Finding My Outer Home-Girl

While Jslow searches for her school uniform, I’ve stumbled upon my own “home” uniform, at least for the next few months. And let me tell you how liberating this is. It’s also a necessity.

And really ironic.

We write this blog because we love, LOVE, L O V E fashion, and have always spent a big chunk of our days obsessing and searching and shopping for the perfect whatever, quickly moving on to the next must-have. And the next. And the next. It’s like being on a giant hamster-wheel that never stops. Except money is involved. Too much.

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Right-side of my closet. “Please Paula, no more! We can barely breathe in here!”

The thing is, when you look at the really creative, interesting people of the world, they all have a uniform that lets them focus their time and money on actually living their life and creating, not dressing for the act. I remember when I went back to art school at 40, most of the freshmen girls fresh out of high-school teetered around in sky high heels, tiny bodies wrapped in neon, and/or fur, and/or distressed denim, swaddled in as many trends as possible, listing to the left, hunched over under the weight of their giant portfolios, paint bins and insecurities. The seniors? Same boots and jeans everyday, stomping about, heads held high.

Sometimes I look in my closet and want to cry. I’m paralyzed with options and I just don’t know what to wear, which is dumb since I bought it all and technically can wear any of it. These are all things I obsessed over and bought, so why isn’t it perfect and why does it all cause me such confusion and angst?

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Left-side of my closet. “Seriously, put the mouse down, how many jackets do you need?”

I wanted to cry today too after my annual meeting with my financial planner. Yes, I have one of those. I had to come face to face with the fact that I spent too much money on clothes.

Which brings me back to my uniform.

max studio fox fur, birkenstocks

Last month I bought the most luxurious and soft fur coat from CRIS, a consignment store on Polk and Broadway in my old neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s 100% fox and was a steal at under $250. It’s so light and sweater-like it’s easy to toss on over anything, even though it’s so formal and fancy. And yet, I’ve been wearing it almost every day over one of my 25 pairs of jeans and 25 tank tops, with the same beat-up beige Birkenstocks, which yes, have been my go-to footwear when it’s not raining. I love how out of place the Birks are with the fur, how utterly opposite they are, and how the quintessential Birkenstock person frowns on fur in a big way.

I feel so cozy and comfortable in this uniform and so utterly me, the home-girl who has more than she will ever need, the home-girl who needs to step off that hamster wheel. At least for now.

Ladies: What is your uniform? Do you have one? We’d love to hear about yours. And remember, Jslow really needs ideas!


4 Responses


    My very cold weather school uniforms (literally–I’m a college professor):
    a.) skinny black pants, black long-sleeved turtleneck with a small pin of a cartoon soccer player, black riding boots, black leather gloves, black satchel purse, all topped by a bright red wool swing jacket.
    b.) flared denim jeans (maybe they are out of trend right now, but I think I look fabulous in them)–nothing special, just regular Ann Taylor jeans, different black long-sleeved turtleneck, very comfortable moto boots, topped by the best coat I have ever owned — a variegated, tweedy, wool-blend, slightly flared, retro-ish coat with a faux-fur collar–teal is the dominant color in the coat. I feel so “it” when I wear it (and I get a lot of compliments on it).

    I guess the essential elements of my uniform is pants, turtleneck, and a great coat or jacket. Odd, because I really think I’m a dress babe.

    It’s the coats that are really the “uniform” part–I could totally be a coat whore. Maybe that’s why I’m not as crazy about summer fashion–no coats! I also have a black and white houndstooth check coat which is “uniformy”–whenever I wear one of these three, I am totally put together, no matter what else I’ve got on.

    1. Paula

      Petra: I love the whole “dress babe” thing — I sadly feel so “out of uniform” in a dress of any kind. Jslow/Jennifer looks amazing in them. I am a coat whore for sure, I just love them and am pretty sure I own more coats than pants/skirts/bottoms of any kind. They just tie a whole look together — and even if I have somoething crappy on, a fabulous coat turns it around — especially if it’s buttoned-up!
      Your uniforms sound beautiful. I love reading your responses, thanks so much for writing. Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo


    Yesyesyes the birks absolutely make the look. Never wear fox w/o them . That can be a rule for everyone.

    My rick owens would be keyto my uniform if only the weather would cooperate and be less cold.

    1. Paula

      Hi Yunah: Thanks for writing! Glad you approve of the Birks + fox. I LOVE Rick Owens, and think they could be the key to ANY uniform. Which ones do you wear? The high wedge boots? Sneakers? Photo!


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