What better person to use my styling skills on than my talented husband, Ramit Sethi.
Over the years Ramit has undergone a slow but intentional makeover as he became an author, and started to spend more time in the public eye.
When he was preparing for his three-stop book tour for the 10 year anniversary of his book I Will Teach you to Be Rich, we knew it was time to elevate his style even more to connect with three distinct audiences around the country: New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
The new Ramit, 2019 edition
Much has changed since Ramit originally wrote his book.
He has become a New York Times Best Selling author, and he founded a company, IWT.com, which helps people around the globe find their dream job, start a business, and get control of their finances.
Most importantly, we got married!
Ramit’s book picture then vs now
His success and happiness meant it was time to level up his wardrobe.
I wanted this wardrobe to reflect:
- Approachability: he has students from all over the world, from different walks of life and during the book tour he was going to be meeting more! I wanted his clothing to communicate that he is warm and encourage people to share their story with him.
- He’s an expert: in the past 10 years, Ramit had been featured in many well known publications like New York Times, WSJ, and CNBC. Many have turned to him for advice on how to start a business, find their dream job or gain control of their personal finances. His clothing needed to reflect that he knows what he’s talking about and that he’s trustworthy.
- That he practices what he preaches: In the past few years, Ramit has been sharing more and more with his audience about living their Rich Life. Many people in his audience have implemented his financial advice and can now use their money to spend the way they want to. It was important that we communicated with his wardrobe that Ramit practices what he preaches when it comes to living his rich life (which cashmere sweaters are a big part of!)
The principles I used to create Ramit Sethi’s style are the same I use for all of my men’s image consulting clients. Let me walk you through the men’s styling tips that I used on him in 3 stops of his book tour.
New York City
His first book tour stop was a big deal for Ramit, as NYC is not only his home city but also a pretty fashionable place.
I was looking for an outfit that communicated through his personal style that he is successful but in an understated way.
It was important to seem he wasn’t trying too hard, but also for him to establish credibility through his fashion choices.
When I work with men on their image consulting needs, I always take into account their favorite items to wear, and for Ramit, it’s beautiful cashmere sweaters. I worked to incorporate that preference throughout the tour as this is what he felt most comfortable in.
For his New York event, I chose a peach sweater which I immediately knew would be perfect for him–made of cashmere, it was both lightweight and a neutral color which would go with everything in his closet. Notice the fit of the sweater, it was relaxed, not super tight but not baggy at the same time.
We rolled up his sleeves to communicate a more casual look and feel (also it was pretty warm that day!)
I paired the cashmere sweater with trousers that had a bit of flair.
They have a subtle grey plaid print, a modern fit (tapered at the bottom), and a sophisticated look with that peach sweater.
To recreate this look, notice the pant cuff at the ankle, which gives off a trendier vibe than traditional trousers.
The selections turned out to be the perfect combination of authoritative, and he was confident commanding the presence of the room, but he still was comfortable and approachable meeting with fans during his signing.
Stop two had a completely different vibe, as D.C. is a bit less fashion-forward than New York, so this was important to take into account. I knew the audience would have a D.C style so it was important that he wasn’t too dressed up compared to them– I wanted them to feel comfortable going up and talking with him.
So I chose a core color palette. This palette is universally accepted, always looks put together and is understated.
I recommend men work with core colors, including black, white, navy, and gray, whenever possible as they start to practice mixing and matching with more interesting colors and patterns at times.
Styling for hot summer months means you have to take into account the warm temperatures, and to choose lightweight fabrics like this long sleeve polo instead of his usual sweater.
In retrospect, I should have opted for a short sleeve polo as the extra layer was too warm. (Once we arrived at the location, we learned the AC wasn’t pumping out the cool air as we hoped it would!)
The textures make this outfit interesting and fun in a subtle way.
The pinstripe on the pant, the mix of colors in the polo and his shoes just all worked together, because I was sticking to those core colors. You can never go wrong, even when you aren’t quite sure of the dress code for a particular event.
Ramit’s audience is around his age and it’s important that I wanted his clothing to reflect that they are younger but sophisticated.
One way that I did this was by incorporating more modern styles of clothing.
Check out the pants above- they are one of my favorite pieces in his wardrobe that he loves wearing after his book tour!
A few things to notice about these modern pants:
- Even though you only see a small portion of the pant, they look very luxe. Why? The fabric. If you’re looking to elevate your look, invest in more luxurious fabrics. (they’ll also last you longer too)
- When you invest in more luxurious pieces, the details will always be top notch. Notice how the heather grey drawstring matches the grey pinstripe in the pant. Understated but very put together.
- Notice the bottom of the pant. I always suggest a more modern fit (aka tapered on the bottom half) of the pant. This always looks so much better and doesn’t read old.
This city holds a special place in Ramit’s heart, because he lived there after college, so it was important to me for him to look top notch.
California and its beautiful climate demand light color palettes, and I know from working with men’s styling clients on the West Coast that Californians wear A LOT more color than my East Coast clients.
Since he would be meeting lots of his community during the book signing, I wasn’t him to feel warm and approachable to strangers, but to also feel he was portraying himself as a successful author and businessman to friends he knew from his past.
So, I did one of my favorite styling tricks on him, and dressed him head to toe in the same tonal color, green.
I picked out a mint green cashmere sweater, and then did a hunter green, modern fit trouser to compliment it.
I completed his look by replacing clunky brown dress shoes with a fresh white sneaker, which felt more youthful and modern. (In fact, we used sneakers as his footwear of choice for the whole tour, because they are more current and modern)
Ramit Sethi’s style was a hit on all three stops of his book tour, as was he.
Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals.
Next Level Wardrobe has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Today and CNN. See here.