10 iconic work uniforms, from Steve Jobs' black turtleneck to Richard Branson reportedly wearing the same pair of jeans every day

James D. Morgan/Getty ImagesRichard Branson reportedly wears the same pair of jeans every day.

From tech giants Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, some of the world’s most successful people have been known to wear the same outfit to work every single day.

In many cases, these distinctive “work uniforms” have become synonymous with the person.

Here are 10 famous work uniforms, from Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck to Karl Lagerfeld’s white collared shirt, black jacket, and black sunglasses.

Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is perhaps one of the most famous people to adopt a “work uniform.”

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Jobs was almost always seen wearing his signature black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers. He once said in an interview that he owned about 100 black turtlenecks made by Japanese designer Issey Miyake.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Source: Gawker

Another tech titan, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is known for his recurring outfits. In Zuckerberg’s case, it’s usually a black or navy hoodie …

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

… which he sometimes removes to reveal a grey t-shirt. The t-shirts are reportedly special ordered from Brunello Cucinelli, and reportedly cost between $US300 and $US400.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary designer who died on February 19, 2019, was known for his iconic uniform of black sunglasses and a tailored black jacket with a high-collared, highly starched white shirt. He usually accessorized with some jewellery and gloves.

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Lagerfeld reportedly had 1,000 of the same white shirt.

Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images for FENDI

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Condé Nast Artistic Director and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s distinctive look includes her sleek bob and black sunglasses.

Francois Durand/Getty Images

Source: Wall Street Journal

Wintour typically also wears “a patterned or textured skirt, a simple close-fitting jewel-neck sweater and a chunky necklace,” as Annette Tapert noted in the Wall Street Journal.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs International, LLC

Source: Wall Street Journal

Virgin Group founder and billionaire Richard Branson keeps his uniform simple. “I just wear the same pair of jeans every day,” he reportedly told Page Six at a party. “Whatever I’m doing, whether it’s a speech, whether it’s going to see the Queen, you know, whatever it is.”

Matt Jelonek/WireImage

Source: Page Six

Branson said that he likes to pair his jeans with a simple white t-shirt, noting that his closet only contains two or three pairs of jeans and a few white shirts.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Source: Page Six

Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, before she was charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC and then indicted by a grand jury on “wire fraud schemes,” was known for wearing a familiar work uniform.


Holmes was always seen wearing a black turtleneck like Jobs, which later became a symbol of her alleged fraud. “Such an individual uniform has a risk if you don’t live up to the promise,” fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote in the New York Times.

Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune

Source: New York Times, Business Insider

Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made pantsuits her work staples years ago.

David Hume Kennerly/Getty ImagesHillary Clinton outside the White House in 1998.

Source: Business Insider

She often wears them in bright colours and occasionally in bold patterns.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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Fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s work uniform is simple yet streamlined.

Venturelli/WireImageArmani after a fashion show in September 2017.

Source: The Guardian

He is nearly always seen wearing a navy sweater, navy pants, and white sneakers.

Jacopo Raule/Getty ImagesArmani after a fashion show in January 2015.

Source: The Guardian

Author and public speaker Fran Lebowitz almost exclusively wears a uniform that comprises a jacket (usually designed by Anderson & Sheppard), a men’s shirt, Levi’s jeans, cowboy boots, and tortoiseshell glasses.

Gary Miller/Getty ImagesLebowitz in March 2017.

Source: Elle

“I have all my suits and jackets made, but I’ve never had a shirt made … it’s not as important to me that they fit perfectly,” Lebowitz told Elle in a 2015 interview.

DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesLebowitz at a fashion show in June 2009.

Source: Thrillist

One of the most famous proponents of the “work uniform” is former president Barack Obama.

Source: Business Insider

“You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits,” he told Vanity Fair in a 2012 interview. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Getty ImagesFormer president Barack Obama and former vice president Joe Biden.

Source: Vanity Fair

In fact, experts say making lots of small decisions like what to wear and what to eat throughout the day can drain your mental energy for when you need to make more important decisions. It is perhaps this “decision fatigue” that drives so many successful people to adopt work uniforms.

Source: Business Insider

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