Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama. All these figures have one thing in common. They are some of the world’s most renowned outfit repeat offenders. According to WSJ Bestselling author, Joshua Becker, there are numerous benefits to repeating outfits regularly.
The benefits Becker states include less stress, less time and energy wasted and of course our favorite one:less expense. Another one of the benefits that we found interesting is how wearing the same clothes can be iconic. Think of how the black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers can always be linked back to Steve Jobs. The beauty of this is how having an iconic outfit can play a crucial role in building a strong personal brand. Similar to how companies use uniforms as a way of building corporate identity. According to a Suffolk University study, “uniforms are a more effective marketing tool than internet, newspaper, TV, radio and billboard advertising.”
But of course, not just any outfit will do the trick. Here’s some of the things to consider in order to be successful at being outfit repeat offender.
Make sure the outfit is in sync with your brand image
According to the Management Study Guide, brand image is the current view people hold about a brand. It signifies what the brand presently stands for. It is a set of beliefs held about a specific brand. Steve Jobs’ brand was centered on uniqueness and being a misfit. “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules…”. And accordingly, him wearing jeans and sneakers to work as the CEO of a mega successful Fortune 500 company definitely spoke towards that.
He was also not materialistic and cared about something bigger.“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”This is once again consistent with the simplicity of his iconic outfit.
Make sure the style is simple & easy to replicate
Since you presumably won’t be wearing the exact same outfit (for fear of being a hygiene issue), make sure that the style of your iconic outfit is simple and easy to replicate. A good example of this is the iconic wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg. Even though she has different designs of the dress, the style is simple and easy enough to not only replicate but also to recognize. People’s recognition of your iconic outfit is important in order for it to stick in their memories, thus building towards your brand.
Make sure it’s signature
Come on now- there can only be one Steve Jobs. Don’t be a copy cat. What is important though is to make sure your outfit is simple yet vividly stands out. This creates your signature. For instance, with Steve
Jobs, choosing only to wear black turtlenecks became his signature. If he had decided to wear jeans and any ordinary T-shirt everyday his outfit may have not been as iconic as it is today.
This ties in with your working environment. Dress best according to the environment you work in. President Barack Obama always wears the same colored suits- which are blue and gray. If he wore a lime green or a bright yellow suit, that would sure make him stand out and be memorable. But it would definitely not be appropriate for his working environment. In fact my eyes just got sore imagining it.
Make sure it is comfortable
You will be wearing the outfit all day, everyday. Make sure it is comfortable. According to Andrew Brown, group communications director at Regus, “The important thing is to dress in whatever you feel comfortable. You will not be productive if all day you’re rearranging your clothing or breathing in to fit into those skinny jeans.” He further adds:”What you are wearing doesn’t influence your productivity, but the state of mind that it puts you in does”