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Why I Wear The Exact Same Outfit to Work Every Day

Stashed in: #lifehacks, Steve Jobs, Women, Zuck!, Decisions, Awesome, Einstein, Couture, Obama!, Heroes!, IKEA, Life Hacks, Life Automation, Career, Rituals, Extraordinary People, Cognitive Bias

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I'm thinking of trying this very soon...

Superheroes wear the same clothes every day.

And cartoon characters.

Matilda Kahl seems more like a superhero than a cartoon character.

Matilda Kahl superhero outfit uniform Why I Wear The Exact Same Thing to Work Every Day

If you're going to go with the same clothes every day, choose a combination of black and white because then you can add any accessories you want and they will always match.

I like the concept of a work uniform:

I have no clue how the idea of a work uniform came to me, but soon, the solution to my woes came in the form of 15 silk white shirts and a few black trousers. For a little personal detail, I remembered my mother loved to put bows in my hair as kid, so I chose to add a custom-made black leather rosette around my neck. Done. During the colder months, I'll also top my look off with a black blazer. I shopped all the pieces in one day. It burned a hole in my wallet to say the least, but in the long run, it has saved me—and will continue to save me—more money than I could imagine.

To state the obvious, a work uniform is not an original idea. There's a group of people that have embraced this way of dressing for years—they call it a suit. For men, it's a very common approach, even mandatory in most professions. Nevertheless, I received a lot of mixed reactions for usurping this idea for myself. Immediately, people started asking for a motive behind my new look: "Why do you do this? Is it a bet?" When I get those questions I can't help but retort, "Have you ever set up a bill for online auto-pay? Did it feel good to have one less thing to deal with every month?"

More distant co-workers have even asked if I was in some sort of sect—religious or otherwise. However, those types of comments ended abruptly when Mashable published the widely read, "Why Successful Men Wear the Same Thing Every Day." It came out almost two years after I had started wearing my uniform, and to some extent, it was a relief. My work ensemble didn't come off as a mystery anymore. On the downside, I couldn't help but notice that it appeared as if I needed a male authority to legitimatize my choice of clothing in order for others to truly accept it.

Other than the burning, "why?" the most common question I get is whether or not it gets boring in the long run. It's a reasonable question that probably has a lot to do with the fact that office style is commonly informal in my industry. We have been given the opportunity to reflect our true personalities in everything we wear, every day—to extol our "creative spirits" in everything we do.

Among the people who wear (or wore) the same clothes every day according to that Mashable article: Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg.

I like that it removes one decision from your morning routine -- Eric Barker calls that life automation:

Three cheers for Matilda. She's so brave and awesome. I don't have time, inclination or interest in clothes, accessories, makeup, shoes, etc. It made life in an office environment somewhat challenging. Colleagues feel bad about your impairment and like to try to fix you up.

I wouldn't consider that an impairment! You just like what you like, right?

This woman also wore the same outfit to work every day for the last 3 years:

Deciding what to wear:

Ikea recently did a study of morning routines of 8,292 people in eight major world cities, like New York, Mumbai, and Shanghai. The furniture company discovered that people averaged one to two hours of prep before getting out the door, and it discovered that one of the biggest pain points for people — especially women — was deciding what to wear the next day. So Ikea designed "a freestanding mirror that has a rack on the back for hanging clothes and jewelry," which Fortune reporter Beth Kowitt says helped stop "morning panic." It should save time, too — like 20 or 30 minutes a day depending on your morning habits, which should translate to two or three hours a week.

Some people go even more aggressive. Barack Obama wears the same suit every day, and Mark Zuckerberg wears the same T-shirt every day for the same reason — their mental energy is better spent making executive decisions, not what they're going to wear to the office. It's not just for guys. Art director Matilda Kahl has been wearing the same outfit to work for the past three years, and she looks fantastic doing it. Like eating nothing but Soylent, it's an extreme move, but one that could add even more time to your schedule.


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