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We’ve all been taught by society to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, but Mom was probably the one that instilled a sense of propriety like no other influencer could have. She told you when your shoe was untied, to brush your hair, tuck in your shirt, wash your face and brush your teeth. But perhaps more than anything else, she taught you how to dress for the occasion which rarely permits wearing a t-shirt in a professional atmosphere. Mom came from a different era though. Now t-shirts are worn by some of the most influential people on the world stage, particularly in the digital fields.

Okay, we don’t really want to call your Mom a liar but here’s a list of some of the most influential people who wear t-shirts to conferences, boardrooms, and national broadcasts and are wildly successful in spite of it.

  1. Rand Fishkin in a digital marketing superstar who founded the SEO and marketing community of He’s the co-founder of and was named one of the Top 30 under 30 of the Best Young Entrepreneurs 2009 in Bloomberg Business among many other prestigious accolades. While fond of collared and button down shirts, Rand has also been photographed on many professional occasions wearing a t-shirt, sometimes classed up by a blazer. Rock on Rand!
    Via Dana Lookadoo, Rand Fishkin’s Showdown Session, by Creative Commons License
  2. Jay Baer is the President of Convince & Convert as well as a highly respected and engaged social and content strategist as well as an author. He’s worked with more than 700 brands including FORTUNE 500 companies. Also known to be quite fond of a button down collared shirt, he’s also frequently spotted in a trendy tee.
    Via TopRank Online Marketing, Krista Neher, Jason Baer, Jason Falls Blogger Lounge, by Creative Commons License
  3. Aaron Wall is the founder of, one of the oldest and long standing search engine optimization blogs and communities on the web. He’s invited to the most prestigious digital marketing conferences in the world and the knowledge he shares has been included in course text for MBA classes. As a young entrepreneur, he certainly has domain over his professional wardrobe which absolutely contains t-shirts.
    Via Stephen Turcotte, Aaron Wall, Author of The SEO Book. I like the Firefox t-shirt, Creative Commons License
  4. Larry Page and Sergey Brin – Co-Founders of Google Inc., this duo decided very early on not to follow the standard business model. They started out their programmatic by nature vision quest with an algorithm known as PageRank which relied on the number of links to a certain page to dictate the relevancy of query. They receive their first real funding from the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the rest is still making history. We love the fact that these men set a new trend for business wear that quite often includes a simple tee.
    Via Bruno Pedor, Larry Page and Sergey Brin introducing the G1, by Creative Commons License
  5. Guy Kawasaki has a long, distinguished career as an author and development evangelist. His first major break came during his time at Apple, he’s since started multiple companies ranging from database ventures to an angel investor matchmaking service. Currently he’s evangelizing for Canva, an easy to use web based digital designer. Since Guy is a native of Hawaii, he’s frequently seen wearing a Hawaiian style shirt but with great freedom, comes great style decisions and t-shirts are high up on his list of What to Wear.
    Via Ziv Gillat, DSC_1358.JPG, by Creative Commons License
  6. Seth Godin is an outstanding direct, permission based, and digital marketer and author. He’s been featured on TED Talks, has been invited to speaking engagements around the world, founded Squidoo, Yoyodyne, and was Yahoo’s Vice President of Permission Marketing. He’s authored 18 bestseller books including his latest What To Do When It’s Your Turn, (which is awesome.) He’s fond of t-shirts and even wrote The T-Shirt Rule. Go Seth!
    Via Erik Charlton, Godin on Leadership, by Creative Commons License

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