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Richard Branson wears 'the same pair of jeans every day'—here's how it could contribute to his success

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Richard Branson in his signature jeans and white shirt combo
Vivien Killilea | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Richard Branson doesn't need much closet space: His wardrobe consists of a couple pairs of jeans and a few white shirts.

"I just wear the same pair of jeans every day," the billionaire entrepreneur told Page Six, no matter the occasion: "Whatever I'm doing, whether it's a speech, whether it's going to see the Queen, you know, whatever it is."

It simplifies his life, especially when he's traveling, he added: "I don't have to pack very much."

Branson isn't the only highly successful individual who maintains a minimalist closet: Mark Zuckerberg, John Paul DeJoria and Barack Obama are among the notable people who routinely wear the same thing.

By sticking to a kind of uniform, they're avoiding a phenomenon known as decision fatigue, which describes the way choices become harder and harder as a day goes on and your finite store of energy gets depleted.

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As Zuckerberg, who often wears his signature gray T-shirt, said during a public Q&A session 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. ... I feel like I'm not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life."

And then there's President Barack Obama and his suits. "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits," he told Vanity Fair in 2012. "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.

"You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can't be going through the day distracted by trivia."

You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself.
Barack Obama

Anyone can use this wardrobe trick to eliminate decisions and free up mental space. Take Matilda Kahl, a creative manager at Sony Music, who wore the same white shirt and black pants combo to work for four years.

"I did it because I realized how much time and energy I could save during my work days by just taking out the clothing aspect," Kahl told CNBC Make It in a 2016 interview.

"Even small changes can make a huge difference," she wrote in Harper's BAZAAR. "The simple choice of wearing a work uniform has saved me countless wasted hours thinking, 'what the hell am I going to wear today?' And in fact, these black trousers and white blouses have become an important daily reminder that frankly, I'm in control."

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