Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO, was wholly committed to his uniform of faded, relaxed-fit jeans and black mock turtleneck, writes Robin Givhan at the Daily Beast. She highlights how he proved, through his attire and company, that simplicity is powerful.
Women have long struggled with a confusing abundance of fashion choices, but mostly they’ve been able to use that bounty to their advantage. The most skillful have managed to assemble a personal signature — a particular frock or embellishment with which they’re instantly associated and that accurately reflects some characteristic of their public persona. Think, for instance, of Anna Wintour and the shrewd protectiveness of her Chanel sunglasses or Madeleine Albright and her quietly political brooches.
Men, by contrast, have relied on the anonymous power suit. It is a universal form of public camouflage — blandly appropriate and never distracting. So pervasive is the reliance on the business suit that men who shun it often are defined by the sheer audacity of their refusal rather than by their chosen alternative — be it Dockers and a T-shirt, or the generic rock-star costume of tight jeans and a dandified shirt.
This reality makes the sartorial distinction of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, all the more astounding. He made the kind of personal style statement that eludes most men. His clothes — neither disconcertingly flashy, nor self-consciously dowdy — came to be uniquely associated with him, indicative of the streamlined ease of his technical wizardry, but wholly accessible, uncomplicated and welcoming.
Read Robin Givhan’s entire story at the Daily Beast.