Would You Wear the Same Wardrobe Every Day?
Do you think you could get away with wearing the same wardrobe at work every single day without any of your co-workers noticing?
A story from Forbes suggests there are five reasons that people should consider wearing the same wardrobe to the office every single day.
I’ll admit that I was extremely skeptical when I saw the headline. After all, who at your workplace wouldn’t notice that you were suddenly wearing the same thing day in and day out?
But the story begins with the experience of its author, Joshua Becker, who says he began wearing a dark gray t-shirt and khaki pants every day for a week as an “experiment.”
Apparently, as he tells it, despite fears that his co-workers would tell him enough was enough, no one did. No one seemed to notice.
Of the five reasons, one of them jumped out at me: reducing decision fatigue.
I guess this is proof that I’m not, by any means, a fashionista. I wear a polo shirt and khakis to work pretty much every day. If I know we have big brass or guests who will meet with me, I might wear a button-down shirt and tie. But for the most part, it’s the polo and khakis. (And by “polo shirt,” I mean a cheap, reasonably priced “polo shirt,” not the brand name version.)
The only “decision fatigue” I would develop in choosing my wardrobe is if I do something other than grab the next one hanging in my closet. For the most part, when I do laundry, I just hang up each shirt, in no particular order, then each morning, I grab the next one in line.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I might opt for a green one intentionally. On Friday, I might grab a brighter-colored shirt because, well, it’s Friday.
Other than that, it’s pretty much the next shirt in line. No decision. No fatigue.
In fairness, I think it’d be infinitely easier for a guy to get away with wearing the same outfit every day. If I really wanted to go to store and buy, say, five black polo shirts and wear a black shirt and khakis every day, I would imagine no one would say a word for quite a while, if ever.
But in the world we live in, a woman trying to pull this off would probably catch a lot more flak about it. I think there’s definitely a different standard on appearance between men and women in the workplace. It’s not fair, of course, but I’d be shocked if a female could get away with wearing the same wardrobe every day as long as a man could. Maybe that’s a good reason to rethink how we judge people on appearance.
I also think it’s possible that the color would matter a great deal: a neutral color like gray or black would probably go unnoticed for a lot longer than a bright color like red or yellow.
Then again, if “decision fatigue” is such a big problem, maybe more workplaces need uniforms so no one has the “what will I wear” decision hanging over them every morning.