Uniform of the Day ~ The “Garanimal” in Me

Garanimals brand clothing was a staple of our daughter’s preschool wardrobe. Then (30+ years ago) and now, the brand offered affordable, easy-care, and comfortable mix-and-match shirts, shorts, and pants that were perfect for an active toddler and her time- and style-challenged mother. Cute and colorful, Garanimals outfits helped both of us make it through the morning rush of wake-up, breakfast, and getting out the door to daycare and work, respectively, on time and with our tempers intact. I’m confident we avoided many early morning meltdowns because, in the Garanimals scheme of things, a pink top worked just as well as a yellow (or blue or purple) one with the several shorts and pants selections that filled DD’s closet.

The Garanimals method seems to me to be a variation of what I came to know in the Navy as the “uniform of the day.” In general, the term refers to the uniform all Navy personnel in a region, base, or command are required to wear on a particular day. In bootcamp, uniform of the day specifications were communicated via the barracks-wide public address system and, since I was in bootcamp in winter, they usually included direction to wear “hoods1, havelocks1, and boots” to deal with cold weather issues. Uniform of the day requirements on operational bases were published in the unit’s Plan of the Day and varied depending on the season, rank (whether a person was officer or enlisted), and occasion (whether it was for work or afterhours).

I would like to say that my current dress standards have progressed beyond either the uniform of the day method I learned so many years ago or the much less stringent Garanimals formula I used with my daughter (also more than a few years ago) but, in truth, I still depend on one or two tried-and-true methods for my “style” choices (using that term very loosely!). Fortunately for me, my current job is “casual Friday” all week long, so slacks or jeans and one of my many grown-up mix-and-match tops will usually do. And, though I don’t want to rush things, I am looking forward to retirement when the most challenging style decision in my warm weather climate will revolve around the length of the bottoms—shorts, capris, or pants—with a suitable top to match, of course!

1Hoods and havelocks were wool coverings designed to fit over different types of headgear to provide protection from the cold.

Posted for Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday current study of the letter “U.” I was a consistent poster for most of Round 5, but ran out of steam before we got to “Z.” Because I hate to leave anything undone, I am returning to the end of Round 6 to complete the entries I missed. I hope you enjoy this week’s post.

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Sources for this post include:
Wikipedia ~ Uniforms of the United States Navy
Wikipedia ~ Uniform of the day

12 thoughts on “Uniform of the Day ~ The “Garanimal” in Me

  1. My kids were small in the “pre-Garanimals” years, but since we had little money, all our wardrobes were pretty simple. Now, after almost a year of retirement, I’m still going through my clothes and discarding things I no longer need. It’s not quite as easy as it seems. I keep thinking to myself, What if I need to go somewhere that jeans and t-shirt aren’t appropriate? It could happen! 🙂

  2. Oh man. I haven’t thought about Garanimals in years! My kids often wore that brand, too!

    My daily uniform is jean shorts and a button front short sleeved shirt. On rare occasions I break out the khaki shorts with a button front short sleeved shirt. ha!

    Thanks for a fUn post for the letter “U”.


  3. I’ve never heard of Garanimals and will be off to google shortly! But I really understand the value of a ‘uniform’. I envy those who have slimmed their wardrobe down to 33 things and just rotate and combine them – I might even contemplate doing the same … Lovely informative and thoughtful post and a worthy ‘U’.

  4. Wanda, as you well know we both share the militarybackground, and we lived and dressed by the POD. When I left the service, my 1st civilian job required a uniform, and like the military, there was a POD. For the next 25 yrs after that there was yet another uniform of the day, only then I had to coordinate the tie with the shirt with the suit and shoes. Thank God I had a wife to tell me how to dress. Now that I am retired, I’m kinda like Brenda above, which shorts and golf shirt do I put on. Great post, brought back a ton of memories. Take care, Bill

  5. I remember Garanimals! I bought several cute items for my youngest daughter. She looked adorable in them and they helped to resolve the “what to wear” conflict each morning. Then an older sister told her the outfits made her look chubby… and that was the end of Garanimals around here! Sisters are sometimes mean!

  6. Great post! It’s interesting to consider what we wear most often. I’m a jeans kind of girl but in the last couple of years I’ve tried to wear more dresses. It’s fun to shake things up a bit and wear something we normally wouldn’t – but comfort is always the key for me. I don’t wear high heeled shoes for that very reason! 🙂

    And thanks for stopping by my ‘U is for Unique’ post.

  7. wanda – you sound like me. I can’t wear shorts to work (nobody would want to see me in shorts anyway) but the top is what changes the most. Lucky I’ve been at the same museum for almost 30 years – can’t think of “dressing up” every day! Cute “uniforms” – though they don’t actually look like uniforms… {:-Deb

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