Silicon Valley’s Finest: 10 of the Best-Dressed Tech Execs
While consultant Tom Searcy famously wrote that in Silicon Valley, “it’s a status symbol to dress like you’re homeless to attend board meetings,” not all tech executives make public appearances in Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie and Adidas sandals, Sergey Brin’s Vibram FiveFingers barefoot shoes, or Steve Jobs’ dad jeans and New Balance running shoes. While such obvious deviance from the conventions of the business world can signify that your skill and accomplishments enable you to ignore such formalities, some tech execs choose to show off with some sartorial originality instead of Silicon Valley’s stubborn informality.
Instead of emulating Bay Area stereotypes, succumbing to societal pressure, or simply getting dressed in the dark, many stylish tech execs have established their own uniforms, ones that aren’t so obviously a product of startup culture or the stereotypes and social pressures of tech society.
The example set by the surprisingly numerous tech execs with a sense of style should serve as a reminder that no matter how tech-savvy you are, you’re better than that uniform of a hoodie and a logo tee, no matter how comfortable it looks on “The Social Network” or HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” Afterall, these execs demonstrate that you don’t have to default to the most casual of clothing combinations in order to establish a style or a uniform for yourself; just tweak the algorithm to bring some more polished and tailored pieces into the mix. Here’s how a number of top tech executives have leveled up their style.
1. Vint Cerf
Internet pioneer Vint Cerf has made the three-piece suit his personal uniform, and told Esquire of the ensemble, “You don’t see them much anymore. It has several benefits: You may be overdressed on some occasions, but you can manage to fit into a huge range of circumstances.”
2. Jack Dorsey
Square chief executive Jack Dorsey is often spotted in leather jackets, tailored suits by Prada or Hermes, and reverse-collar shirts from Dior Homme. His attire at all sorts of public appearances demonstrates that he can do both formal and casual with style, and Dorsey was even named to GQ Australia’s most-stylish list a few years ago.
3. Jony Ive
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive often appears in suits and sport coats, with The New York Times reporting that the tailor with whom Ive collaborates on his wardrobe used to work at the Savile Row label Anderson & Sheppard before moving to the Lake District. (Ive also recently landed on Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list.)
4. Aaron Levie
Box chief executive Aaron Levie often sports a slim J. Crew suit, paired with Pumas or Tigers. He often swaps out the trousers for a pair of jeans, and the shoes are always a bright shade — often red, orange, or blue.
5. Elon Musk
SpaceX and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has mastered the pairing of a sport coat and a shirt left open at the collar. When he isn’t wearing a suit or a sport coat, he’ll often appear in a leather jacket, black tee, and designer jeans, demonstrating that dressing casual doesn’t have to make you look like you just rolled out of bed.
6. Satya Nadella
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella frequently changes up his look, with a variety of sport coats and color combinations, all unified by impressive tailoring and a perfect fit. (And yes, we’re aware Microsoft isn’t based in Silicon Valley)
7. Sean Parker
Napster cofounder and early Facebook investor Sean Parker isn’t afraid of some color, and based on his attire during recent public appearances, seems to have a special penchant for Tom Ford suits and Dior jeans.
8. Evan Spiegel
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel seems equally interested in comfort and style — a balance that any guy, tech entrepreneur or not, can relate to –and as Details recently noted, “is more likely to be spotted in something from Acne Studios than Underarmour.”
9. Jeremy Stoppelman
Yelp chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman frequently appears in dark, trim suits sans-tie. He’s also mastered the sport coat and jeans look, with a penchant for pieces that are properly fitted and tailored (which is a welcome contrast with the ubiquity of rumpled button-fronts and dad jeans).
10. Kevin Systrom
Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom almost always opts for a preppy look, whether he appears in a dark suit or a more casual ensemble, such as a dark sweater over a white shirt and tie, accompanied by a dark pair of trousers and a classic pair of shoes.
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