Is Life Easier If All of Your Clothes Are the Same?


Zuckerberg’s closet

Every morning/afternoon when I get dressed, I spend about 67 seconds selecting my outfit for the day based on my mood, activities that day, and availability of clean clothes. 67 seconds isn’t much, but is that time and mental energy I could better spend on other things?

Steve Jobs (who I generally try not to emulate) thought so. President Obama agrees, saying, “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Celebrated author Neil Gaiman has a similar philosophy about his closet. “You know, the main reason I’ve been wearing more or less the same thing for about 20 years is that I don’t ever have to wonder what to wear.”

And most recently, Mark Zuckerberg joked about the intentional lack of options in his closet. He was asked about this back in 2014, and he said, “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.”

All interesting points. I’m not sure if the incremental gain in time and metal energy is worth the loss in variation. Wearing different outfits is fun, and it can have a positive impact on your mood (and other peoples’ moods). Like, on a cloudy day, I like to wear brighter clothing to make the day seem a little less gloomy.

It is kind of freeing, though, to pick one outfit and stick with it. I have a few shirts that I like more than any others, but I try to spread them out and not wear them more than every 2-3 weeks. What if I could just wear the same shirt I love the most every day? That might be kind of amazing.

I’m curious about how people make a transition from a varied wardrobe to a limited one. The first decision to make is what that outfit will be. I’ve found that I really like dark grey shirts. I also like a specific cut of sweater in the winter. And I like button down shirts with two pockets and snap-off buttons (I feel like Superman whenever I take off those shirts).

When you first switch over to a single-outfit wardrobe, people are bound to think that you’re just wearing the same shirt over and over again. You almost have to make a point of telling people that you’re actually wearing different copies of the same exact clothes.

Last, it’s notable to me that all of the people who are famous for wearing the same outfit are men. Are there women who do this as well? If not, is there a reason for it? I’m not judging at all–I’m genuinely curious what women think.

Do you see benefits in doing this? What’s your favorite outfit, and would you enjoy wearing it every day?