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Matilda Kahl
Self-Imposed Uniform

This woman has worn the same outfit to work every single day for the past 3 years

By choice.

FOR THE PAST three years, art director Matilda Kahl has been wearing the same outfit to work every single day.

“I just wanted to save some time and energy,” she told Business Insider.

Kahl was tired of running late in the morning, reevaluating her outfits, and stressing about whether her clothes were appropriate for different events or meetings at her creative advertising agency.

For someone in the creative field who has to make a lot of decisions throughout the day, she longed for one less choice to make.

“During the weekdays, I have so many creative challenges at work to keep my mind stimulated that I don’t feel an urge to express myself creatively through what I wear,” she said. “I finally had enough.”

After one particularly memorable meeting in which she realised her male work colleagues never face as much sartorial stress as she did, Kahl decided it was time for her own work uniform —something that could look professional, fashionable, and classic when worn every day.

“I was looking for something that was simple yet wouldn’t feel too anonymous,” Kahl said. “After a few long days hunting for the right top, I fell in love with the white blouse for its diagonal line of buttons and the cuts in the sleeves. It felt personal but wasn’t too attention-drawing.”

Kahl bought 15 versions of the silk white top as well as six pairs of black pants so she wouldn’t continually have to do laundry. She also included a black leather bow around her neck to add flair to the ensemble.


The outfit was a success, with hardly any of her coworkers caring what Kahl was wearing. “I’m happy to say we don’t talk about it much, which was the whole idea behind the uniform,” she said. “To take focus away from the wardrobe and lay it on the work instead.”

In April of this year, Kahl wrote an article for Harper’s Bazaar about her decision to implement her work uniform for the past three years. Her story soon went wild online.

“The response has been overwhelming since Harper’s posted the article,” Kahl said. “I never thought the public would think it’s such big of a deal, but wearing a uniform as a woman is apparently more provocative than I could ever imagine.”

She also didn’t realise how big a change the outfit would have on her own life as well.

PastedImage-56192 Matilda Kahl Matilda Kahl

“Nowadays, I never have to rush through the process of putting together an outfit, so the whole experience has become a lot more enjoyable,” she told Business Insider. “It has really made me more appreciative of the clothes I own — they feel more special now when I don’t wear them every day.”

Kahl has other clothes aside from her black and white weekday wardrobe, and loves to wear her more creative outfits on the weekends and weeknights.

“I still wear all the colourful skirts and patterned sweaters that I own as often as I can,” she said. “I’m also very into dresses, as they are feminine and fit most occasions.”

As for whether she’ll keep doing it, Kahl isn’t sure, but sees no reason to stop yet.

“If I wake up one day and feel like start spending time on picking out an outfit every morning of the week, I’d have no problem with giving it up,” she said. “The uniform is here for me, I’m not here for the uniform.”

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Read: Over 30 years ago, John Hinckley shot President Reagan. Now, he’s almost a free man.

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Business Insider
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