Sharp Dressed Man...
The Thursday Thesis - 08/02/2018
Steve Jobs was never known for being well-dressed, was he?
The Apple founder was invariably seen wearing jeans and a black turtleneck jumper, sort of scruffy, but very much in keeping with Steve Jobs’ projected personality.
Why would such a successful entrepreneur wear the same clothes every day for most of his life?
Where are the gorgeously tailored Armani suits, the hand-stitched shoes and mega-dollar watches?
Not a trace of them.
Now here’s the thing: Jobs was both making a statement and defining himself. Effectively he’s saying “here I am, I’m not interested in conforming to how you expect me to be: you must accept me on MY terms”.
It ties into Apple’s famous “Think Different” ad campaign, as Jobs defies the conventional image of a corporate success.
But the real power of that turtleneck is what it gave Steve every single morning: clarity.
You see, selecting an outfit from a huge wardrobe takes a certain amount of effort – it’s actually a stressor.
Steve Jobs was savvy enough to know that his finite attention was too precious to squander it on the trivialities of how he dressed from one day to the next, so he made a strategic decision to only buy blue jeans and black turtlenecks.
That turtleneck eventually became a part of Jobs’ personal brand – it shows up in almost every photograph of the guy.
Inevitably, I decided to try out having my own dress code for a little while...
All of my T-shirts went into black bags for the trial, and were replaced by 6 long-sleeved grey jerseys and 6 grey T-shirts – nothing fancy, just Marks and Sparks’ own brands.
The first few days were strange – the drawer missed my brightly coloured T-shirts, and I was close to rummaging in the black bags for that red shirt I love. But, in the name of research, I stuck with it – even though it was weird.
After just one week I found myself relieved that I didn’t have to think about what to wear. Now I just open the drawer, take out a grey jersey, and get on with the day – it’s so easy.
Bizarrely, having a huge choice of colourful T-shirts was actually a bad thing; and having no choice was a very good thing.
Steve Jobs was no dummy, was he?
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