Published on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 by

Zach has 3 pairs of shoes, 8 shirts, and 5 pairs of jeans. He believes that there are 16 distinct outfits he can wear—each consisting of a pair of shoes, a shirt, and a pair of jeans—because 3 + 8 + 5 = 16 outfits. What was Zach’s mistake and what is the actual number of distinct outfits he can wear?




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Zach incorrectly added instead of multiplying. The correct number of distinct outfits is given by 3 ⋅ 8 ⋅ 5 = 120 outfits.