- Bay Area tech workers are becoming more aware of the importance of personal style, according to Kimberly Gant, who’s been a stylist in the Bay Area for seven years.
- That’s reflected in major tech CEOs like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, who have started dressing more fashionably and professionally over the past few years.
- Gant highlighted three issues she’s noticed among people who come to her for guidance, and gave advice for improving your own wardrobe.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For years, the reputation in Silicon Valley was that business casual clothing was a thing of the past, and jeans and t-shirts are the norm.
But as tech CEOs grow up, perhaps the tech industry’s sense of style has, too. Jeff Bezos, for instance, underwent a style revamp three years ago, and even Mark Zuckerberg has ditched his gray t-shirts — these days, you’re just as likely to see him in a suit and tie as jeans.
That’s being reflected in Silicon Valley as a whole. Over the past five years or so, Bay Area workers have become more aware of how they want to present themselves, according to Kimberly Gant, who’s been a stylist in the Bay Area for seven years.
Gant owns a personal styling business called Canvas Styling, and said many of her clients work in tech. But Gant has also worked with tech workers at all levels, from those just starting out in Silicon Valley to VCs and upper management at tech companies.
Below are the biggest issues she sees among people who come to her for guidance, and her advice for stepping it up.
SEE ALSO: A Silicon Valley stylist says the biggest mistake tech workers make when it comes to their clothes is wearing the wrong socks
Find jeans that fit well
“Fit is the biggest thing,” Gant told Business Insider. “Jeans that do not fit are a very sad, sad, thing. You can’t fake that.”
Gant advised finding a tailor that you like, find brands that work for your body type, and know that sizing can vary by brand and silhouette.
She recommended paying close attention to fabrics, too.
“I think a lot of people don’t understand how much stretch happens when you actually purchase a garment,” Gant said. “If it feels great in the dressing room, it may not be the right fit.”
Pay attention to the color and quality of the garments you wear
Gant said that one thing she counsels clients on is making sure they understand what colors look good on them.
And quality is important too: not just buying high-quality items, but maintaining them — that means getting rid of stained clothing.
“Some people are holding onto pieces that really should be let go or recycled,” Gant said.
Get “fresh shoes,” meaning they’re clean and in good shape
“I think a lot of people will hold onto shoes, and just be a little hard on shoes, for too long,” Gant said. “It is the quickest way to update your wardrobe and also one of the most personal things. You could show a lot of personality with a shoe.”
For many tech CEOs, cool and expensive shoes are already an integral part of their look. But for people who aren’t necessarily making billions of dollars a year, there are plenty of brands that Gant is noticing becoming popular in the Bay Area, particularly sustainable brands like Rothy’s flats and Veja sneakers.
But if you’re still feeling confused about your wardrobe, or don’t know where to start, ask for help
Gant encouraged reaching out to a professional, but also recommended asking for feedback from people you know — and above all, don’t be afraid of switching things up.
“While style can be super analytical, there is an art to it too,” Gant said. “Sometimes you just have to experience it, and don’t be afraid to try a new thing.”