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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 April 19, 2021

              The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

              The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

              Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

              The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

              Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

              In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

              When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

              Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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              1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

              When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

              As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

              That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

              The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

              What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

              Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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              There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

              So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

              2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

              When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

              No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

              3. Move Your Body

              A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

              It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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              So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

              4. Connect With Another Person

              Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

              One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

              Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

              5. Use Your Imagination

              When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

              That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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              And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

              Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

              Final Thoughts

              Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

              Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

              More on the Importance of Taking a Break

              Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

              Reference

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