Some time ago and to much favorable response, Kelly announced her equivalent of a moon shot: the sewing and deployment of a practical, everyday uniform. With pockets, of course. Like most NASA scale projects, there have been cost overruns, delays and setbacks. Hopefully she’ll be getting back to it soon.
One person that did figure out a personal uniform was the late New York Times fashion and society photographer Bill Cunningham, the subject of an entertaining documentary you can watch in Netflix, “Bill Cunningham New York.” Cunningham had an eye for creative people, not necessarily rich or connected, with a sense of fashion. He cared little for the niceties of life, preferring to dine on $3 sandwiches, get around on a bicycle and sleep in his studio surrounded by filing cabinets full of 35mm negatives.
He also managed to engineer a uniform for himself in keeping with his frugal lifestyle, but at the same time, oddly stylish. Wherever Cunningham went you’d see him in a French worker’s jacket or bleu de travail. Reading between the lines in the documentary, it seems like he’d stock up on them when the Times would send him to Paris.
Blue worker’s shirts and jackets have a long history in all Western countries including the U.S. It’s the origin, of course, of “blue collar.” American uniform shops carry something similar but I like the cut and pockets of the French and German versions better (hint to American uniform manufacturers: you should bring back your vintage patterns and slimmer sizes!). Some enterprising Etsy folks have shops devoted to vintage European uniforms. Here’s a French uniform shop selling them for around 18€ (a steal at $20 USD–no wonder Cunningham liked them!).
So enterprising homesteaders, I’m handing you an entrepreneurial opportunity. Buy a pallet of European worker’s uniforms and open yourself a boutique or sell them on Amazon. I’m very surprised no one has tried the latter.