Why everyone should be wearing a uniform

Article by Melissa Heagney /
The New Daily /
September 20, 2015 /
Click here to view original /

We’ve all been there. Frazzled, tired, running late for work and staring at the wardrobe trying to decide what to wear.

For some of us, this decision can be almost impossible to make.

There is a reason for this indecisiveness – it’s called “decision fatigue” – and researchers believe your brain, so filled with decisions to make on a daily basis, stops you making smart choices and focussing on the important things like work.

It’s why a number of successful people don’t care about their fashion choices. They simply wear the same outfit every day.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe was the subject of a story about his latest appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair which is due out in October.

He wore, as he does every day, his signature uniform – a grey t-shirt and blue jeans in the photo shoot.

Zuckerberg revealed his reasons for this choice of clothing were to allow him to focus solely on work.

He told a Facebook Q&A session late last year (where he was asked the question about his wardrobe choice):

“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,” he said.

Zuckerberg isn’t the only one in the tech community who chooses to wear the same thing everyday – Apple CEO Tim Cook always wears an open-collared shirt and jeans.

It’s the same philosophy he predecessor, Steve Jobs, adopted when he wore his signature black turtleneck, jeans and New Balance sneakers.

For US President Barak Obama, jeans aren’t in his daily wardrobe, though he does wear similar things every day.

President Obama told the media in 2012: “You’ll see I wear only grey 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.”

University of Melbourne’s Dr Lauren Rosewarne, an academic in the Social and Political sciences, said freeing up the brain was only one of the reasons for people to choose the same outfit.

“Another key driver is cost. Just as in the realm of school uniforms wearing them is simply less costly than having to chase fashions and perform a different daily look, a work uniform achieves something similar,” Dr Rosewarne said.

“We live in a world where everything is customisable,” she said.

“While being given the ‘opportunity’ of so much choice can seem appealing, for some it is exhausting and they would rather this decision to be taken from them,” she said.

Here are 10 successful people who are fans of wearing a uniform.

1. Steve Jobs

A black turtleneck, jeans and New Balance sneakers helped him to lead one of the best-known companies of modern times, particularly in the latter part of his career.

2. Mark Zuckerberg

His grey t-shirt and blue jeans are often paired with a black hoodie. It’s not high fashion, but it has helped him amass a fortune worth billions.

3. Barack Obama

Navy or grey suits with a blue or red tie and a white shirt. The US President keeps his look “business” to help him govern and make the decisions that count.

4. Carolina Herrera

A white shirt and black skirt are the go to wardrobe pieces for designer Carolina Herrera. “Elegance isn’t solely defined by what you wear,” she once said.

5. Vera Wang

While she may not wear exactly the same outfit every day – they’re all the same colour. Wang, who most famously designs wedding dresses, loves to wear stylish, all-black outfits.

Segway founder Dean Kamen always wears double denim. Photos: Getty
Segway founder Dean Kamen always wears double denim. Photos: Getty
6. Julie Bishop

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has a go-to outfit – a power suit comprising a colourful jacket, pencil skirt and large brooch.

7. Dean Kamen

He’s the inventor of the Segway is known for his double denim look. Denim shirt and jeans are combined with a pair of work boots to show he’s ready for cross-country business.

8. Christopher Nolan

The Interstellar director commonly wears a dark coloured jacket and shirt, jeans and scuffed shoes to allow his creativity to flow.

9. Michael Kors

He knows what looks good on him so he sticks to it. Kors is well known for his black t-shirt, black suit jacket and designer sunglasses. He does change up his jeans though.

10. Albert Einstein

His signature style was a grey suit, shoes with no socks and unkempt hair. The theoretical physicist was able to use his freed-up brainpower on those mind-blowing theories.