What do Steve Jobs, Angela Merkel, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama all have in common? They wear a ‘personal uniform’ every day – an outfit consisting of the same look, or key signature items they reach for in their closet each morning.
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As Obama once explained to Vanity Fair, “You’ll see I only wear gray 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.”
But if you think wearing a ‘personal uniform’ isn’t for the creatively minded take a look at Anna Wintour, Carolina Herrera, author Tom Wolfe and bridal gown designer Vera Wang. They all have their statement signature wardrobe pieces they stick to on a daily basis, leaving them more time and energy to focus on their creative, or business enterprises.
So can a ‘personal uniform’ work for you? Stylists agree it’s all about knowing your personal style and you can really hone in on that by trying Project 333, also known as a capsule wardrobe. Not only will it help take the challenge out of dressing each morning, it will help you figure out what works and doesn’t work for your day to day activities.
Courtney Carver in her quest to feel less overwhelmed and stressed out by all the ‘stuff’ we accumulate, began the Project 333 minimalist challenge in 2010 on her blog Be More With Less. It quickly garnered a huge following of like minded people who were ready to declutter their closets, pare down their stuff and have more time for the things they really enjoyed doing in their lives.
Project 333 is quite simple: You choose 33 items consisting of clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. The remainder of your items are boxed up not to be opened for three months. During the three months you will only wear pieces from your chosen 33 items. Wedding/Engagement rings, undies and sleepwear are not part of the 33. Also work-out clothes are not included in the 33 item, but can only be worn when working out!
It took me a whole 4 days, but I've successfully completed Challenge #1 of decluttering my wardrobe and partaking in #Project333. That is, 33 items in my wardrobe between clothes, shoes and accessories. It's even more evident now that supporting local is something incredibly important to me. I am so happy to be able to say that I now have a wardrobe that makes me look good, but also make me feel good about where each item comes from, is made of, etc.
Make sure the items you choose fit well and are not in ill-repair. Courtney explains on her blog, Be More With Less, “Consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit, or are in poor condition, replace them.”
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As Mark Zuckerberg explained back in 2014 when asked why he wears the same clothes every day, the tech billionaire replied, “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible…I’m in this really lucky position where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.”