Moral to the story: money can’t buy style

November 5, 2022


Two big points. First, some men have mounds of money for whatever wardrobe they want, and that money has not bought them style. Think Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. Massive amounts of money are no assurance that a wardrobe will be stylish. Second, brand names don’t matter, and labels & logos mean nothing (think slob-erities). Again, money doesn’t buy style. Gentlemen, wear the clothes; don’t let the clothes wear you.

Too many people think they have to wear expensive items to look good, but a price tag means nothing in regard to style. The most stylish people in the world understand that they don’t need a $500 sweatshirt or a $1,200 pair of boots to look or feel cool. What’s the point of buying the same brands that everyone else has or wants — to show off how much you spent? Doesn’t that seem a little silly?

Often, high-end and designer brands charge an incredible amount of money simply for their label or logo. The reality is that most people don’t have any idea what brand you’re wearing. They notice if it looks good and fits well and if the fabric is high quality. That is what’s important – not what designer store you bought it from or what brand name it is.

I don’t consider myself to be a label snob. I don’t care what or who makes it or if it’s popular. Sure, I have purchased some trendy items in the past, but overall, the brand really makes no difference to me most of the time. I look for great options that are affordable and good quality – and, most importantly, look good on me.


A few years ago, one of my friends who is a doctor wanted me to help him with his wardrobe. I went over to his place and started going through his clothing. He had collected hundreds of neckties over the years and instructed me to get rid of any that ‘don’t look good.’ I started yanking ties off – and this one particular ugly tie caused my friend to ask me if I knew what I just put into the donation bag.

I responded that I had no idea, and he picked it up. He asked me to guess how much he paid for this particular tie. Apparently, it was high-end and designer Ferragamo. I had no idea the price, so he told me that he had paid $120 for this ugly tie. He also mentioned that no one knew it’s designer and that they all just see it as an ugly blue tie with sailboats.

But, to make sure he was good with donating it, I asked him if he wanted me to keep it for him. And he asked for my advice at this point, which I gave him. I acknowledged that he spent over $100 on this tie and that it’s a Ferragamo. But since it’s viewed as an ugly blue tie, that it should be eliminated from his wardrobe. He agreed. The moral of the story is that money can’t buy style.


Good style doesn’t require a lot of money, and what we put a value on as individuals is different. For instance, I have a favorite scarf that cost me $10 at Target, some of my favorite tee shirts are $6 from Old Navy, and one of my favorite leather jackets is from American Eagle from years ago. I will spend money on boots, however. My $225 boots will last me forever, so I feel that the quality and longevity of that purchase is there.

On the other hand, I would never spend $75 on a tee shirt – that’s absurd. You may feel differently, and that’s absolutely okay. You may never spend a couple hundred on boots. So, you have to determine what you value and will spend the money on, but it doesn’t NEED to be a brand name.

You can find amazing items at discount stores. Keep your eyes open, and remember it’s not about the brand. It’s about the fit, fabric, and feel. These three aspects will determine how good (or bad) your specific outfit makes you appear.

Coordination is also key because not all colors and patterns work together. Find the right combinations by sticking with a few colors and a pattern or two. Make your own style by picking one piece and working around it. Outfits are about self-expression, which brings me to my last point about money not buying style.

Some of our millionaires and even billionaires have enough money for whatever they want, and that money has not bought them style. Want examples? Mark Zuckerberg sticks with gray tee shirts, jeans, and running shoes, while Steve Jobs always wears a black turtleneck and baggy mom jeans. And Bill Gates looks like he’s wearing ill-fitting off-the-rack suits. Even having massive amounts of money is no assurance that a wardrobe will be stylish.

At the end of the day, brand names don’t matter, labels and logos mean nothing, and money doesn’t buy style. Your Gucci doesn’t mean sh!t if you don’t know how to wear it. Find clothing that fits well and that compliments you. Wear items that you love to wear that create your personal brand. Wear the clothes; don’t let the clothes wear you.

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