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April 10, 2014
By Lisa Dare

We set out to find out if there is such a thing as style in the IT world. It turns out that in a community more known for brains than fashion sense, a few trends still emerged. From nerd-friendly to downright hip, our research revealed that techies let their IT style shine in a variety of ways, showing that the folks who keep our networks running and innovation economy advancing care—at least a little—about their image. So where does your IT style fit in?

The CIO: Like Larry Ellison and the late Steve Jobs, the CIO or tech company CEO frequently favors a business-casual hybrid of mock turtleneck and blazer—sometimes rebelliously paired with jeans. Espousing the nerd-in-chief look but still smart, these folks often sport high-end eyeglasses in glamorous styles.

Too smart—or busy—to care about the fashion game, the female CIO almost always wears short but meticulously coiffed hair and suits straight from Ann Taylor.

Chief Marketing Officer: The hippest of the IT bunch, you won’t find the CMO in a dowdy suit, and certainly not in jeans (unless they’re ultra-slim and ultra-expensive). The females of this fashion-friendly faction might sport trendily long hair and chic, colorful Diane von Furstenberg dresses, while the men look suave in tailored slim-cut suits or wildly expensive sports jackets in sophisticated hues.

The Engineer: An engineer might punch anyone who tries to lump him or her with hipsters, but the two groups share a similar style aesthetic. Wrinkled, nerd-friendly clothing? Check. Dress hoodie? Check. Perfectly mussed hair? Check, check, check. The only difference is the hipster is wearing that Tron shirt ironically.  

The Technology Tycoon: The tech tycoon exists to remind beautiful women they should’ve been nicer to the nerdy boys in high school. As wildly geeky as he (and so far they’re all “he”) is extravagantly wealthy, the tycoon almost always has a more attractive spouse who manages to see past his geekdom. For all the proof you need that profound geekiness is the new cool, see Forbes’ 30 Richest Techies in the World slideshow. Who’s that attractive, stylish woman wedged in there, you ask? Oh yeah, that’s Steve Jobs’ widow.

Agree? Disagree? What’s your IT style? We’d love to hear from you—join us on Facebook to continue the conversation and see what your IT peers think.

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