While men can easily repeat the same suit without anyone noticing (as former US president Barack Obama did for eight years), women often spend excess time and money searching for fresh, appropriate workplace attire.
Arianna Huffington prefers not to.
Instead, the Huffington Post founder and Thrive Global CEO picks from the same handful of dresses for every public event she attends.
“Men have a competitive advantage,” Huffington explained in October at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, where she addressed her apparel choices. “They don’t have to waste the kind of energy we waste.”
Huffington said that she’d rather spend her energy on business decisions than clothing decisions—a perspective widely shared by male leaders, like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, but infrequently preached by powerful women.
Aware that gender biases are not easily reversed, Huffington leverages her Instagram account to publicly advocate for outfit repeating, tagging photos of herself wearing the same dresses with the hashtag #repeats.
Great dinner on Sunday at Graziella in Montreal with @justinpjtrudeau, @nicolasberggruen, #EvanSpiegel, #SteveHuffman, and @hoffman.reid, discussing democracy for the digital age. Trudeau is helping lead the way in the culture shift away from bragging about being always on – he talked about how much more productive he is when he gets enough sleep (8-9 hours), and how important his children's relationship to technology is for him (they don't yet have cell phones). Swipe right for more photos! #repeats
Here with the Saudi energy minister H.E. Khalid Al Falih after meeting to discuss, well, energy. But not oil or natural gas – human energy. It's renewable, and as the minister said, we often need to withdraw from distractions – including our phone! – to renew our energy. I loved what he said about presence: "Live the moment fully...and sometimes the moment is two hours." And I'll keep this beautiful Arabian horse he gave me in my office as a reminder! #fii2017
Thrilled to present @Salesforce CEO #MarcBenioff with @Variety’s EmPOWerment Award today at the #PowerofWomen lunch for his efforts on equal pay. When Marc found out that there was a gender wage gap at #Salesforce, he didn’t just issue a statement. He didn’t just appoint a committee to investigate and propose measures to remedy the situation. He actually committed the financial resources to begin to close the wage gap. From words to action! #repeats
Onstage at the #BOLDconference. It was a great morning discussing the connection between well-being and productivity, and how too often we learn the hard way that the two go hand-in-hand. @Mindbodyonline CEO @rickstollmeyer kicked-off the conference, which includes conversations with keynote speaker @magicjohnson as well as #RonCates, @kienhoang, @vitoglafata, @getcoachmike, @muradskincare founder Howard Murad, @sadienardiniofficial, @kymberleeraya and @jonreymanhair. Upward, onward and inward! #Repost @spring_three #repeats
Thrilled that @badassboz is joining @Uber from Apple as Chief Brand Officer. Here with her on Saturday at @isabellahuffington's art show in LA. Can't wait to work with her! And yes, she’s tall in both accomplishment and stature, but not THAT much taller in height than me — it’s just that I haven’t yet brought her around to the flat shoe sisterhood — a project for the future! #repeats
“I’m not suggesting we go full [Mark] Cuban by wearing t-shirts all the time, or raiding Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie closet, only that we make it easier on ourselves and dress in a way in which we can still feel chic and good about ourselves without spending a huge amount of energy, mindshare and time — not to mention cash,” Huffington explained in a 2016 Thrive Global post.
“At the core of Thrive Style is the belief that, when we’re able to reclaim all the time and energy lost to picking out clothes and getting ready, we’ll gain a serious competitive advantage.” Count me in. This morning, while applying mascara and questioning whether my shirt was too sheer, I glanced over at my boyfriend. Still fast asleep. Every morning, he wakes up 15 minutes later than I do, though we leave for work at the same time.
That means that over one year, I sleep approximately 60 hours less than he does (60 hours I could also spend at the office). All in the name of beauty labor, and the Sisyphean task of knowing what to wear to work, as a woman in 2017.