Classic, Conservative, and Comfortable: Bruce Miller

Every man has a style philosophy that guides his daily choices. Discover Bruce Miller's personal style mantra, an effortless way to look polished every day. And learn even more along the way.


Image Credit: Bruce Miller

Jericho Bundac

Working at a men's clothing store in high school and having an early obsession with Brooks Brothers, Bruce Miller embraced his “Classic, Conservative and Comfortable” style. He continued to develop that later on in school, taking note of his classmates’ dress at Dartmouth (where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (receiving his MBA with honours).

A combination of lots of hard work—plus a little luck—propelled Bruce through a successful career in marketing and advertising, working with bluechip names such as Procter & Gamble, Acura, TurboTax, Princess Cruises and Jergens. After years of running his own advertising agency, he sold the business to seek a life of purpose.

Now that he's retired, Bruce has dedicated himself to helping people achieve financial literacy so they can retire with dignity, just like he has. Retirement hasn't slowed him down, and it hasn't affected his timeless style. 

We spoke with Bruce about his personal look and other topics like style pitfalls, brands we should know about, style icons, his favourite item of clothing, and the project he's passionate about. Let's jump in and get to know Bruce (and become more stylish along the way).

Style Philosophy

If people are paying too much attention to your clothes, you're doing too much.

Bruce is a big believer in "less is more." Wild patterns and colours, and overly trendy styles, draw attention away from you, to the point that "they're not seeing you, they're seeing your clothes." Bruce thinks you should be the hero, not what you're wearing. How do we dress like the hero? Avoiding style pitfalls is a good start.

Style Pitfalls We Should Avoid

Ignore the siren call of some hipster brand whose duration is going to be measured in nanoseconds.

Bruce's philosophy radiates timeless style. He doesn't buy into the latest trends that brands push to consumers. One trend that hits a nerve is how many of today’s sport or suit jackets are cut so short that they don't cover a man's behind. We're with you there, Bruce. Gentlemen, it’s wise to cover your butt. Literally.

Another pitfall to look out for is permanent press and wrinkle-free clothing. Sure, it saves us time with the iron, but it also means we expose ourselves to the chemicals they use to achieve that wrinkle-free look (can you say formaldehyde?). Pure, untreated cotton shirts and chinos also look and feel much nicer. And speaking of shirts and trousers, what are some quality brands we should know about?

Brands We Should Know About

Bruce suggests we get to know Sid Mashburn for casual pants and belts. For ties, Bruce chooses Aklasu because it complements his personal style:

Aklasu is my go-to place for ties, because your classic, understated, foundational colours and patterns are a mind meld with the look that I like. I don't mind putting in a plug for you guys because if your taste ran to floral prints or garish colours, I’d have said “pass.”
Buy This Tie

As for the dress shirts he wears with his Aklasu ties, Bruce suggests, "When you're at the point where you’d like to treat yourself to custom shirts that aren’t absurdly priced, check out Geneva Custom Shirts in New York City. They make shirts for everybody from the Pope and US presidents to national newscasters and the cast of Boardwalk Empire.”

It's not the famous clientele that attracted Bruce, but their attention to detail. Having a thin frame, Bruce finds it hard to find his size in off-the-rack clothing, but with Geneva shirts, he gets ones that fit perfectly and nail the little things:

They obsess on getting the width and height of the collar exactly right, and they'll make the cuff on your watch side fractionally bigger to leave room for the thickness of the watch. Plus they offer the finest selection of fabrics from world-renowned Swiss and Italian mills.

Bruce uses the same shirtmakers as some high-profile people, but who inspired him to develop this style?

Style Icons

Both of them look so darn comfortable. That's what I've tried to achieve myself.

When we asked Bruce about the style icons who influenced his style, he mentioned Cary Grant and Bruce Boyer. He loves two things about them: their clothes fit impeccably, and they stuck to understated fabrics and patterns. Classic, conservative, and comfortable are great ways to make timeless style effortless. It's a philosophy that extends to Bruce’s foundational pieces, including his favourite item of clothing.

Favourite Item of Clothing

It's a classic. It still looks good. It still fits me, and it feels great.

Bruce's treasures his Brooks Brothers lamb suede windbreaker (think of a G9 Baracuta, slightly elevated) in a caramel brown. It's over 30 years old, but it still brings joy when he sees it in his closet and puts it on. It's classic, looks good, fits well, and feels great.

Finding Purpose in Retirement

His style philosophy wasn't the only gem that Bruce shared with us. In our conversation, he told us how he found purpose after retirement and how we can do the same.

Understanding money and investing was something that I knew a lot about. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others. And I felt that spending my time doing so would give me a sense of purpose.

After building his advertising agency, he sold it and began looking for something to do with his time. Rather than basking under the California sun or taking up golf, he found a project he's passionate about:

I dedicate much of my time to teaching a free financial literacy class. I've helped more than 1,000 folks learn how to get out and stay out of debt, save and invest for their financial freedom.

Bruce teaches financial literacy to a wide variety of schools, non-profits and companies, but he has a particular passion for helping underserved communities. Through his website,, you can sign up for a free class to help you get out of debt and build savings, become a smarter investor, and create a plan that works for you. You can also refer him to communities that you think would benefit from his course.

Instead of selling goods, Bruce now helps people retire with dignity and achieve inner peace—just like he has. Should we wish to achieve the same peace and help others, Bruce offers this piece of advice:

Remember Venn diagrams? Look for three intersecting circles in your life: something that you're good at, something you like to do, and something that will give you a sense of purpose.

Our initial goal for these profiles was to get to know a few clients better and pick up some style tips from real people; we're happy to have come away with so much more. We've actually found ways to make us better people inside and out, and we’re happy to share that wisdom with you.