing being flame resistant — but, for many companies, the dress code may not go beyond this. Due to the nature of the job, though, you’re likely still locked into certain styles, materials and brands when it comes to your clothing. Where you can potentially accessorize, though, is through pieces like belts, boot laces, socks, hats and even hardhat stickers.
- Flight attendants and pilots are a good example of career-catered accessories done right in-house. From elegant jackets, jacket pins and hats for most pilots to an array of scarves, hats and gloves for attendants, the sky’s the limit when it comes to accessorizing for air travel.
- Food service workers have plentiful options available to them when it comes to food-focused fashion pieces. And while many employers may have restrictions on things like earring size or shoe color, it isn’t hard to find pieces that check all the boxes! So whether it’s the scrunchie that’s needed to keep your hair back, or the notebook and pen that’s needed for taking orders — make them yummy!