Collectively, we waste so much time and effort thinking about what we’re going to wear for the day, picking out our clothes, figuring out what matches with what, and of course the biggest time-suck of all: shopping. Undoubtedly there’s more to life than dressing well, and it seems that a certain subset of people look beyond fashion and opt for functionality and simplicity. Meet the group of the most successful people in the world (living and dead), who can give a rat’s behind about trendy fashion: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Albert Einstein, and the Commander-in-Chief himself, President Barack Obama.
They wear (or wore) close to the same things every day and, because of this, have developed their own individual style. In fact, you could probably describe their individual signature styles to a T. Here are some reasons why the most successful people wear the same outfits (or close to them) everyday.
Wearing the same thing everyday is the simplest decision you can make. Keeping that aspect of your life simple allows your brain to focus on other matters. There is genius in simplicity and complicated is often dizzying. Wear what makes you comfortable and embrace your unique look. Are you more of a Steve Jobs who is likely to reach for a black turtleneck and jeans? A grey or a black suit like our president? Are there some outfits you enjoy wearing more than others? Embrace it and define a uniform that’s yours. When you get the chance, buy more of what you enjoy wearing. Once you get that out of the way, you can concentrate on your goals, and what must be done for the day. You know, just like other successful people do.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Obama summed up why he’s spotted in the same color suits all he time, and the logic behind this routine: “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” In the article, the president adds that research shows that making decisions impacts one’s ability to make further decisions.
His life as a president requires that he not place importance on the mundane, like deciding what to wear, which most people would normally fret over. Lifehacker explains what’s called decision fatigue, a real psychological condition, which refers to the idea that people tend to make worse decisions after having to make a lot of decisions. It’s described in comparison to what is muscle fatigue, which if you flex the “decision” muscle too much then it will ultimately fail you. Your productivity will suffer as a result of being mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.
In other words, since the president doesn’t have to think or worry about what he’s going to wear for the day, he actively frees his mind to make more important decisions. The late, great Steve Jobs did the same thing: He wore his signature black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers everyday, and Mark Zuckerburg has his gray t-shirt, black hoodies, and jeans. Consider Albert Einstein, who wore variations of the same grey suit to avoid having to think about what to wear each morning, all so he could perfect his theory of relativity.
“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” said Mark Zuckerburg, in Business Insider. “I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life,” he added.
Zuckerburg drew his always-wear-the-same-thing philosophy from President Obama and Steve Jobs: It seems that all successful people think a like.
It boosts your confidence and helps you focus
Believe it or not, wearing the same thing everyday is a major confidence booster. When wearing what’s most comfortable to you, you’re not wasting time worrying about being self-conscience. Not to mention that when you’re at your most comfortable you’re able to focus more. There is no need to wear clothes that make you physically uncomfortable. Knowing what works for you and your body type does wonders for your confidence, and most importantly, your productivity.
It’s important to note, that just because you opt to wear the same thing everyday doesn’t mean you should wear sweatpants and hoodies, rather stick to an outfit type that works — put it on and go about your day. On to more important things.