Ever wondered what it might feel like to not think and worry about what you’re going to wear to work each day? Just imagine how much more time, headspace, and creativity this might free up for you.
Last year a young Saatchi & Saatchi art director, Matilda Kahl, decided to write about her experience of wearing exactly the same thing to work everyday for 3 years. She wrote about putting together her own work “uniform” as the antidote to that classic question that often has us all tearing our hair out, “What am I going to wear today?”
Why Did Matilda Kahl Decide to Wear the Same Thing Over and Over?
Sick of constantly worrying about how she looked each morning before leaving for the office, how late the adding or subtracting to each outfit would make her, and realizing that all her male colleagues were taken seriously no matter what they wore, she decided “to come up with a solution to simplify this morning struggle.”
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Her Work Uniform:
She says, “the solution to my woes came in the form of 15 silk white shirts and a few black trousers,” to which she added “a custom-made black leather rosette” around her neck. In the colder months, she topped off the look with a black blazer. For those of you wondering whether it was the same exact white shirt and pants – yes, they were. She shopped all pieces in the same day and although she admitted they burned a hole in her wallet then, she also said, “in the long run it saved me – and will continue to save me – more money than I could imagine.”
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Time and Money are Certainly Two Good Reasons to Create a Work Uniform for Yourself, But…
The biggie for Kahl was, simply not having to think about what she was going to wear anymore, which freed up that mental space for creativity in her work. Interestingly, a couple of years after she began wearing her uniform, she saw that Mashable, Business Insider UK and others began publishing pieces on:
Why Successful People Wear The Same Outfit Every Day
For example, the outfit of choice for President Barack Obama is a blue or grey suit. For Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, it’s jeans and a grey t-shirt. And for the late and great CEO and co-founder Apple, Steve Jobs, it was a black turtleneck, jeans and New Balance sneakers. Each have claimed to wear their signature style for the same reason: Decisions. As in, there’s only so much mental energy to expend in a day, so save it for the truly important stuff by eliminating a few.
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Psychologists Call This “Decision Fatigue”
Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made after a long session of decision-making. Obama has been quoted as saying “You’ll see that 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.”
And no, we don’t have to be the President for this to impact our own lives. If we remove the decision of having choosing which outfit to wear in the morning, we’ll also leave our self with more mental space and better productivity throughout the day. Just think of what creating your own uniform could open up for you and how this one act could help get you that one step closer to living the life you came here for. Knowing what you’re going to put on the next morning AND laying it out the night before… genius in my book!
What do you think? Would you give this idea a try?