Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
Hot fashion meets hot rods when it comes to Nick Jaynes. The nattily dressed, self-proclaimed adventurer also happens to be the transportation reporter at Mashable, which basically means he has playdates with everything from Bentleys and Teslas to the new BMW M2 and Nissan GT-R on the daily. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
We caught up with Nick during a quick break from him putting pedal to the metal to learn just how he dresses to impress — whether he’s inside or out of those shiny sets of wheels. One thing’s certain, his style never takes a back seat.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
Nick Jaynes: I worked as an apprentice Volvo mechanic during journalism school. I graduated as the Great Recession started, and without any media jobs to be had, I decided to make my own way — meaning, I wrenched on Volvos during the day and, at night, I worked on my own website producing Top Gear-like car review videos.
CS: What do you love most about your current job at Mashable?
NJ: Storytelling… and informing and inspiring people — at least I hope I inspire them.
CS: Favorite part of your 9-to-5 day?
NJ: Pulling into the parking lot and finding my Land Rover Defender hasn’t been stolen (I keep it at work).
CS: Workday essentials?
NJ: Denim with a bit of stretch — and my 8-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound, Roger.
CS: How do you define your personal style?
NJ: Italian playboy meets American outdoorsman.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
NJ: It’s amazing what some well-tailored and fashionable clothes can do. Genetics be damned. You can still carry yourself with confidence and own a room with the right outfit.
CS: How do you view the relationship between your clothes and your career?
NJ: Unlike a lot of guys in my industry, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to dress like a 14-year-old skater while driving quarter-million-dollar super-cars. So I decided to invest in looking and dressing the part. As a result, when I pull up somewhere in a Bentley, people believe it’s mine.
CS: Do you believe that success and style go hand-in-hand?
NJ: Totally. Sure, Mark Zuckerberg can wear a hoodie everyday. But he’s a billionaire and doesn’t have to impress. Most of us aren’t. So, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to look the part.
CS: Why do you think it’s important to dress nicely?
NJ: It shows respect — both for yourself and the people around you.
CS: What are some of your signature sartorial statements?
NJ: Pocket squares have apparently become my signature. They’re a quick way to pop some color and look distinctive while also remaining casual, youthful, and laid-back.
CS: Where do you like to spend your off-duty hours?
NJ: In the wilderness somewhere either hiking, mountain biking, or off-roading — with my coonhound in tow.
CS: Best style advice you’ve received?
NJ: There’s no such thing as being “overdressed.”
CS: What are your “style cheats”?
NJ: I have every shirt darted (taken in) — from a $35 oxford to a $190 Italian button-down. It costs a couple bucks but ensures a proper fit. Plus, when you tuck in the shirt, you don’t have to fight with any extra billowy fabric.