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  #1  
Old 03 October 2010, 11:13 PM
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Ponder Einstein's wardrobe

Comment: What truth is there behind the tale that Einstein owned several
copies of the exact same outfit and wore the same clothes every day of the
week "to simplify his life"? Some sources seem to offer this as true,
whereas others say it is not true, whereas others say it is mostly untrue
but based on fact (without elaborating on the fact part).
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  #2  
Old 03 October 2010, 11:54 PM
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It wouldn't lack parallels around here, if true. Cornell West wears the same thing every day and has for about 40 years. His closet is entirely made up of three piece suits, white shirts, bow ties, and scarves.

ETA: A friend of his once told me that the reason he dresses that way is to "simplify his life." Whether he actually owns anything else I couldn't say, but I have never seen him in anything else, and I've seen a lot of him.
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Old 04 October 2010, 01:52 AM
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When Macheath was in high school, his wardrobe was almost exclusively black pants and gray shirts. He wasn't a Goth, but he said he saved time by not having to think about what colors went with which.
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Old 04 October 2010, 02:13 AM
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Wait, what? We're supposed to know which colors "go together" now?

Nick
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Old 04 October 2010, 02:32 AM
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I doubt Einstein cared.

I know he couldn't have worn this outfit in the winter.
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  #6  
Old 04 October 2010, 07:48 PM
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This book addresses this issue. Apparently, the rumor has only a small element of truth.

Quote:
Many say that Einstein wore the same thing every day and had a closet full of the exact same suit, shirts, ties, and shoes. This isn't true, especially when Einstein's second wife, Elsa, was alive. Elsa took a firm hand when it came to her husband's appearance, and pictures of the two of them touring everything from Japan to the American Southwest show Einstein in beautiful silk vests, and dapper neckwear -- as well as in a kimono and an American Indian headdress. But after Elsa passed away and Einstein spent his last 20 years as a professor emeritus at Princeton, his clothing did become more, er, irregular. He openly disliked wearing a suit and while already legendary for often going sockless, now he wore sandals. Perhaps the most common pictures of Einstein from that time show him happily shuffling around his Princeton study wearing a big gray sweatshirt. Luckily for Einstein, his life coincided with the invention of the cotton sweatshirt -- for he was enamored of the soft warm comfortable garment.
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Old 05 October 2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
When Macheath was in high school, his wardrobe was almost exclusively black pants and gray shirts. He wasn't a Goth, but he said he saved time by not having to think about what colors went with which.
Jaime Lee Curtis restricts her wardrobe to black, white, gray and navy for simplicity's sake.
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  #8  
Old 05 October 2010, 04:04 PM
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Default Makes sense to me.

Even if not documented, It wouldn't surprise surprise me if he had done it, even if unintentionally. It just makes sense.

There's a movement out there to do exactly this sort of thing. I heard this woman on the radio a couple of months ago who advocates cutting the work wardrobe down to 6 items of everything, including tops, pants, skirts, whatever. This is to keep down both costs, and maintenance. The keys are buying high quality clothing, taking good care of what you get, and making sure everything you buy works with everything else, both style and color-wise.

The payoffs are simplyfying your life, reducing costs, and decluttering the closet.


Here's the website.

I do this myself. I work in an engineering office. I own 3 pairs of Dockers (They're comfortable and wear well.) and a combination of 5 shirts that I mix and match each week. Keeps things simple, and I'm not always buying clothes. I've been doing this for years. Always made sense to me. When shirts and pants start to show wear, but are still decent looking, I either donate them, or retire them to evening and weekend use. I usually get at least one year's use out of everything, usually more. The key is to buy quality clothing. It may cost more going in, but it pays off in the end with lower overall costs since you're not constantly replacing things that wear out quickly. I have one store I always use. They carry good stuff, and the clerks know their business.
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  #9  
Old 05 October 2010, 04:45 PM
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The reasoning behind this tale was that by removing distractions and decision making from small, petty things in life (ie what socks shall I wear with these trousers) Einstein was able to concentrate on the big things (ie nature of time, space, matter and light).

This was told to me by a school teacher.
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Old 05 October 2010, 04:55 PM
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But really, how much more difficult is it to keep five different sets of clothes rather than five copies of the same set of clothes? As long as you maintain each set as its own unit, there's no decision-making involved beyond initially putting the sets together.
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  #11  
Old 05 October 2010, 08:41 PM
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Not sure, other than the usual things like you might change shirts half way through the day, or you might get gravy all down you tie.
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