Good news: One of the most boring staples of executive menswear – the Patagonia fleece vest – may no longer be quite so commonplace.
So what’s a dude to do?
Well, for starters, the fleece vest isn’t the only type of vest that conveys status. Nor is it the only must-have item for today’s captains of industry, where the traditional suit is no longer the daily uniform.
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It now seems like years ago, but Silicon Valley’s hoodie culture made male executives’ wardrobes more casual across most industries. From financial companies to insurers to automakers, traditional dress codes morphed into “dress appropriately.”
Now executive men in more traditional offices are figuring out how to dress down but still look professional, and those at tech firms are growing up and wondering how to dress up but still look cool.
“The big challenge is that the worlds of business are all merging, and the dress codes are quite complicated for a lot of people,” said Nick Hart, founder of Spencer Hart, a London-based bespoke menswear maker that provides time-pressed executives with custom-tailored wardrobes.
Rule No. 1: Never look like you’re trying too hard. “It should look effortless. People shouldn’t be able to put their finger on why you look as good as you do,” Hart said.
Here are some items high-powered men are wearing when dressing for work and weekends:
Sneakers have gone totally upscale, with eye-popping price tags to match. Some executives will throw down more than $1,000 for a pair.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel have shown a preference for wearing Common Projects sneakers.
Of course, great jeans with a blazer and smart loafers, if not sneakers, is a modern classic look.
Dorsey, who makes some “best dressed” lists, is often photographed in a black beanie. But that’s hard for some men to pull off.
Hitchcock recommends a Goorin Brothers Slayer Cap when you’re taking a walk or going to a basketball game.
For a “gentleman’s” hat to wear to the office, she likes the Goorin Radley felt fedora.
Don’t get us wrong. The Patagonia vest is just fine. But “it’s what you wear when you don’t know what else to wear,” Jaye said.
There are far more interesting options.
Hitchcock often recommends what she calls the bi-coastal ready Maurizio Baldassair wool-flax vest, which promises “insulation without sacrificing sophistication.”
If you have to wear glasses, there’s no reason they can’t add a touch of style. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is often seen in a striking pair.
For colorful frames that are not exorbitantly priced, you might try Eyebobs, Hitchcock recommends. The company has noted that top execs like Revlon chairman Ron Perelman have been spotted in them.