We all have an image in our minds of what it means to be rich, and what we would look like if we just so happened to find ourselves on Forbes’ top 100 rich list. But how does our perception of wealth and fashion similarities measure up to those who are the world’s richest people? The answers could be surprising…
For many of us, being a billionaire involves slick suits, glamorous sunglasses, and expensive taste. But this doesn’t necessarily correlate with the fashion similarities among the world’s richest people. With this in mind, let’s explore seven interesting fashion similarities among Forbes’ 100 richest people:
1. Embracing ‘Stealth Wealth’
Tech-based entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg quickly stand out when it comes to who we associate with the most prominent billionaires of today. Interestingly, all three can often be found doing anything other than flaunting their cash.
Although billionaires like Musk are content with grandiose displays of wealth like sending a Tesla into space or buying Twitter for a joke, it seems that their dress sense is largely understated.
This ‘stealth wealth’ approach can be commonly seen among billionaires who choose to avoid flashy outfits and loud jewelry. This helps to generate a more down-to-earth and self-made visage.
2. Anti-Seasonal Attire
Writing for GQ, Rachel Tashjian argues that Silicon Valley’s billionaires have redefined what it means to look rich. As a result, we see the rise of anti-seasonal attire underline an overall disregard for how others perceive you.
This more nonchalant approach to the billionaire’s wardrobe has led to the trend of anti-seasonal attire.
Illustrated by Beyond Meat director and former Twitter CFO Ned Segal, more of the world’s richest people are abandoning high fashion in order to layer up, with body warmers and fleeces leading the charge of low-key practicality.
3. Designer Eyewear, of Course
Despite a widespread push towards more subtle clothing styles, designer eyewear is still a market leader among billionaires.
As Miriam Adelson, who ranks 50th on Forbes’ 2022 rich list shows in her jewel-encrusted eyewear, there’s always room for luxury glasses among billionaires.
While leading brands and styles have proven to be a popular choice among the world’s richest, oftentimes more understated frames can be worn–with figures like Bill Gates a notable wearer of more practical lenses without the frills attached.
4. Watches Do the Talking
Wristwatches are powerful accessories for billionaires. They can help to provide an exciting footnote to a modest outfit and display the personality of the wearer in a more subtle manner.
Because of their role as an accessory, watches can do the talking without being overly flashy or over-the-top–meaning that wearers are free to go as expensive as they please while avoiding the risk of appearing to show off.
The relationship between billionaires and their watches is a strong one. So much so that pieces like the Patek Phillipe Nautilus stand out as an iconic timepiece that’s capable of fetching some $470,000 at auction. Meanwhile, brands like Rolex have long formed a distinct relationship with the rich and powerful. Plus, they have become a clear market of wealth for wearers.
5. Embracing ‘Tradition’
The fashion taste of billionaires generally skews toward more traditional attire. This trend has sparked a brand new cultural shift in how Gen-Z fashionistas like to dress–disregarding modernity to wear clothes associated with ‘old money’.
While there are certainly many billionaires who readily embrace high fashion, aviator sunglasses, and a taste for more elaborate attire, many of the world’s richest men and women are more traditional. With many entries on Forbes’ rich list indeed coming from what would be regarded as ‘old money’, this trend may seem unsurprising, but it can fly in the face of what we believe the world’s richest people to look like.
6. The Art of Small Details
Much like their willingness to let their watches do the talking, it’s often the small details that empower billionaires to stand out from the crowd without giving the wrong impression to others.
Details like shoes, cufflinks, and earrings can all help to make a statement that doesn’t have to come across as desperate or showy.
Furthermore, smaller details can help to generate strong themes that can complement many different looks. For instance, gold cufflinks and jewelry can generate the perception of wealth in a more discrete manner than, say gold sunglasses and a designer suit.
7. Comfort Can Beat Luxury
The overriding theme of the billionaire is comfort. This is understandable, too. After all, what’s the point in dressing to impress when you’re already a bonafide success story?
As we all know, there’s nothing better than wearing clothes that don’t pinch. Additionally, clothes you don’t have to adjust your posture to look great. As Bill Gates shows, there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in what you’re wearing–even if you’re one of the richest individuals on the planet.
Sometimes comfy shoes and cozy sweaters are exactly what the doctor ordered ahead of a day of meetings and wealth-management.
Forbes’ rich list has shown that there isn’t much of a billionaire archetype when it comes to fashion similarities. But, we can see that simpler and more understated styles appear to reign supreme among the world’s richest.
While there’s still room for subtle flair and flamboyant accessories, comfort reigns supreme–even when it comes to the financial elites. So maybe this can set an example for us all. Perhaps we could all be more productive if we spent less time in uncomfortable fancy clothes and instead embraced a little more comfort in our lives?