Does Doing Like Mark Zuckerberg And Wearing The Same Outfit All Week Actually Work?

Five days, one outfit. Does the Zuckerberg dress code work?


by Bianca Bass |
Published on

At a recent Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about his signature look: a plain, somewhat ill-fitting, grey T-shirt. His response was, well, rather surprising. 'I feel like I'm not doing my job if I spend any energy on things that are silly or frivolous.' Wearing the samething everyday is also a technique that has also been used by other mildly sucessful people President Obama (navy suits everyday) and Anna Wintour (bob, dark glasses, floral dress). They see developing as a trademark style is a means of personal branding.

I, however, have never done this. I'm definitely guilty of referencing Pinterest at 7am in a desperate pursuit of inspiration for my next crazy Blair Waldorf inspired get-up. Brights are my bestie, and pattern is a life partner. As a fashion blogger and fashion writer, I love dressing differently. Every. Single. Day. Morning routines involve flinging items across the room to find the perfect pairings.

But it is exhausting, and I'm not alone in finding it. It’s safe to say as millennials we're all suffering from major decision fatigue: from the 'swipe right' Tinder angst to choosing tonight’s takeaway, we live in a world of endless choice and it's only getting worse.

So, what would happen if I took sartorial notes from the world's most successful individuals and adopted my own, understated look? Without obsessing about clothing; can my creativity manifest itself in other ways? Or will I lose my love for fashion? There's only one way to find out…

Day One


It's no easy task finding an outfit to transition me from desk to drinks. Should I channel Steve Jobs and keep things monochrome, or go a la Anna Wintour and take a two-piece approach? I opted for a plain pair of trousers, point-toe flats and a simple shirt I’d usually reserve for job interviews and formal occasions aka funerals. I feel very boring, but will it work? Let the monotony begin.

Day Two


Hallelujah! This morning I gained a sacred ten-minute lie in. With the time I would usually spend panicking over shoes, I have the chance to catch up with emails, Twitter and even a small piece of freelance work before leaving the house! Truth be told, I feel a sense of relief at not having to plan an outfit - until I get to work that is. Cue three vibrantly dressed women in my morning meeting, taking my faux confidence with them. Looking down at my drab ensemble, I get nostalgic for the way a well-tailored jacket can not only lift your silhouette, but your entire mood.

Day Three


Today my colleague Evelyn observes: 'I think people in the office are starting to notice you're wearing the same thing'. But are they viewing me as self-assured, or stylishly challenged? 'You’ve always loved experimenting with clothes,' says my boyfriend. 'But if I can wear the same thing every day and no one bats an eyelid, surely the same rules should apply to you?' He has a point but I still don't quite feel myself. I’m day dreaming about patterned skirts, denim shorts and statement jewellery.

Day Four


It’s official. A serious case of outfit delirium has arrived. I’m in the final stage of mourning – denial, anger, bargaining and depression have been and gone. Hello, acceptance. That evening, I go for dinner with a friend who comments on how 'minimalistic' I look. As I try to explain my reasons, she pauses, looking positively shell-shocked. 'Isn’t it funny we’ll give up gluten, dairy or meat in an instant, but when it comes to our wardrobes…?' I muse. And then, yes, tail off.

**Day Five **


While I may now be on first name basis with my local laundrette (I've had to wash the outfit daily), my lifestyle actually hasn’t dramatically changed. And I don't feel like I've achieved that much more in my minimal look. So will I apply this to everyday life? Perhaps not. But I like the concept of reducing unnecessary decisions, why not take it a step further? Forget frivolous choices, next week I'm eating the same thing every day. Why bother making the rounds at Tesco when I could be carving out the next great app idea?

Ultimately, no matter what the Silicon Valley set may say, caring about clothes shouldn’t invalidate your ability to work. FYI Zuckerberg, an interest in fashion doesn't prevent you from deciding on the more important things in life. I think Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo's Melissa Meyer and even Channel 4’s Jon Snow (god, I love his socks and ties) would agree.

If there’s anything I've learnt from this experience it's that there's no harm in simplifying your routine, discovering your signature look and quite frankly, owning it. From now on, I will be dressing for the joy of it. But a utilitarian uniform? Now where's the fun in that...

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Follow Bianca On Twitter @BiancaBass

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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