Whathefuss?! Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Tonne Goodman all have one major thing in common?
Decision fatigue; a phrase coined to define the mentally warn out state that individuals face when making too many life choices. The term has gained more and more traction, with the rise of the 'signature uniform' and it’s many prominent ‘members’ whom have embraced it.
It was about three years ago that I found my outfit – well actually there were two. My work outfit consisted of torn Rag & Bone jeans, a black jumper and combat boots, whereas, my gym outfit was ‘famously’ black Jaggad leggings, a black Under Armour tank, a Nike sports bra, and black Asics runners. Though these two outfits have changed slightly over the years, they were my go-to — I felt most comfortable in them, not just because of how they felt on but also how they made me feel. I had perfected them and I wasn’t afraid nor embarrassed. These days, I still interchange between two outfits but I upped my torn Rag and Bone’s for 3.1 Phillip Lim trousers and a $250 Helmut Lang tank, while my gym outfit incorporates ‘trackies’ (or as you say here… sweatpants), that same Under Armour top (I have at least three, don’t you worry!), a different Nike sports bra and Fenty Puma sneakers. These two outfits are a way for me to broadcast my identity, save some of my hard-earned New York City cash (as much as you might think $250 is an awful lot to spend on a tank top – it’s basically all I wear), and ultimately, focus on my work.
So, let’s celebrate those more well-known likeminded individuals who have cleared their minds of decision fatigue. Start scrolling… And next time you’re getting dressed, ask yourself, “which outfit is me?”
Steve Jobs, late founder of Apple
Most famous for his black mock turtle neck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers. He was so in favor of a work wardrobe, he even tried to implement a uniform policy at Apple. Unfortunately, not many employees agreed on the idea.
Vera Wang, fashion designer
Not leggings... “Like most designers, I have a uniform, and mine is a legging. And if it’s not a legging, it’s a pant that’s like a legging. Then I throw on a T-shirt,” she said in Harper’s Bazaar.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
Known for the gray t-shirt, and occasional black hoodie ensemble. “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 the community.”
Matilda Kahl, art director of Saatchi & Saatchi
Kahl has been wearing the same white blouse and back jeans combination for the last three years. “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,” told as a personal essay in Harper’s Bazaar.
Barack Obama, former president of the United States
Sticks to dark formalwear. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits [because] 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 an interview with Vanity Fair back in 2012.
Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Into the Gloss (Glossier)
Owns the sweater and jeans uniform. “I’m probably not a fashion person, first of all, because I wear basically the same thing every single day: jean shorts or jeans and sneakers, and I don’t experiment in a huge way with my look or spend so much time these days trying to pick out my outfit in the morning,” she told BuzzFeed.
Christopher Nolan, film director
The Interstellar director is known for a dark, narrow-lapeled jacket over a blue dress shirt, scuffed black trousers, and sensible shoes. Nolan decided a while back that it was “a waste of energy to choose a new what to wear each day,” according to a recent profile.
Tonne Goodman, fashion director at Vogue
White or black straight-leg jeans, a turtleneck sweater, a button-down, and flats. “Jeans work for me for a lot of reasons: facility, comfort, attitude. Facility being that I do operate from a uniform because it is simple, and it is direct, and it is the easiest thing to do,” she told Jean Stories.