Style and what we wear has traditionally been seen as a frivolous frippery that belongs to the domain of women. However in more recent times – say the last five years – or so it can be seen that men have stepped up to the fashion stakes. Attribute this to the increased focus of street style lenses on men’s fashion, making it easy for guys all over the world to see what kind of style appeals or is achievable for them. A quick glance over The Sartorialist and viewers will quickly see the benefit of good tailoring and brave use of pattern and colour; men from New York to Tokyo to Florence and Italy wearing gingham, bold colour or head-to-toe navy – but always in well-tailored cuts that flatter their figures.
I see this in my own street style experience focusing the lens on men in the office but more recently in conversation with my husband’s colleagues where I learnt that a few of the more sartorially-minded guys in the office set wardrobe challenges for themselves. Examples are “Man-bag Monday”, “Tie-Pin Tuesday” and “Waistcoat Wednesday.” Setting challenges is a fun way of allowing them to purposefully incorporate some more stylish flair into their every day office wear. When questioned “why are you wearing a waistcoat?” they can answer with some playful authority, “it’s Waistcoat Wednesday!”
In the tech world there is a stereotype where successful geeks don’t care about what they wear – such that Mark Zuckerberg shows up to conferences and boardrooms wearing a hoodie and sandals. It seems to say, “I don’t care about anything other than my business and I’m so good at it that what I wear doesn’t matter.” And really what you wear doesn’t really matter but I think it demonstrates your relationship with yourself and the world…
Matt Mullenweg has been named PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web. He is most known for his work on WordPress – the blogging platform used by millions of bloggers including myself. the CEO Automattic, a company which is valued at $1-billion+ and has a team of 300+ employees around the world. In a recent interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast in Episode 61, Matt Mullenweg talks about lots of things including the philosophies behind his work on WordPress and Automattic, the tools he uses to run his fully-distributed company, how learning the Saxophone as a kid helps him today (working in groups, breathing for his public speaking gigs and the idea of purposeful practice for instance), polyphasic sleep and from 1:40:15 why Tom Ford suits are the best.
Excerpt from Tim Ferriss Podcast Episode 61 with Matt Mullenweg
“If you are going to go for a suit, Tom Ford is the way to go. They’re pretty amazing.”
“Any particular suit?”
“No, go into the store, they’ll set you up. Your body type is different to mine, they’ll find something that makes you look great. They’ll sort you out. Their cut is much younger, much slimmer, much more shaped… I also love Kiton or Loro Piana but they tend to be made for older men to be honest. So I love their materials but end up tailoring and recutting them.”
“How did you get into clothing and fashion? Because it wasn’t always this way!”
Mullenweg cites the influence of a friend Om Malik of Gigaom “who has an appreciation for the finer things in life”.
I recommend listening to the full interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast (it goes for about an hour) so that you can hear Mullenweg’s enthusiasm for Tom Ford suits in the same way he talks about the benefits of typing Dvorak (an alternative to the more common Querty keyboard) and his favourite Tequila (Casa Dragones). In Mullenweg’s words, “it’s fascinating about how there’s a spectrum and you can go deep into any topic. When you meet someone… if you’re ever bored in a conversation, it’s not them, it’s your fault.” These are interested and interesting guys who deep on lots of things in their interview.
I found it refreshing to hear these men talk about the tools and technologies at their disposal to grow their businesses, improve their physical and mental health as well as having the appreciation to enjoy the finer things in life. If you are a guy who works hard and is interested in design and technology and particularly being at the leading edge of knowledge with respect to these things- why not show this by applying those things to yourself? When you do, you come across as being well-rounded which is something that I hope that we all aspire to – technology shouldn’t only make us more productive, it should also help us enjoy and live more multi-faceted lives.
What impression do you get when you see a well-dressed man?
Looking for ideas on what successful stylish men wear to work? Check out images of BusinessChic men at work here.