I recently read an article about successful people who have chosen to wear the same thing every day in order to avoid a psychological condition called “decision fatigue.” Decision fatigue refers to the declining quality of the decisions a person makes after a long session of decision-making. As you can imagine, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes thousands of decisions daily, virtually all of which are more important than choosing his or her outfit du jour. Why not take that one decision off the table permanently?
Developing and sticking with a personal uniform is a compelling idea even for non-CEOs. Imagine the time you’d save if you no longer had to decide what to wear every morning, let alone shop for each item of a typical wardrobe. However, the author of the article cites not one woman among his examples of highly successful people who have chosen personal uniforms.
I, myself, have a personal stay-at-home-mom uniform consisting of a faded Everlane v-neck t-shirt, Hudson skinny jeans and Vans leather slip-ons (because I also can’t be bothered to tie my shoes). Unfortunately, I don’t think my current level of success quite measures up to that of Steve Jobs or Karl Lagerfeld.
I can think of only a handful of extremely accomplished women who have perfected a “look” they return to time and again. Carolina Herrera is known for her crisp, white button-down shirts and you’ll rarely see Fran Lebowitz deviate from her menswear navy-suit-and-white-shirt uniform. However, I can’t think of one successful woman outside of the creative fields who wears the same thing every day.
What do you think? Do you wish you could avoid wardrobe decision-making every morning? Could you see yourself wearing a personal uniform? If so, what would it be? Do you think a female CEO could get away with wearing a t-shirt, black hoodie and jeans å la Mark Zuckerberg to the office every day? How about the same navy or gray suit like decision fatigued Barack Obama? Discuss amongst yourselves.
I don’t nearly wear the same thing every day, but I always wear dresses, and I just rotate through my closet…so I just grab the next thing that’s up and put it on. I only ever wear beige or black shoes, with a matching cardigan. I carry the same work bag every day. Getting dressed is one of the easiest parts of my day.
Sounds like a perfect system, Gabriele! When I was practicing law, I loved wearing dresses…fewer pieces to coordinate. 🙂
I agonize over what to wear in the morning if I haven’t picked it out the night before. It’s exhausting And the funny thing is, career-wise, what I wear doesn’t even remotely matter.
You need a uniform! I love the idea of reaching into my closet half asleep in the morning and grabbing one of 5 identical tops and one of 5 identical pairs of pants. Aaahh…so easy!
This is so interesting. I think a woman could do it if she chose to. I’d like to think so, anyway. I myself wore a uniform in school, and have loved that ease in dressing ever since. By the way… the leather vans are my favorite this Fall, too. So easy to slide into on the way to carpool in the morning!
I’ve worn slip on Vans forever, but at around 35 I decided to go with only leather or black on black checkerboard. More of a “mature” look. Ha!
I love this idea!! I don’t currently wear the same thing everyday, but I work from home. I once worked for a company that required us to wear a blazer every single day, even in mid-August. It was easier than I expected. That was the most streamlined my work wardrobe has ever been. And yeah… perhaps I should give this a go now. I could stand WAY fewer decisions.
Me, too! Now, if only someone else would make all meal-related decisions for me, I’d be all set!