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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 June 18, 2019

              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

              No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

              Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

              Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

              A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

              Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

              In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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              From Making Reminders to Building Habits

              A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

              For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

              This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

              The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

              That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

              Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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              The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

              Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

              But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

              The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

              The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

              A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

              For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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              But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

              If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

              For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

              These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

              For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

              How to Make a Reminder Works for You

              Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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              Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

              Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

              My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

              Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

              I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

              More About Habits

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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