Why I Wear the Same Thing Everyday
Save your choice making power for what counts
Clean: the name of the game
Let’s be clear. I’m not referring to the exact same outfit everyday. I wash my clothes regularly, and what guy doesn’t like fresh socks and clean undies? What I’m referring to specifically is the ‘uniform’ I’ve created for myself. It looks good, makes me feel right and it’s easy. Guys take note. If you are like me and into optimizing your time, this is a great life hack. Let’s set the stage. I live in Southern California where the women and weather are equally beautiful. The climate truly stays within a really comfortable range compared to most of the country, where the temperatures can vary radically. I do have it lucky, as I don’t have to worry about bringing a warm jacket and hat wherever I go. Now that that’s out of the way…
Time, time, time… see what you’ve done to me…
I’ve always been sensitive to time. As a child I would fight boredom with the best tools children have, namely my imagination. I’d fill my gaps of time with music, reading, movies and spending time with friends (this was the 70's and 80's folks, there wasn’t an iPhone in sight!) … anything so I didn’t have to deal with a prolonged period stuck with (gasp!) my own thoughts, god no! I had too much time on many occasions, and I wasn’t always capable of filling it. I just anxiously waited to grow up. Waited to be just like an adult. Waited to be ‘free’ just like them. But if you watch them closely, not all of them were free (sounding like Morpheus from the Matrix). Some were slaves to their lives, lousy friends or even dysfunctional jobs. I got smart. I wanted to be an adult who was essentially free, so if I did choose to work hard or be in an incredible relationship–it would be by choice, specifically, my choice.
The inspiration: instead of editing in, just edit out
I’m fairly entrepreneurial, and while commuting/consulting with a budding Newport Beach startup a little more than a year ago, I started listening to lots of business podcasts. I came across a gem hosted by Andy Drish (a successful entrepreneur who had a knack for great interviews) on it called ‘The Foundation: Starting from Nothing’ (who wouldn’t love a title like that?). During one episode Andy was referring to optimizing his time at the beginning of the day (since entrepreneurs are typically strapped for time), and he referred to how he wore the same outfit daily–regardless of what day or occasion it was, and I thought ‘my god, I can do that. It’s so simple and easy.’ And it was. I basically copied Andy’s approach, and his basic uniform.
The Recipe (Andy’s formula with my tweaks)
- The shirt: black, dark gray or navy blue v-neck t-shirt. Either all cotton or a nice blend so it drapes well. Buy the size that fits you (two big and you don’t look serious about business, too small and it makes you look superficial). Makes sure you look good and are super comfortable, since you’ll be wearing this often. Don’t skimp here and get $5 t-shirts from Walmart or Target. People will notice! They see you from the waist up most of the time. Make it count.
- The pants: dark jeans or khakis. Again, make sure they fit well, and keep the comfort level high. If you want to skimp here a little, that’s ok. You’re pants will take the longest to put on, no way around that.
- The shoes: high quality leather (or suede) slip-ons. Forget laces. Laces need love. They need handling. You want that time back. You have no time for laces. Get a few nice pairs of slip-ons. Make sure they are interchangeable (super simple, and very similar) this will guarantee they will go with anything in your new ‘uniform’.
- Your face: brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Blow your nose. Give your facial hair the attention it deserves. Use moisturizer when you need it. Use preservative free eyedrops to clear up your eyes (computer users!). Always check your teeth before leaving the house. My favorite move? Gotta thank Willie Geist from the NBC Today Show for this nuggest: shower and shave the night before. You’ll do it faster and more accurately since you won’t need the shower to ‘wake up’ and you’ll save so much time in the morning getting ready. Love that.
The point here is to look great, all while saving time. The less decisions you have to make in one day, the more you’ll get out of that day — hopefully doing the thing you love to do (and if you’re really lucky it’s also the thing that brings in the most income — Rich Dad, Poor Dad anyone?). Save your thinking for strategy, abstract thought and real problem solving — not what color socks you’ll wear that day. When you pull your clothes out of a drawer or closet, don’t even look at what your pulling out. Just get what you need and put it on. Since it all looks almost the same anyway, you’ll look great.
That’s it guys (and gals if you are reading this to help out your man). A simple dark v-neck t-shirt in cotton for pure comfort, or blended if you need the smooth draping. Some dark fitted jeans or slightly loose khakis and some nice leather slip-ons (I’m assuming you’re wearing socks and underwear, and include a good belt). Sure, dress it up with an Apple Watch or a silver pinky ring, or even a leather jacket remincent of a recent Tom Cruise character (the white Jacket from Oblivion was awesome!). This foundation of dress should serve you well for decades to come. Trust it. Love it. Live it.
David Martinez is an entrepreneur by night and consults on all things digital during the day, such as web design, user experience and interactivity.