The casual uniform of the millennial techie is a running joke by now, but some are starting to swap in their t-shirts and worn jeans for actual adult clothes. Stylist Victoria Hitchcock told Vox what it’s like to overhaul the lives and styles of Silicon Valley’s emerging employees – who literally can’t dress themselves – as they go “from boys to men.”
Hitchcock has been styling members of the tech and business industries for 25 years, convincing them to part with stained tees and ratty jeans and glow up enough to be prominent in the field without embarrassing anyone.
“I want my clients to look like they don’t care,” said Hitchcock, adding that “There’s a difference between ‘not caring about fashion’ and ‘not caring about yourself.’ I want them to invest in themselves.”
She calls the aesthetic “effortless style”; clients should look clean and respectable, but not as if they’re actively trying. Her older clients want to look young and fit in, while the young ones want a more mature style. She charges a $2K consulting fee and $275 per hour after that. The only rules are: No khakis, and no flip-flops.
“Dressing effortlessly is a way to show off your shit, to demonstrate that you have brain power,” she added. “I certainly could dress them to a tee, but it isn’t what the look is about. Instead, I’m kicking up the techie a few notches and making it sexy.”
Hitchcock also helps with organization and grooming; it sounds like one woman taking on the work of the entire Queer Eye team, but Hitchcock often works on retainer (for around $10K a year), keeping up with her clients’ general lifestyle quality. She creates virtual closets and lookbooks and helps them plan what to wear at conferences or on vacation. She keeps track of every detail and sets reminders for when they’ll need new shoes or jeans to replace old versions.
And there’s at least one tech giant in the Valley who she thinks she could help immensely: Mark Zuckerberg.
“I really think he should try harder,” she said. “In my opinion, he needs to really mix it up with more modern outfits and colors, instead of being a dinosaur.”
If anything, that’s the best way to appeal to a high-level hero in Silicon Valley – compare him to something ancient.