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25 Style Lessons from Seinfeld, 25 Years Later

  • Najib Benouar


It’s been 25 years since the very first episode of Seinfeld aired, and 16 since its grand finale, yet it’s still as relevant as ever.

In fact, you could even say the show is suddenly experiencing style renaissance—look no further than the stonewashed rallying cries of #normcore. But it wasn’t all just white sneakers and dad jeans. The show was woven with a rich tapestry of personal styles, from George Costanza to J. Peterman himself, and we’ve tracked down the clips of some of our favorite sartorial moments to see if we’ve learned anything from a show about nothing.

And now: 25 style lessons from Seinfeld, 25 years later...


1. The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt. (Perhaps it’s telling that the opening dialogue in the first episode was about a shirt’s button stance... as was the last conversation ever had on the show.)


2. A new jacket can bring you a whole new level of confidence.


3. Within the basic framework of your daily uniform, there should be many subtle variations only discernible to an acute observer that reflect the many moods, the many shades, the many sides of yourself. Above all, always have a “morning mist” look.


4. Keep a perfect crease in your pants by not wearing them while sitting down before showtime. (An old conductor’s trick courtesy of the Maestro.)


5. Regardless of whether you call it “The Bro” or “The Manssiere,” it’s a bad idea.


6. You should consider sizing up on slim-fit jeans. (Or was Kramer just way ahead of the denim-debating-selvage-jeans curve?)


7. You can’t return an item of clothing based purely on spite.


8. You can wear your team’s cap to any baseball game. This is America.


9. Wearing a bunch of clothing you just found all at once can give people the wrong impression.


10. Never speak of the Urban Sombrero to a man in a fragile state.


11. Wearing a fur coat and carrying a “European carryall” is going to get you called a “dandy fancy boy.”


12. Don’t wear a jacket that has its own shtick.


13. Dressing like a tourist can do wonders for your love life.


14. The Executive Raincoat was a great idea. And it still is.


15. Never carry more in your wallet than you absolutely must.


16. When it comes to borrowing swimsuits, your boys should stay in their neighborhood.


17. It’s never a good sign when your suit pants swoosh.


18. It’s strange to wear a cape... even when it’s good cape weather (cool, breezy).


19. Don’t wear an item of clothing that’s more memorable than you are, unless you’re okay with it becoming your nickname.


20. Know your menswear. And how to romanticize it.


21. It is not socially acceptable to drape yourself in velvet...


22. Avoid wearing polyester—it’s not a natural fiber. Cotton breathes, it’s much softer. (Just make sure it’s been preshrunk.)


23. Never borrow a stylish fur hat and then use it in a half-baked scheme to win a date.


24. It doesn’t matter how much you like to say “Gore-Tex.”


25. In two months’ time, everyone’s going to be wearing the pirate look.

— N.B.