If you forbid jeans at your place of business, you're not thinking straight. You might even be a coward.

Although there is no formal dress code at the school where I teach, staff members are allowed to make a $1 charitable contribution on Fridays in order to wear jeans.

Having no explicit dress code, I'm fairly certain that if I wanted to wear jeans every day, I could, but I'm not ready to rock that boat. I'm not so attached to jeans (at least not yet) that I feel the need to wear them every day.

That may change someday, but so far, I'm happy to give my dollar and wear jeans on the day that has been assigned.


But if we were to look at this issue objectively, reasonably, and absent the stupidity of conformity or tradition, you have to ask:

What exactly makes my jeans any different from the khaki pants, corduroys, or dress slacks that I wear on any other day?

Is it the denim? Is the material designed by Levi Strauss many years ago so clearly unprofessional in its blueness or elasticity or durability that it can't be worn in a professional setting without the offer of a charitable payment? Is denim so uncouth or unkempt that employees wearing jeans are incapable of appearing professional to potential customers and clients? 

Or is it the fact that those long haired, rock-and-roll types are wearing jeans as they shake their hips onstage and play their electric guitars, and as a result, the wearing of jeans automatically confers the sense moral degradation and societal breakdown?

That may have been true in the 1960's when old people were stupid, but I don't think this perception applies today. 

Is it perhaps the rivets? The stone-washed texture? The way that denim encapsulates a person's ass or thighs?

Or is it simply because James Dean popularized jeans in the movie Rebel Without a Cause, and as a result, wearing jeans became a symbol of youth rebellion during the 1950s, and that reputation has remained in place ever since? 

I think it's probably that, because objectively, there is little difference between the jeans and the and the khaki pants or corduroy slacks that I wear. In fact, there's nothing objectively different between denim and any other fabric.

I suspect that the only thing keeping people from wearing jeans every day at the workplace are the old people in charge who are stuck on tradition and conformity and unwilling to examine their world through an objective, logical, and clear lens.

These are the rules followers. The lemmings. The cowards who would rather perpetuate some misinformed, illogical, nonsensical stereotype about a fabric and the people who choose to wear it rather than standing for what is right and logical and sensible.

I suddenly find myself wanting to wear jeans every day of my life.  

If you have strong feelings about cargo shorts, then you are probably an infantile jackass.

I was surprised to see that a junior high newspaper editorial staff apparently took over The Wall Street Journal last week, publishing a infantile piece on cargo shorts in their esteemed pages.

The thesis of the piece is this:

Cargo shorts are ugly, and men who wear them are stupid and ugly. 

Seriously. That's their thesis. It's also the type of sentiment expressed by junior high school cretins who think that a classmate's choice of clothing is reason for ridicule.

This piece was paragraph after paragraph of petty, cruel nonsense, reported as if this matters in any way and absent of any condemnation for the critics of cargo shorts, which is all this piece should really be. 


Relationships around the country are being tested by cargo shorts, loosely cut shorts with large pockets sewn onto the sides. Men who love them say they’re comfortable and practical for summer. Detractor say they’ve been out of style for years, deriding them as bulky, uncool and just flat-out ugly.

Detractors? Do you mean snobby jackasses who think that everyone should dress exactly like them or be derided for their alternative views regarding fashion? These people aren't detractors. They're disgusting, small minded, useless people who clearly loathe themselves and their life.  

Or how about this paragraph?

Fashion guru Tim Gunn said in a 2007 interview with Reuters that cargo shorts were the least fashionable item of clothing in his closet. British tabloid Daily Express called cargo shorts “a humiliation for any man over 21 and should be sold only after proof of age has been presented.

Humiliation? A person's choice of shorts is worthy of feelings of humiliation? I think that declaring any item of clothing to be humiliating should be the real cause for humiliation. This is not junior high. This is real life, where people get to wear whatever the hell they want without the self-professed popular kids saying mean things. Shut the hell up, detractors.  

This might be my favorite part of the piece (which means it's the part I hate the most): 

Jen Anderson, a 45-year-old freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y., said she used to tease her husband gently about his fashion choices, until he made a purchase that crossed the line: denim cargo shorts. That was “just too far,” she said.

Through what Ms. Anderson described as “strong mocking,” she convinced him to return the shorts. She said she doesn’t like the idea of being seen in public with her husband when he’s wearing cargo shorts, which make him look like “a misshapen lump.”

“It’s a reflection on me, like ‘How did she let him out the door like that?’ ” she said.

Despite Jen Anderson's advanced age, she has apparently not advanced in terms of maturity since junior high. Her husband's appearance is a reflection of her? Does she really believe that friends and colleagues determine her worth as a human being based in part on her husband's choice of shorts?

If so, who is she spending time with? Reality television celebrities? Fictional characters in John Hughes' films? Victims of traumatic brain injuries? 

Did Jen Anderson marry a toy poodle? An online avatar of some sort? What kind of sick and twisted lunatic looks at a person's clothing and makes any kind of assumption about the person's spouse?

People like Jen Anderson, apparently.

She 's worried that people will wonder "How did she let (her husband) out the door like that?"

Did Jen Anderson marry a toddler? Does her husband have no backbone? Is he on a leash? Must he scratch the door or ask permission to exit the home? Does she dress him everyday in the same way I choose my four year-old son's outfit on a given day? 

Is she really worried about what people will think of her based upon her husband's cargo shorts?

Actually, I think she is. I also think that is a fairly pathetic way of living beyond high school. 

Last bit of awfulness from the piece:

GQ magazine last summer wrote that cargo shorts with slim pockets are acceptable, but not if “they look anything like the ones you picked up at the mall when you were trying to dress like a cool kid in middle school.

I was so happy that GQ took the time to inform us about what is acceptable and what is not. Why they are the arbiters of what people can wear without being ridiculed by the likes of Jen Anderson, Tim Gunn, and Daily Express is beyond me. I suspect that few people give a damn about what GQ finds acceptable, and those that do aren't worth the pages that the magazine is printed on. 

I would like to propose a few alternatives to the idea that cargo shorts should be an item of ridicule: 

  1. Why not let people wear whatever the hell they want and leave them alone?
  2. Why don't we all grow up past our infantile junior high school sensibilities and let our fellow human beings look and feel they way they want without comment?
  3. How about finding a real problem to worry about other than a man's decision to wear shorts with large pockets?
  4. Why don't we all stop worrying about what the likes of Jen Anderson think of us when we leave the house?
  5. How about we embrace and perhaps even celebrate diversity of appearance in all its forms? Even if that diversity comes in the form of cargo shorts?

I don't own any cargo shorts, and therefore, I don't wear any cargo shorts, but if you do, happy news!

I don't care. I probably won't even notice. 

If you wear pink and green cargo shorts with three dozen pockets and an upside-down No Parking sign woven on the ass, I don't care, either. If you are happy, I am happy for you. 

And if Tim Gunn or Jen Anderson or GQ anyone else tells you that your cargo shorts look dumb or ugly or are a source of humiliation, you can tell them to go to hell. Or tell them to go back to high school, where we were supposed to have left that nonsense behind.

Here is an idea: Just as you are about to open your mouth in criticism of another person's clothing choices, stuff an apple in your mouth and silence yourself, because you are more akin to a pig than a decent human being.  

Productivity tip #14: Start your day ahead of everyone else.

It’s fairly simple. If it takes me less time than you to shower, dress, and otherwise prepare for the day, I will have more free time than you. With that free time, I will have the opportunity to accomplish more, and over the long term, if this disparity persists, I will probably crush you.


It’s that simple. The more minutes you have available in the day, the more productive you will be. And I guarantee that it takes me less time to shower, dress, and otherwise prepare for the day than you.

Some statistics:

  • The majority of Americans (56%) take between 20 and 30 minutes getting ready.
  • Only 2% take less than 5 minutes and 9% spend over an hour
  • More women than men take longer to get ready, with 21% men taking over 30 minutes and 48% women doing the same.

These statistics do not include the time it takes a person to shower or bathe.

I am in the 2% of people who take less than 5 minutes to get ready, and this often includes my shower. This is the result of a few things:

  1. A regimented, streamlined routine that I adhere to daily without exception. A decade working for McDonald’s taught me the value of establishing efficient routines and sticking to them.
  2. The recognition that on my death bed, I won’t be wishing that that I had spent time in the shower, debating pants and shirt combinations, or luxuriating in front of a mirror. I won’t bemoan the time that could’ve been spent combing my hair or applying moisturizer. The 99 year-old version of me wants me to spend less time in the bathroom, and so that is what I do.
  3. An understanding that no one pays as much attention to physical appearance as we all think.
  4. The belief that the gains made by spending more time getting ready in the morning are incremental at best.

When I make this argument to people looking to improve their productivity and get more done, I’ve been told by some that the 30 or 60 minutes spent getting ready in the mornings are a welcomed respite from the rigors of the day. A time to relax.

“A time for myself".”

I would suggest that there are much better ways to relax. More productive, meaningful, and healthy ways to find respite. Activities that actually fit the definition of relaxation and respite and will ultimately prove much more beneficial to you.

If you want to relax or have time for yourself, spend the time exercising. Meditating. Reading. Walking. Petting a dog. Knitting. Spending time in nature. Listening to music. Writing. Having sex. Dancing. Drawing. Talking to loved ones.


All of these activities can provide enormous health benefits to a person, much more so than the application of makeup, the coordinating of outfits, or the fussing with hair.

I promise that if you spend ten fewer minutes on your hair every morning, the only person who will notice it is you. Streamline your routine. Eliminate wasted steps and needless products. Strive to be the person in your circle of friends and colleagues who wears the least makeup, the smallest amount of hair product, and the least cologne or perfume.

Actually, eliminate these latter items entirely. You don’t need them. Ever.

Secretly, I love the fact that so many Americans spend so much time getting ready every day. It allows me to start the daily race ahead of so many people. Most people, in fact. While they are showering and primping and blow drying, I am already moving. Doing. Making.

And I don’t waste a moment of this advantage. I’m not watching television or scrolling through Facebook.

I’m doing stuff.

You could be, too. I guarantee that it what the 99 year-old version of yourself wishes you were doing.