Life is full of tough choices. Is it time to make a career change? How can I be sure she’s the one? Where am I going on vacation? Not on that list: What am I going to wear today? Well, for most men. Unfortunately, it seems that some guys simply can’t grapple with the most fundamental choice, one each and every one of us has to make every day. And to deal with this decision-making deficiency, these men—powerful men: tech moguls and fashion designers, presidents and popes—have forgone what they amount to being an arduous choice. But what they’ve forgotten most is a sentiment that can be traced back to a lyric from Rush’s seminal “Freewill:” “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” And if you find yourself having trouble facing this choice, fear not: Brush up on the 25 new rules of office style and you’ll be ready to tackle every day ahead of you.
Every day, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and 2020 presidential candidate, wears a heather grey t-shirt. As he explained in 2014: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” We shouldn’t judge, however: by removing this most basic example of human decision-making, Zuck has created a web site that we collectively decide to spend 80,000 years on—every single day.
Sure, these days he’s known to lose a button or two on his shirts as he’s gone casual. But keen observers of 44 when he was in office would notice that the man only wore grey or navy suits. Barack Obama’s decision to simplify his wardrobe follows the same track as Zuck’s: “I’m trying to pare down decisions,” he told Vanity Fair. “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing—because I have too many other decisions to make.” That’s for damn sure.
Simon Cowell, the venom-spewing host of every competitive musical reality show in history, loves to show off his pecs. His day-to-day uniform seems to change for each show.When the first season of American Idol premiered, it was a deep V-neck. Lately, it’s been a suit and open-collar button-down—unbuttoned way too far.
Does Tom Ford’s closet have anything in it besides Tom Ford suits? Whether he’s knotted up a jet black silk tie, dressed to the nines in a bow tie, or forgone any neckwear—leaving his shirt unbuttoned to the naval in the process—he’s always in one of his own perfectly tailored designs. At this point, we honestly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he sleeps in them.
Ask anyone who makes the best suits in the world and, chances are, their answer will be Giorgio Armani. But the man himself is—outside of red carpet events, of course—never seen in them. No, he sticks to a uniform of navy slacks and cashmere sweaters.
Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images
It’s impossible to say for certain whether or not Michael Kors has eyes; the legendary fashion designer is rarely seen—indoors or outdoors—without his black-as-night aviators. The rest of his outfit, however, is understandable: black suit, black t-shirt, and black loafers. It’s the ideal combination of effortless high-low style.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors
Okay, we get it: The fashion designers of the world forgo their own designs and stick instead to strident, strict uniforms. Riccardo Tisci, the visionary behind Givenchy’s opulent transformation, is no exception. Every day, he wears a black t-shirt, black pants, and pearly white sneakers.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Tom Wolfe, one of the icons of “new journalism,” has worn an all-white suit—allegedly, every day since 1962. We’d bet good money he’s exceptionally careful with his morning coffee. Imagine spilling.
Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images
The late Steve Jobs allegedly had more than a hundred of the signature black mock turtlenecks that changed the world. “That’s what I wear,” he told biographer Walter Isaacson. “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.” Alas, that statement turned out to be gravely true. Rest in peace, Steve—your inimitable and impermeable sense of style isn’t going anywhere.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
You’d think someone would have issued a design change by now.
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