When it comes to the elegant gentleman, his lifestyle is generally reflective of his sense of style, his attitude and his desires. He appreciates the finer things in life and lives his life elegantly.
In today’s economy, most of us spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. For many, it is an enjoyable use of our time, but for others it’s dreadful. For an aspiring gentleman, work can be another sartorial outlet, and certain professions are more style-oriented than others. Therefore, we thought we’d compile a list of careers – though hardly comprehensive – that suit the lifestyle of the elegant gentleman.
Before we get started, it’s important to note that in this day in age, a “gentleman” is no longer a titled bestowed only upon the wealthy, titled set. Today, a man chooses to be a gentleman through his actions, character, conversation, and style, among many other characteristics. A career (and susequent earnings) should in no way be considered the most important measure of a gentleman, but it can be another venue for style concious men to express themselves.
Few other jobs require their employees to wear a suit every day. Of course, there are more casual firms but, for the most part, any of the large firms will appreciate your sartorial talents. Aside from the chance to wear the clothing you love, most firms offer substantial income opportunities that provide you with the chance to afford the lifestyle you want. Combine that with a cushy office once you make partner, a beautiful sedan in the driveway and the opportunity for growth both in the firm and outside it and working as a barrister and solicitor seems like the perfect job for the elegant dandy. Of course, don’t expect to be like Harvey Specter in Suits, because that’s simply not the case.
Average Annual Income (US): $92,000
Many of the wealthiest men in the United States are medical professionals. From plastic surgeons to family physicians the opportunities are endless for those looking to help the community but draw a substantial salary enabling you to afford a Savoir Vivre lifestyle. Some years ago I was very ill and had to be flown to Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles to meet with a specialist. One of the first things I noticed from under his white coat were his Salvatore Ferragamo oxfords, the Montblanc Meisterstück in his pocket and the Audemars Piguet watch on his wrist. It was evident that he was pulling in enough money to afford his lifestyle in Beverly Hills, and his job afforded him the opportunity to express his love for elegant clothing and accessories at work.
Average Annual Income (US / Non-Specialty): $67,000 but of course many earn much more
Half art and half science, an architect, has one of those high-income jobs that allows him to not only dress as he likes but to express some of his interests in his designs. There are many buildings around the world that architecture buffs can look at and recognize immediately as the work of a particular designer. And unlike most artists, the architect can see the fruition of his work before he passes away.
Average Annual Income (US): $102,000
For the culinarians of the world with a passion for an elegant lifestyle, there is really nothing more romantic than working as a food writer and having the opportunity to cover the best (and worst) restaurants, food festivals and events around your city. The pay isn’t as spectacular as many of the other jobs in this list but you can work your way up to a decent income once you develop some traction and get on staff at a large newspaper or magazine. Of course, the best part is all the amazing food you get to try and that most restaurants will bend over backward to please you. That is if they recognize you of course.
Average Annual Income (US): $43,000
For most, this is more of a passion but for a chosen few, it can turn into a very lucrative career. Being an artist is all about expression and although you might not be able to afford the bespoke suits, luxury sedans, and fine writing instruments immediately, it gives you a sense of freedom and artistic expression most jobs won’t afford.
Average Annual Income (US): $41,000
Working as a professional photographer is about seeing the beauty in everything and exposing it through your lens. The artistic prowess it takes to turn the most mundane scene into a piece of art is a perfect match for many who are sartorially savvy. Not only is this a job of expression, but it’s one that can afford you a lifestyle you dream of. From runway shoots at New York Fashion Week to beachside photo shoots in France, there are no limits to what can be achieved when there’s talent behind the lens. Of course, a good photographer can earn 10 or 50 times as much as the annual income…
Average Annual Income (US): $19,000
Who doesn’t dream of the opportunity to travel the world and see the sights? While most commercial and private pilots are required to wear a uniform the real benefit is when you land and having the opportunity to visit the haberdashers in the many cities and countries you’ll no doubt visit as a pilot. While layovers tend to be short (a few hours to overnight), so long as you don’t have to spend your time reviewing flight plans and doing your pre-flight, even a quick taxi ride into the shopping district can prove to be worth the flight.
Average Annual Income (US): $86,000
There is no job that is more romantic than being a novelist. While I’ve never had the chance to write a fictional novel, I like to think of journalism as literature in a hurry. The idea though of being able to trap yourself in an environment of tranquility for three months at a time is very appealing. Many top authors will leave home while writing and take shelter in a secluded cabin in the woods, a small villa in Italy or a little bed and breakfast in a small town in upstate New York. The romanticism of writing a novel is a perfect way for the elegant gentleman to spend his career. Plus, if the book is a bestseller you can spend your days traveling the country on tour and having a chance to experience different cuisines, see new museums and engage with many new people. It’s a great lifestyle if you can make a living doing it.
Average Annual Income (US): $69,000
Senior Level Executive
There is no job more prominent than being a business owner or senior level executive for a major corporation. From virtually limitless income to perks that only owners get, running a business is a great way to live your life and still make a living doing it. I love that as a small business owner, I have the chance to set my own hours, work from my patio with a cigar in my hand or visit a local vintage store at 2pm on a Monday because I heard they just got a collection of bow ties in stock. The freedom of being your own boss is liberating and it affords you the opportunity to set your rules that make 2 hour lunches at the new French bistro in town a possibility and invitation only events at the museum a reality.
Small Business Owner Average Annual Income (US): $112,000 Senior Level Executive Average Annual Income (US) $94,000 – $240,000
There’s little explanation needed here. We’ve all seen movies like Wall Street and American Psycho, and we know that when you work as successful investment banker or trader you get a lot of perks with the job. From dinners at the country club to penthouse apartments overlooking Central Park, being an investment banker comes with an income and opportunity that can give you the lifestyle you want, and of course it doesn’t hurt that you get to wear a suit to work everyday. The only thing to keep in mind is many make commission only so the hours can be brutal.
Average Annual Income (US): $102,000
Real Estate Agent
Another commission only job, a lot of what a Realtor does is based on geography. An agent in New York or Beverly Hills will have the opportunity to pull in a higher income than an agent in Fargo or Duluth. However, the big benefit as an agent is that for most, the opportunity is there to make a very nice income and many Realtors live very comfortable lifestyles, driving entry level luxury cars, wearing bespoke suits and carrying the finest accessories.
Average Annual Income (US): $76,000
University professors are some of the most respected professionals in North America. They are experts in their field of study and handle educating the future world leaders. As a tenured professor at a well-regarded institution, you’ll have the opportunity to mold minds and be rewarded well for it. It’s a noble profession, and it makes you an instantly recognized leader and expert in your field. It’s the perfect job for an elegant gentleman who wants to share his passions and experience with the world.
Average Annual Income (US): $55,000 Average Annual Income (US Ivy League): $256,000
Initially the idea of putting a chef down as one of the career choices was kicked around, but ultimately we opted for a more refined restaurant role since chefs are well known for either having or having to deal with kitchen staff who aren’t exactly “elegant gentlemen” throwing around salty language and inappropriate banter behind the counter.
However, the sommelier is a very coveted role in a top restaurant. An expert in wine, they typically live what they preach and tend to enjoy the finer things in life. Unlike the kitchen staff or wait staff that usually wears some form of uniform, the sommelier in most restaurants is afforded a bit of room to select a suit or dinner jacket for their shift each evening. As a member of the North American Sommelier Association, I can vouch firsthand that many of the sommeliers I’ve had the chance to meet really do live the lifestyle they want and, of course, one perk is being able to enjoy some superlative wines or whiskies.
Average Annual Income (US): $56,000
Before you burst into laughter, hear me out. Sure politicians aren’t often considered the most ‘elegant’ of men, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be. Politicians have the chance to change the world, and they also have the opportunity to attend some of the most lavish events, hold office in historic buildings and live a lifestyle normally not afforded to public office.
Average Annual Income (US): $71,000
Advertising Account Executive
Think MadMen. These are the guys in the suits who deal with the clients. Before I became a writer, I worked in advertising as an account exec and then in finance as a trader. Both of those jobs give you the chance to wear suits to work each day, but advertising gives you some real creative control and an opportunity for expression. Unlike the design team, the account exec is responsible for acting as a liaison between the agency and the client. Therefore, they are the ones invited to the client events, mingling with the collaborative partners and taking the corner office in most firms.
Average Annual Income (US): $43,000
Being surrounded by art is a dream for many dandies with an appreciation for the finer things in life and as an appraiser you have the unique opportunity to see the art before the rest of the world. From private collections to museum masterpieces, the appraiser is a respected member of the art society and usually lives a lifestyle that is representative of their role. Fine art, great food and a superlative personal style.
Average Annual Income (US): $61,000
When all is said and done, the Entrepreneur probably has the greatest freedom when it comes to elegant clothing because as the founder of the business you can wear what you like and set dress codes without having to think about your boss. At the same time, if your customers think you are too flamboyant it may hurt your business but with a strong personality people can always see that you wear the clothes and not vice versa. Average Annual Income (US): varies immensely
This is just a handful of some of the ideal jobs for the elegant gentleman. Of course, it’s all based on personal interests and lifestyle so what’s right for one may not be a good fit for another. What do you do for a living and do you find it’s reflective of your lifestyle?
US Income Source: Indeed.com