I approached college graduation with a combination of excitement and anxiety. I couldn't wait to start my new job at a great firm, and I was really looking forward to my first paycheck! But at the same time, I was anxious about building the new suit & tie wardrobe I needed for work. I knew exactly what I would wear on my first day: the same suit I had worn to my interviews. But what to wear the rest of Week 1?
Nobody in my family had ever worked in a "Suit & Tie" job, so I was making it up as I went along. Fortunately, right across the street from the Harvard Yard, I found my guide. Stonestreet Clothiers was a tiny shop with everything I needed, curated by a guy who had been outfitting new graduates for decades. I was off on a career that’s spanned strategy consulting, private equity, and building global technology businesses.
Fast forward three decades. I’m running Global Innovation for the Retail Group of a Fortune 500 company, serving global brands like Adidas, Burbury, Levi’s, and Marks & Spencer. Dress codes are now much more casual, but the underlying problem remains the same. Men still hate shopping for clothes, and established apparel brands are stuck in a brick & mortar-centric push model. This forces users to waste time, money, and effort searching for items that fit their needs.
Today, we expect a better experience. We’ve used apps like Uber, Expedia, AirBnB, and Grubhub, so we expect to see our best options in minutes. Building a wardrobe should be just as easy, and that’s why we’re launching The Wardrobe Essentialist, starting with dress shirts.