Posts Tagged ‘uniforms’



Above is a 1961 photo (postcard) of  the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), which was a separate branch of the US Army until 1978. WAC started serving at the Presidio in 1944, where they worked as clerks, mechanics, drivers, and they took on responsibilities such as repair and public relations.

The uniform these women are wearing was designed in 1950 by Hattie Carnegie, who was known for excellence in women’s suits.

I recently read that one way to honor Memorial Day is to pause at 3pm in a moment of silence for the men and women who died while serving in the United States military.

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Not my best ensemble but it’s just right for ARF.

Yesterday I completed my fourth and final shift of laundry duty at ARF. This is the first in a series of tasks that I, as a new volunteer at Animal Rescue Foundation, must learn and do before I’m allowed to work with the cats.

What does one wear to the laundry room at ARF? I chose a white ARF volunteer t-shirt with the recently retired logo. (The new one will be unveiled soon.) There is a dress code that states long pants and since I’m not a fan of jeans it was simple black stretch pants for me. PUMA sneakers made me happy for the comfort factor. Fanny Packs are the new It Bag and mine in black, which I picked up at the recent American Craft Council show was a convenient alternative to a handbag since there’s no place to store our stuff.

IMG_20160822_113612888_HDRMy partner in cleanliness, Marjorie sports the ARF Volunteer tee in lavender, which I think looks lovely with her chic bobbed hair.

Our outfits are really a uniform as everyone, the volunteers and staff who work directly with the animals, dresses in variations on this theme. Walking around the shelter in the proper attire, to me felt like I was part of the team. That’s what uniforms are all about!

It’s on to work at the ARF Thrift Store next.

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gty_jenna_lyons_nt_130122_wgThe idea of a uniform is like a slow painful death to me. There is nothing I like more than getting dressed.

Jenna Lyons – creative director of J. Crew.

I understand what Ms. Lyons is saying, she likes the creativity of dressing, but I’m not so quick to dismiss the uniform. Of course it depends on the uniform itself. Modern nurses’ uniforms? Sloppy, unflattering, and just plain ugly. Nope … wouldn’t want to have to sport that everyday. But nurses’ uniforms sixty plus years ago were tailored, chic, and reflected a sense of professionalism. (Take a look at the uniforms in the PBS drama Call the Midwife.) Also, with good-looking uniforms, which are often suits, one can get creative with accessories like a snappy hat, a bold brooch, or a colorful scarf.

There is also what I call the personal uniform, which is a go-to outfit, or look, one wears regularly. My mother was big on this idea when she was raising three children in San Francisco. Living in a city and being fashion conscious, she wanted to look good but she had to be comfortable. Her go-to outfits for day were tweed skirts, Oxford shirts (with her monogram), knee-high socks and leather flats or perhaps desert boots. She played with color and texture, sometimes echoing the pattern of her skirt in her socks or picking up a color in her skirt with her shirt. Mom’s personal uniform always looked individual and sharp.

Yes, uniforms have limitations but striving to be unique within those limitations is where creativity begins.

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