I've finally figured out the formula to my personal perfect uniform. I used to think that having a uniform meant recycling the same ol' things that are in the same color palette. And while having a color palette is a good rule of thumb, I found that it just wasn't working for me. I (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this) need a mix and match wardrobe that can be worn to work or for play (thankfully I work in a business-casual environment, so as long as I'm not showing any skin or wearing jeans on a non-Friday-day, I can wear whatever I want).
Have you ever noticed how the thing that you think won't go with anything actually goes with everything? That's how I feel about my J.Crew Viv Striped Flats. They're not available on the site right now, but eeeeevery now and then you'll see a pop-back or you can sometimes find them on eBay. Anyway, I mix them with stripes and plaids and solids and brights and it's always somehow perfect.
I am a huge fan of cropped pants. J.Crew's Cafe Capris are more cropped pants than capris and they hit me on a pretty flattering place just above my ankle bone. I rarely wear full length pants; I wear skirts moderately during the summer and capri pants pretty much the rest of the year. I have seven pair of this style and an orange pair of the FactoryWinnies (I'm just dying for the Minnies in the bright berry color), so I've just about got a complete rainbow of colors. I actually prefer the Winnie to the Minnie, so I may pick up a pair in navy (especially since the whole site is 30% off right now - holla!).
Okay, so I take a collared shirt, and depending on if it's a neutral (navy or black, in my case) or a bright, I pair it with a contrasting bottom. I add a sweater vest (the Jackie shell or Factory version) or 3/4 sleeve cardigan (Jackie again or Factory) for a little dimension and to keep from freezing in my office or the grocery store. I pick one of my three pairs of pointy bow flats - my favorite silhouette right now. For jewelry, I have a rather embarrassingly large number of bubble necklaces so I pick out one of those. (Styling tip: I put on my monogram necklace and layer the bubble necklace over my collared shirt.) I try to take it easy on my wrist - I've seen some arm parties where too many bracelets have been invited. I do a sensible stack of one or two bracelets and a watch. I feel so naked without earrings so I make sure I've got on either my pearl studs or my starfish studs.
And that's it. This might not work for you. Sharing my uniform with you isn't a way of telling you that you should be doing the same thing. But try it, it might work. But it might not. The whole point really is to try lots of stuff and go with what you know works.
I know I mentioned that the J.Crew Factory site is on sale for 30% off, but J.Crew's site is also doing an additional 30% off of sale items (yesterday I bought the Scout Chino in neon rose - which for some reason is showing as the sale price is the original price; I called customer service about it and they were able to do them for 30% off when I ordered over the phone - and the Jackie shell in sea glass). Shop to it.