MacUser points us to an article by design academic Steven Heller in the AIGA journal about Steve Job’s wardrobe. Heller imagines a fictional interview with the Apple iCon in which he only has one question:
Heller: Mr. Jobs, it’s not easy to get you to sit for an interview, so I’ll make this short. Why do you always wear blue jeans and a black turtleneck?
The question’s never answered in the “interview,” but in the comments Heller suggests that Jobs understands that he is part of the Apple brand and therefore brands himself consistently whenever he’s acting officially. I think that might well be part of it, but here’s a recent photo of Jobs at one of his kids’ soccer matches — he’s wearing jeans, a mock turtleneck, and presumably white New Balance shoes. So it seems he always dresses like that.
To me this seems totally consistent with Jobs the minimalist. If you adopt a uniform, you won’t waste any time each day deciding what to wear. (According to Jeff Goldblum’s character in The Fly, this is what Albert Einstein did.) You also save time purchasing your wardrobe, and you reduce the space it needs. This is something we’ve covered before here although in the form of a reduced wardrobe, not a uniform. Now, before this starts sounding like a “Extreme Minimalism Monday” post, let me say that the one itsy bitsy drawback of this approach is that your wardrobe will be completely boring. Additionally, to pull this off you probably have to be a bit of an eccentric who’d comfortable in his own skin.
That said, I’ve got a bit of a uniform myself. I swear I’ve been wearing this since college, before I even knew who Steve Jobs was. If you ever see me in my off hours there’s a 90 percent chance you’ll find me in jeans, black fitted T-shirt, and black low-top converse. This iconic look is what The Gap was created for and one they heavily promote. (I wonder how much this has to do with the fact that Steve Jobs was once on The Gap’s board of directors.) I’m on a virtual conveyor belt of black Gap or H&M t-shirts, Guess “Cliff” jeans, and black Chuck Taylors. Incredibly comfortable, cool enough for James Dean, and so simple.
Questions for discussion: Am I insane? Or is this not a bad idea? Could a woman pull this off? Do you have a uniform?