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Last Updated on October 12, 2017

All the Essential Items for Men’s Minimalist Outfits

All the Essential Items for Men’s Minimalist Outfits

When you picture success, you may think about the great accomplishments of people like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. You’ve likely read articles about how these successful people get inspired and stay productive. One thing you may not have noticed was that some of the most influential people in the world take a minimalist approach to style.

Your style can communicate who you are and what you stand for before you ever open your mouth. Since we know that we never get a second chance to make a first impression, many of us spend lots of time agonizing over what to wear. We want to be successful, and we’ve been taught that we have to dress for success. Looking great doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel every day, though.

Some of the greatest minds of our time have adopted a minimalist wardrobe

You probably can’t picture Steve Jobs without thinking of his go-to outfit: a black turtleneck and jeans. When you think of Mark Zuckerberg, your mental image is likely to be him in a pair of jeans, a grey t-shirt, and possibly, a hoodie. Barack Obama is always in a blue or grey suit. We imagine them this way because these influential people have committed to wearing the same outfits over and over.

People who choose to wear the same thing over and over value simplicity and minimalism in their clothing choices. Taking the decision-making out of getting ready in the morning is an intentional move that influential people make to save time and energy. We humans can only make so many decisions per day before we suffer from decision fatigue.[1]

Mark Zuckerberg’s fashion philosophy

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    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, put it most succinctly. When asked to explain why he wears the same clothes every day, he said:[2]

    “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.”

    He explains that spending his time and energy on frivolous things prevents him from putting his energy into his company. Mr. Zuckerberg knows that if he spends 30 minutes every day deciding what to wear, he loses three-and-a-half hours per week that he could devote to his work or his family. Think about how much time you spend picking out your outfits.

    You can take a page out of Zuckerberg’s book

    The average person makes a whopping 35,000 decisions per day.[3] Many of those decisions relate to mundane things like what to pack in your lunch or which shirt you should wear. The more time and energy you spend on the mundane, the less you have to devote to the extraordinary.

    Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. You can still look professional and put together, without fretting over fashion. By limiting the number of choices you have to make and choosing versatile pieces, you can design a sharp-looking hassle-free wardrobe for yourself.

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    Essential looks for a minimalist wardrobe

    Depending on where we work and how we spend our time, there are certain outfits that we should have in our closets. If you can nail down some quality go-to pieces in each of these categories, you can do away with the closet full of decisions you have to make every morning.

    At Lifehack, we’ve put together a list of essential looks, and we’ve identified some great pieces to help you pull them off.

    1. Smart Office Casual

    Looking sharp doesn’t mean that you need to have a different suit or set of accessories for every day of the week. Dress professionally without coming off as too formal with these items. This is the perfect look for the office.

      1. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Dress Reversible Belt with Polished Nickel Buckle $21.02
      2. Zachary Prell Granite Soft Knit Blazer $398.00
      3. BENGAL Leather Satchel by Ted Baker $449.00
      4. Williams Cashmere Men’s Crew-Neck Sweater $37.84
      5. Men’s Knoxville Plain Toe Gore-Tex Oxfords $143.00\
      6. Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Wrinkle-Free Dress Chino Pant $30.00

      2. Laid Back Executive

      A quality polo shirt and a pair of chinos enable you to look put-together and casual. This look is perfect for those less-formal meetings and casual afternoons out.

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        1. G-Star Raw Men’s 5620 Deconstructed 3d Low Tapered Cerro Stretch Jean $120.00
        2. Men’s Twin Tipped Polo Shirt-m1200 by Fred Perry $52.99
        3. Leather Backpack by Jack Spade $398.00
        4. Conway Sneakers by Vince $225.00

        3. Ready for the Gym

        Going to the gym is about getting results and being healthy. There’s no need to get fussy about fashion if you have a few solid and functional garments.

          1. Surge Short 7″ by Lululemon $85.00
          2. Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt by Under Armour $14.99 – $46.99
          3. A-PIE Fashion Breathable Sneakers Mesh Soft Sole Casual Athletic Lightweight $14.99
          4. Barnaby Tapered Joggers by Jack Wills $85.63
          5. Under Armour Resistor 3.0 Lo Cut Sock $21.99 
          6. Assert Convertible Duffel Bag/ Backpack by Lululemon $163.58

          4. Street Smart

          For casual everyday wear, there’s no need to waste time rifling through t-shirts. If you are interested in emulating Mark Zuckerberg’s style, these are the types of items he wears on a daily basis.

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            1. 501 Original-Fit Jeans by Levi’s $39.99
            2. Modern Fit Tee by Woolrich $22.45
            3. Raven Hoodie by All Saints $104.36
            4. Men’s Basket Classic B&W Fashion Sneakers by PUMA $74.95

            5. Finishing Touches and Accessories

            To add some flair to your outfits, consider a few simple accessories. Many of these work well with several of the outfits we’ve put together. Having versatile accessories ensures that you can look your best without having to spend too much time digging through extensive collections.

              1. Herschel Men’s Roy RFID Blocking Wallet $24.99
              2. Venture Navy Leather Bracelet by Links of London $225.00
              3. Expedition Scout 40 Watch by Timex $38.50
              4. Major II Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones by Marshall $85.95
              5. Bleu de Chanel cologne by Chanel $225.00

              Keep it Simple and Practical

              Wardrobes can quickly become expansive, but if you take time to curate your collection and identify versatile pieces, you’ll be able to put together a look for any occasion.

              Featured photo credit: Anthony Quintano/ FlickR via flickr.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Last Updated on September 20, 2018

              8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

              8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

              You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

              Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

              When you train your brain, you will:

              • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
              • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
              • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

              So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

              1. Work your memory

              Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

              When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

              If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

              The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

              Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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              Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

              What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

              For example, say you just met someone new:

              “Hi, my name is George”

              Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

              Got it? Good.

              2. Do something different repeatedly

              By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

              Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

              It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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              And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

              But how does this apply to your life right now?

              Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

              Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

              Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

              So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

              You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

              That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

              3. Learn something new

              It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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              For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

              Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

              You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

              4. Follow a brain training program

              The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

              5. Work your body

              You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

              Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

              Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

              Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

              6. Spend time with your loved ones

              If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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              If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

              I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

              7. Avoid crossword puzzles

              Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

              Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

              Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

              8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

              Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

              When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

              So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

              The bottom line

              Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

              Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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