The Handbook

Adopt a

When you think of a personal uniform, it can be as concrete as Steve Jobs or Thom Browne (wearing practically the same thing everyday) or as loose as Bill Cunnigham or Ryan Gosling (who favor a particular style or individual piece). But with either case, there's a clear picture that comes to mind.

The benefit of a uniform is that it takes the guess work out of dressing. Find something that suits your taste, that works for your body type and incorporate it into your personal style. These will be the foundations of your wardrobe—be it a particular style of shirt or pants, or perhaps a single jacket that you can mix and match with a variety of different pieces from your closet.

It's a nice notion to think that you could consider something once and then never worry about it again. Of course, that's likely not going to happen. We're wired to want the upgrade. But that's okay. The more you edit your wardrobe and embrace a uniform of pieces that work for you, you'll have a better understanding of what you should and shouldn't be spending your hard-earned money on. Which means you'll find yourself buying less, but buying well-made versions of your favorite items—leaving you with a closet full of stuff that you like to wear and feel good in. And isn't that the real benefit of a uniform?


We asked designer Steven Alan for his personal uniform: "A classic white tee, a pair of dark Levis and a Steven Alan button-down, of course."