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    I Finally Found A Uniform, And It’s Everything Pastel

    Soft, pale blues, blushes, mauves, and creams might be my ASMR.

    Jessie Gaynor / BuzzFeed

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    I have long gazed in awe at those self-possessed enough to manage to deploy a personal uniform.

    Disney / Via giphy.com

    These are the people who wear all black, or a rotation of nautical stripes and jeans. I have often wondered if more consistent personal branding would iron out my kinks. But so far, a personal uniform has eluded me. I buy things sporadically, so by the time I buy a black shirt to go with my black pants, I’m mixing bell-bottomed ankles with unseemly arm ruffles and it’s all too much to jam into one season. Also, I hate wearing black.

    At some point this past year, though, I've found both a uniform and a form of self-care in soft, pastel clothes. When you live life swaddled in pastels, anything is a match, and every outfit made me feel looked-after, happy, gentle of heart.

    Let me walk you through my fever dream of pastel attire from head to toe.

    1. A snug wrap headband, to offer a more forgiving take on your unbleached roots.

    freepeople.com

    Though I'm new to a personal uniform, I have worn my hair the same way for years: down and with a headband. A muted headpiece feels like it tones down the redder aspects of my freckly, uneven skin. Plus, less hair-washing.

    Get it from Free People for $38.

    2. Palazzo pants, which offer your gams maximum breathing room.

    urbanoutfitters.com

    For many years, my style stricture was simply “no pants.” No jeans, no trousers, no shorts. I preferred to keep some mystery in my butt region. But the ballooning legs of this year's high-waisted '80s redux have sucked me in. I've embraced the look of a billowy arc of the palazzo in a color that says, "We have nothing to fear but errant ketchup."

    Get them from Urban Outfitters for $59 (available in sizes XS–XL).

    3. A blazer that won't make you feel like an airline pilot.

    urbanoutfitters.com

    The problem with other people’s ideas of fashion are that when you try something on like, say, a blazer, you feel the blunt force of a navy suit and the mismatch with your own unambiguous self. Enter the pale blazer, which allows me to cover my arms and look professional, but could also be something I might wear to hang with the Childlike Empress in the Ivory Tower.

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $69 (available in sizes XS–XL).

    4. A henley bodysuit, because if not now, when?

    ae.com

    The last time I snapped myself into a bodysuit, I was 12, and about as confident as I am here at thirtysomething (which is to say not very). But the beautiful thing about a good bodysuit is that it's actually both comfortable and flattering. No bunching, no creeping — just sweet, smooth coverage.

    Get it from American Eagle in red, blue, or navy for $20 (available in sizes XXS–XXL).

    5. A puffer jacket, which may convince you of the viability of "marshmallow chic."

    us.asos.com

    This coat has a deeply Queen Frostine feel and I am not mad at it.

    Get it from Asos for $87 (available in sizes 14–24).

    6. An embroidered T-shirt that recognizes the struggle.

    thebeeandthefox.com

    I have a small band of plain fitted tees that I layer under overalls, dresses, jumpsuits, whatever I've got going on. Now that it's getting chillier and I can put my skin away for the year, I'll be layering them over long-sleeved henleys to get some understated colorblocking going on.

    Get it from The Bee and The Fox for $32 (available in sizes S–XXL).

    7. A knotted crew neck perfect for an insouciant base layer.

    amazon.com

    I'm a sucker for a basic T-shirt with a twist (or a knot, as the case may be).

    Get it from Amazon in pink, blue, or black for $15.99 (available in sizes XS–L).

    8. An outdoorsy plaid that looks sun-kissed, or like you left it in a wheelbarrow for an entire summer.

    anthropologie.com

    Though I'm fanatical about my Patagonia plaids, having a lighter-weight shirt to layer under my trusty blue anorak is key. While I'm partial to a good Buffalo plaid, this one melds perfectly with everything else in my overstuffed dresser.

    Get it from Anthropologie for $88 (available in sizes XXS–XL).

    9. A biz-caj turtleneck that says, "I’m listening to everything you say."

    landsend.com

    As a rookie at life, I've never been able to grasp the world of simple, lush knitwear like you might see at Rag & Bone or hear people raving about from The Row. But this wool sweater, in a neutral pastel I want to curl up in, brings me to the precipice of understanding.

    Get it from Land's End in a variety of colors for $32.99.

    10. A chunky sweater you'll want to wander the moors in.

    hm.com

    Something about the weight of this sweater is comforting, as thought it will stop me from blowing away like a puff of cotton candy. It's the perfect thing to wear on the couch, though I assume it's also suitable for fishing.

    Get it from H&M in light beige or black for $19.99 (available in sizes XS–XL).

    11. A cropped sweater that layers like a dream.

    urbanoutfitters.com

    Somewhat higher difficulty, my cropped sweater is a goodie to toss over a dress or show off a good blouse collar. No, I'm not over Peter Pan necklines yet.

    Get it from Urban Outfitters in cream or black for $59 (available in sizes XS–XL).

    12. A timeless pastel dress that parties softly.

    us.boohoo.com

    Sticking within the general bounds of my pastel uniform, I can recommend this party number without feeling like I'll regret stepping out of my range. I know what I bring to the party, okay? It's a kale bake and awkward conversation.

    Get it from Boohoo in ivory, blue, or black for $11.50 (available in sizes 12–18).

    13. Velvet booties to tread lightly through fall.

    lulus.com

    I was initially very unsure about my pale Blowfish booties. Feet are usually cloaked in black or brown, like they're hooves. But when faced with these, I realized that depriving my feet of the sweet embrace of pastels was cruel and arbitrary. Same team, after all.

    Get them from Lulus for $47 (available in sizes 5.5–10).

    14. Comfy cream-colored sneakers with soles that won’t won’t leave a trace.

    zappos.com

    These count as high fashion so long as you can keep them looking clean and bright. Once they scuff and darken, you can hit 'em with a scrub brush or double down on the eyeliner.

    Get them from Zappos in a variety of colors for $67.95 (available in sizes 5–11).

    15. And tie it all up in a scarf so cozy and big you can live in it.

    urbanoutfitters.com

    Rather famously, I purchased a gigantic, plush, flesh-toned scarf as a push present to myself before I had actually given birth. To this day, my husband likes to refer to the scarf as one of our children. He’ll walk into the room with a stricken face and say something like, “The cops are outside. They found your scarf on the stairs. I don’t know if it will make it.” The joke is on him because this heirloom is about to celebrate its first birthday.

    Get it from Urban Outfitters in a variety of colors for $34.

    Grumpy fall wardrobe, don’t come around here no more.

    Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

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