When Will Mark Zuckerberg Get a New Wardrobe?

Esquire Magazine has named Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg among this year’s worst-dressed celebrities, placing him squarely among such tabloid royalty as Russell Brand and Robert Pattinson. For those of you not familiar with Zuckerberg’s style, Mashable put together a gallery retrospective of the young CEO’s unwavering getup: T-shirt, jeans, The North Face sweatshirt, Adidas sandals. (This also happens to describe about 89 percent of engineering students across the nation.)

But according to the style police:

No matter how much money you have or how many people’s secrets you hold in your digital palm, you cannot show up to a black-tie event in a T-shirt and jeans and expect to be taken seriously. Seriously.

You just gave a hundred million to Newark’s schools. Would it kill you to throw a couple thousand to, say, Zegna for a couple of nice suits? Even Bill Gates wears a sports coat, for chrissakes.

But isn’t that sort of the point? When you’re worth 7 billion dollars, shouldn’t you be able to dress however the hell you like? As stated above: the man had just given a hundred million to Newark schools, so let him wear a T-shirt. (Although maybe calling him a “style icon”—as The Daily Beast did—was a bit overkill.)

What this does call into question is our expectations for those in the limelight. The fact that he’s allied with the devil notwithstanding, what does Zuckerberg’s lack of a sports jacket actually mean? That he’s not to be “taken seriously”? No matter how many North Face jackets he wears, I’m pretty sure nobody could seriously argue against how much weight the Facebook mogul pulls.

Which means instead that we expect the famous to look a certain way. I’m not talking about movie stars, rock stars, or fashion icons—let’s face it, those folks knew what they were getting into—I’m talking about the guys who were thrown into the spotlight by way of their talent in an inherently unfashionable field.

There’s always something to be said for guys taking pride in how they present themselves. But as far as I’m concerned, Zucky’s presentation indicates a guy whose priorities lie elsewhere. Or someone who was most comfortable with himself in college, and dresses accordingly.

Either way, it’s fine by me.

—Photo chiqas/Photobucket


About Lu Fong

Lu Fong was a staff writer and blog editor for the Good Men Project in its formative years. As the requisite woman on staff, her hobbies included cleaning, cooking, knitting, fainting, and childbearing. Follow her on Twitter @lufong.


  1. Because he dresses like a real person? He doesn’t dress up to put on? Martial bullcrap doesn’t appeal to every person, thankfully. Esquire Magazine is every bit as snotty as its name suggests.

  2. It’s easy to over think something like this. Here’s what’s really going on:

    The more money you have the more you get to do whatever you want wherever you want and however you want; it’s just as simple as that. That and comfort. That’s what people are missing. How comfortable are you in a suit anyway. And let’s not forget there’s a silent minority who gets a thrill every time he’s seen in sandals (it’s one of the reasons why I went to see the movie in the theater instead of waiting for it come out on dvd.

  3. Sure. The guy who isn’t dressed up in a ridiculously ostentatious and mind-bogglingly expensive suit thinks he’s better than everyone else. That makes sense.

    You ever consider he just hates dressing up? I know I do. I would never take a job that required me to wear a suit and tie to work everyday. I’m not comfortable dressing up. So if someone invites me to a party I wear what I wear. If they really want to have me there, it’ll be no problem. And if they try to throw me out just because of what I’m wearing, I wouldn’t want to be there anyways.

    • If he hates dressing up, he doesn’t have to attend black-tie events. 🙂 Just like you don’t have to work in a place that requires you to wear a suit & tie every day. Everyone has freedom of choice here– a business can require their employees to follow a dress code, and you can choose not to work there. In this case, Zuckerberg is very subtly sticking his middle finger up at those who requested/planned a black-tie event, instead of *respecting their right* to plan/host the event as they say fit.

      Our freedoms should never be used to slight other people’s rights. No one is above common courtesy. If you don’t like the dress codes/boundaries, you don’t have to go.

  4. I think what we expect is that people not abuse their celebrity status. Anyone else expects everyone else to adhere to a black-tie standard at a black-tie gathering. Black-tie events are designed to look nice. That’s why they are dubbed “black-tie.” Why does Zuckerberg get to be the exception? Could (or should) a middle-age woman attend a Red Hat event without wearing a red hat… just because she’s famous?

    On Zuckerberg’s part, It’s not showing much respect for the people around him. Now, should they throw a hissy fit at his choice of clothing in his home, at work, any place that doesn’t imply a specific (spelled-out) form a dress, well then, we can all just laugh & shrug & be glad we’re not the ones in the limelight. 🙂

    • I totally agree. Normal people are expected to adhere to black-tie dress codes, so by ignoring it, Zuckerberg is basically saying that he is better than everyone else and doesn’t have to comply to layman rules.


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