Top Jobs for the Elegant Gentleman

17 Jobs For The Elegant Gentleman

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.

Harvey Specter is a lawyer on USA Networks Suits

Harvey Specter is a lawyer on USA Networks Suits


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

Being a doctor can afford you a sense of freedom and an affluent lifestyle

Being a doctor can afford you a sense of freedom and an affluent lifestyle


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

An architect is an artist with an income

An architect is an artist with an income


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

Food writers have the chance to enjoy some of the finest foods in the world

Food writers have the chance to enjoy some of the finest foods in the world

Food Writer

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

Few jobs are as tranquil and romantic as being an artist

Few jobs are as tranquil and romantic as being an artist


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

Still Photographer for the indepedent films, short films and movie sets and projects

Still Photographer for the independent films, short films and movie sets and projects


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

A pilot has a certain glamorous lifestyle attached to it

A pilot has a certain glamorous lifestyle attached to it


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

Being a writer can offer you a sense of tranquility and freedom of expression

Being a writer can offer you a sense of tranquility and freedom of expression


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

There are few lifestyles as glamorous and opportunistic as a ceo or executive

There are few lifestyles as glamorous and opportunistic as a CEO or executive

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

The tie collection of a Wall Street investment banker as seen in the Wall Street Journal

The tie collection of a Wall Street investment banker as seen in the Wall Street Journal

Investment Banker

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

Worth an est 15 million Luis Ortiz is one of New Yorks top Realtors with an affinity for Montblanc pens fast cars and bespoke suits

Worth an est 15 million Luis Ortiz is one of New Yorks top Realtors with an affinity for Montblanc pens fast cars and bespoke suits

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

The offices of a professor at Cornell University

The offices of a professor at Cornell University


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

A sommelier at work

A sommelier at work


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

FOR TV WEEK -- DO NOT PURGE - Kevin Spacey in season 2 of Netflix's "House of Cards." Photo credit: Nathaniel Bell for Netflix.

FOR TV WEEK — DO NOT PURGE – Kevin Spacey in season 2 of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Photo credit: Nathaniel Bell for Netflix.


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

The lifestyle of a Mad Man

The lifestyle of a Mad Man

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

An art appraiser is surrounded by elegance and beauty every day

An art appraiser is surrounded by elegance and beauty every day

Art Appraiser

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:

Top Jobs for the Elegant Gentleman
Article Name
Top Jobs for the Elegant Gentleman
A shortlist of the top career paths for the most elegant gentlemen.
47 replies
  1. Owen says:

    I too operate a business from home. People I meet are surprised to find that I actually get dressed for work, after all I really don’t need to. I think it’s important to take pride in your appearance, even if you don’t have plans to meet anybody that day. For me, the way I dress has an effect on how I approach the day ahead. If I dress in a professional manner, my work ethic is more professional too. I don’t go as far as to wear a suit for work, but sometimes I wish I had a job that required one.

    • J.A. Shapira says:

      Despite having an office, I also work rather extensively from home. Like you, I believe it’s important to dress every morning. Perhaps, I’m inspired by my grandfather who would put on a suit and tie just to check the mail or go grocery shopping, but I agree it does have an effect on your day. One thing, however, that I do, is I will sometimes wear a smoking jacket or dressing gown at home for comfort over my clothes. I think it adds that touch of elegance when a suit might be oddly inappropriate, yet is still casual enough at the home.

      • James B. says:

        You wear a smoking jacket over your clothes? I do not know how to respond to this without coming off as rude, but it is just really, really weird.

  2. nock says:

    Your salary for doctors is WAY off. The salary you listed is more like a senior resident’s or fellow’s salary. Also, almost every MD in the US has residency training, whether this is internal medicine or family medicine, these still require residency. SUB-specialization would include things like pediatric neurosurgery, sports medicine, pain medicine, etc. And yes, subspecialized doctors make more than those who have less training. I can’t think of many doctors willing to work for less than about $160,000 per year. Most subspecialized physicians earn more than $250,000.

    • Paul Bosek says:

      Isn’t barista another word for bartender in a coffee shop? It’s more like making a buck while you are in college, not a real thing, is it?

      If you are in business importing coffee, you go as entrepreneur I think.

  3. Attila Karpati says:

    Maybe, I live in another universe (Central-Europe), but I surprised. I thought, a gentleman is a gentleman instead of what he works (and how much money he has). Although many people can’t buy posh watches and cabrios, but they are still gentlemen. (What about social workers?) I don’t want to say that I am a real gentleman, but I think I would be that in every circumstances. And I hope my son will choose the job what he will interested in.
    Personally, I am a piano teacher too in an elementary school. But I think my “patients” better than an average lawyer’s or a politician’s. I would like to be a better man, but I don’t think I have to change my lifestyle for it. I have to change myself. I am not frustrated, but I read this page, because there were useful posts about style. But I am thinking to say good by. And P.S. for the youngers:
    If you want to be a doctor because the money and lifestyle, looking for another job.
    Thank you for reading!

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      These are 17 professions where it is known that you can dress well and be a gentleman. It was in no way exclusive, and if you read again, you will find that we never claimed you needed money to be a gentleman.
      You can be a social worker and a gentleman or a construction worker, but it is not a profession that is generally associated with the picture of a gentleman. We could not list all professions, but just used some examples.

      A gentleman is defined by his behavior, his mindset and kindness, not his checkbook.

      • James B. says:

        What on earth is the point of listing a bunch of profession in which you can “dress well” in the first place? You can dress well in any profession which does not include getting your clothes dirty. I am so provoked by this article I cannot believe it…

        • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

          James, I am sorry to hear you feel repulsed. We chose the term elegant gentleman, it would have been clearer to use “well-dressed”. Also, it was just a selection of 17 jobs not more and not less. Nobody claimed these were the only 17 professions. We agree: one can dress well in almost any profession and it is mostly a matter of personal taste.
          The point was to show some professions, where it is easy to dress well.

  4. RAF says:

    You will recognize a gentleman by his behavior and how he carries himself not by his salary or the garments he puts on…
    Also, this article implies that you cannot be a gentleman and be a “blue collar” worker…

  5. Alessio says:

    I am an engineer but I do not see my category. Maybe the US is a magic place where people are considered elegant just by wearing two differents shirts in a week. Luckily Italy is a different place =)

  6. John says:

    I have to agree with many of these comments. Saying that the only way that one can be a gentleman is to be able to afford extremely expensive clothing and accessories is extremely shallow. I have always felt that one being a gentleman has more to do with how one conducts his life and the respect one treats others.

  7. Mike says:

    Don’t understand the purpose of this article, and what it has to do with your web site/business…….your comment about blue collar workers is in bad taste…..

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Mike, the sentence was very unfortunate and I can assure you J.A. never had the intention to insult blue-collarworkers. The sentence was not clear, and I removed it.
      Please accept my apologies.

      • Mike says:

        In spite of the article, I do enjoy your web site and enjoy reading the other many fine articles. Keep up the good work.

  8. sirtnn says:

    It is as pompous to assume that ‘the clothes makes the man’ as ‘the job makes the man’. True style comes from within, regardless of what you wear or where you work.
    What joy to read that others share my opinion, it gives me hope that I’m not the only one who believes the way I do.

  9. Zack says:

    I wear suits daily, and I’m a high school band and orchestra director. The students have responded by dressing nicer in general, but also in how they respond to me as a teacher. I also have clinicians in frequently, guests, clients, and when I’m out and about, I never know when I’ll run into the school superintendent, or school board members. I enjoy wearing suits daily, and have found that it has positively impacted by career. Many of my suits are not designer suits, though I do try to stay somewhat trendy in how I dress. It’s possible on any salary if you shop wisely.

  10. Clint says:

    I concur with the criticism above. It reminds me of the old line about those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Hitting the unsubscribe button now.

  11. Ray says:

    As a Cornell student, I regret to inform you that the picture of those luxurious “offices of a professor” is actually of Uris Library. Faculty offices are not that large.

  12. Joe says:

    I found the article amusing. On the one hand, I get the point being made but on the other, the definition of gentleman does not always include fine clothes and watches as many here have pointed out. I chose my career because I’m technically minded and have the interest needed to pursue and stay current in a rapidly changing technical career. Technology workers, particularly Information Technology workers (computers and software) are all thought to be the way the guys in the show Silicon Valley are portrayed. And it’s true that a vast majority of folks in that field are like that. Thankfully the freedom to dress how you like includes dressing up. I wear hand-made three piece suits to my cubicle when I’m in the office and yes, I used to get some interesting comments initially. Now everyone is used to it. But when a vendor is coming to pitch something, I am the one that my team wants in there to meet them. When they talk to me, they think they are talking to someone important. I am important. I’m the most productive member of my team and I’m a lead, a person who takes the latest challenge and runs with it… but I’m not an executive. Yet I do make six-figures and happily don’t have to go to court (except for jury duty) or cut people open. I have a couple of nice watches, a nice car, a comfortable home, and yet… I know I still need to keep working on my gentlemanly skills. I come to places like this to learn how to improve myself in both dress and behaviour. So I take this article for what it’s worth… a look at some careers where you are expected to dress well and can reasonably expect to make the kind of money it takes to it. All the while knowing there are many, many exceptions and being thankful at how lucky I’ve been in life. The clothes and the things are nice. They are tools and toys. Enjoy them. But please consider helping out the local skid-row mission now and then when you can so those who aren’t so blessed can get a hot meal and a place to sleep.

  13. Brent says:

    Sven, I think you’re a little off base here with your defensive replies to all the people who were rubbed the wrong way by this article. Instead of asking “where do we imply….?”, perhaps you could reflect on the fact that it is possible to imply by omission: “conspicuous absence,” as it were. For my part, this was an amusing read which has a fantasy view of these occupations. The reality of being a corporate lawyer, investment banker, or airline pilot is far from glamorous.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Brent, over the course of 5 years we have said time and time again, that a gentleman is defined by his manners, his humor, his mindset etc.
      I read the piece and while some things were not clear we did not outright claim certain things. Just because something is omitted does not mean we claim something else.
      Nevertheless, we made it more clear now, and I hope things are better now.
      I went to law school and I know that being a lawyer is a terrible profession for me and most people I know but it allows you to dress in a certain way.

  14. Tweed says:

    Hi Sven,
    I am a military officer. As such, I consider myself a professional. By my standards, a military professional must conduct himself as a gentleman. The men and women I lead in my unit deserve no less, as does the public I serve. I work in a field uniform 99% of the time. I get dirty. Sometimes, I’ve been unable to bathe for weeks, other than running a damp cloth over the grubbiest parts of myself. Or been unable to sleep for 72 hours straight. Or been unable to take my boots off for a solid week. Or been very very hungry and losing weight. (My pants kept falling off, so I had to make suspenders out of some string.) Or been in considerable danger. Sharing conditions like that with others, who are often even less comfortable than you are, is when being a gentleman truly counts, and where the term “an officer and a gentleman” really comes from. And it has nothing to do with the clothes or accessories. (Thank goodness, or I’d be sunk!)
    Being a gentleman and being a dapper dresser are two very different things. A man can be both, or only one, or neither.
    I think you understand that, judging from your replies here, and other things I’ve read on your web site. This article did not make me think any differently, although it clearly made some other readers uncomfortable. I enjoy your web site and encourage you to keep up the good work.

  15. James B. says:

    I have to say, this is the most redicilous article I have read on this blog. I cannot believe that you are actually trying to name jobs for the gentleman. One is a gentleman by mind, not by what job one has. I work in finance, and dress to this blog’s standard every day, but many of my colleagues dress as slobs. I can go to my local barista for coffee, and he dresses just as nice as I do. Work does not matter, and to be honest, I think this whole article is just a repulsive attempt to feed off tv-culture and shows like Suits and Hannibal.

  16. Attila Karpati says:

    Dear Sven,
    Most of the bloggers would learn from you. Your attitude for criticism is exemplariry. And this is one of the rarest values of the gentlemen.

  17. Petr Jan says:

    What about a clergyman? Beside my duties as an university lecturer I serve as a priest, which brings me to various situations where the elegant getlemenship is very much needed and appreciated. From informal weddings to memorial services for military and diplomatic representation, it is a very interesting life indeed. True, the salary is nothing to write home (or to a blog) about, but money is obviously not the reason to choose this profession. And don’t let me start on the details, meanings and various types of the traditional clerical dress – something almost forgotten by many today, but very, very fascinating…

  18. Attila Karpati says:

    For example:
    St. Francis of Assisi wears a habit was made of the cheapest rough and unbleached material. Because it showed his attitude about poverty. In our days a franciscan habit is very expensive and made of good materials.
    Although nowadays most of the monks and priests wear normal dresses, and in our times these are more symphathic for people. It shows the opening of the church. But I see a lot of upper lipped priests in clergy dress. But our days there is a change in it.
    But to wear these garnments in festivals, masses and other events is more natural.

  19. JoJo says:

    I think it worth exploring the modern concept of Gentleman (from gentry/gentil/gentilis = Latin for family group) and how it developed. It is worth noting that many European countries during the renaissance had similar philosophies on social behaviour (one of the best guides is ‘The Book of The Courtier’ by Baldassare Castiglione). Originally a Gentleman was someone who was not titled yet did not need to work due to private income (usually from land). Latterly, it was, in many ways, a Victorian, middle class badge of social respectability. Now it is a rather old fashioned idea killed in some ways by the march of progress and feminism. I agree with the aspiration of being a good person, kind, thoughtful etc. – ideas contained in Christianity, subsumed by Humanism and now co-opted and restructured by political correctness (hence the social rebellion against manners). Irregardless of income or career it is morals that maketh the man, his consideration for others and, importantly, for himself. This dictates action; irregardless of role a good person will strive to be good in their career – someone without morals will cause problems for themselves and others, even when they hold high office. This conclusion is found throughout history from Watergate to Ancient Rome.

  20. kathyro says:

    An interesting article. I took the title to mean “17 Jobs Where Daily Elegance is Appropriate”. If I were to create a list like this I would be targeting people who are looking for jobs that give them sartorial freedom on a daily basis as they execute their functions. So, most jobs that require a uniform would disqualify the wearer from my list, however much a gentleman he might be. My list would be similar to yours but I would strike pilot and doctor ( or at least surgeon ). Both only have freedom to wear what they want on their off-hours — something any job provides.

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