Man of Wealth and Taste

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Renfield! Fetch my cravat!


Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.
The Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil"

A subtrope of Evil Is Cool: Basically, if there's a truly evil male villain, he's going to be a sharp-dressed villain. He'll wear a sharp-looking suit. Silk tie, expensive shirt, exquisitely ironed pants, leather belt and perfect jacket. Always perfectly in fashion. Bonus points if it's a monochrome suit, and extra-special bonus points if it's a monochrome black suit.

Turns out, evil has quite a lot of money and excellent taste in suits. The villain might well brag about the kickass English or Italian suit he had tailored, possibly during a Mob Boss Suit Fitting. Very common for the Corrupt Corporate Executive.

When your evil mook uniforms are made by Hugo Boss, this is Putting on the Reich.

See also Wicked Cultured, Badass in a Nice Suit, Sharp-Dressed Man, A Glass of Chianti. The polar opposite of Wild Man—a hero with no resources, no fashion, but a very good heart. Also contrast this trope against Fashion Victim Villain.

Examples of Man of Wealth and Taste include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Solf J. Kimblee of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood/manga. He wears a magnificent white suit and hat worthy of Michael Jackson. He makes people blow up in a shower of gore and fire while he keeps his suit spotless.
  • Prime Minister Wong of G Gundam. So much that, aside from his well tailored suit and Cool Shades, he's rarely seen without his flying pimp throne and glass of chilled pocky.
    • He was actually predated by M'Quve from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, who even in his death scene was thinking of his precious art supplies and crystal vases.
      • M'Quve was more of an Evil Aristocrat than a Man of Wealth and Taste. Unless the taste in question is 16th century...
    • Murata Azrael of Gundam Seed shows up dressed in a very nice blue suit. It's a stark contrast to the pajamas his successor wears.
    • Trieze Kushrenada from Gundam Wing is all over this trope, which fits nicely with his magnificent bastardry, although he's more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than any kind of evil.
  • Hellsing's Major and Tubalcain Alhambra.
    • And depending on how you look at it, Alucard.
      • Really, REALLY Alucard, his pimp hat has its own area code.
  • Serial Killer Big Bad Yoshikage Kira from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4 is a nicely dressed fellow. It's to be expected since he's a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of David Bowie.
    • His sweet tie with the horned skulls on it has undergone Defictionalization: a Japanese clothing company now makes it. Be warned, though, since it's reportedly quite expensive.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert. He'll murder you horribly, but at least he's polite and classy about it.
  • Kurt Godel of Mahou Sensei Negima. Not surprising since he's the Governor-General of Ostia.
  • Several of the World Government's employees in One Piece follow this trope. Notable examples are CP9 and the Admiral Kizaru.
    • Crocodile commits all his devious schemes decked out in one of the pimpest don outfits of all time, hell, one of the first things he does after his arrest he gets a solid black even cooler version of the suit.
  • Giovanni in Pokémon.
  • Ladd Russo from Baccano! fits this trope.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note usually wears a neat suit and tie, and is always impeccably groomed.
  • Lord Garygoyle from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water also fits. His suite is immaculate red and worthy for the dinner party he invites sponsors too. The only flaw is his mask and KKK style hat
  • Sebastian from Black Butler. No matter what he's just done, he almost always shows up in an untarnished suit.
    • This applies even more to Ciel, who likes to wear fancy, expensive, tailor-made clothes.
  • Tyki Mikk from D.Gray-man.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Shade, The Penguin and the Gentleman Ghost in The DCU all commit crimes while dressed in top hats and suits.
    • Two-Face is known for his symbolically split two-tone suit, though no tophat.
  • The Joker, depending on the incarnation, wears a tuxedo. Alex Ross's version of the character wears a black tux (no purple) and a white bow tie with spats and a cane.
    • In fact he quite often wears tails, which constitute "white tie" and thus out-formal a tuxedo ('black tie")
      • But since he often wears his tails before 5pm he's obviously a bounder of no breeding.
    • Penguin is also constantly in a tuxedo to complete his namesake's look.
    • Most Batman villains at one time or another wore a suit or tuxedo.
  • When he's wearing one Ra's al Ghul will almost always be seen in a green and/or black silk suit and cape.
  • Marvel Universe: The Kingpin only wears personally tailored designer suits. Of course, given his size, his suits would probably have to be custom made regardless of the quality.
  • In his Corrupt Corporate Executive days, Lex Luthor would almost always wear a black or gray business suit. In fact, in the DCU, the "Luthor Look": a black suit and shaved head, became the preferred style for CEO's.
  • Vandal Savage is usually shown wearing expensive suits. In fact, he probably invented them.
  • Lucifer. Throughout his series he usually wears a sharp white suit.
  • The Invisibles: The blind chessplayer (who may or may not be the devil) always appears in an impeccable white suit, though of course it's arguable if he's actually a villain.
  • Marvel Universe: Morlun always dresses in very elegant clothes that never seem to get damaged in his massive fight with Spider-Man.
  • Desire from Sandman, whenever he/she isn't wearing some slinky black number, is sometimes seen wearing a slick double-breasted pinstriped suit.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Benjamin in Wayne's World is a slick executive who lives in a nice apartment and speaks fluent Chinese.
  • The sadistic physician in Quills lives in a luxurious mansion that he has renovated to suit the tastes of his young, not entirely willing bride.
  • Star Wars: Count Dooku prides himself upon elegance, refinement, and dressing to suit his rank.
  • 99% of James Bond villains fall into this trope. Subverted(?) since our James is a pretty sharp dresser himself. Subverted even more strongly in the books, where Bond (who dresses sharp, but subtle) often notes the fabulously expensive outfits the villains are wearing are also terribly flashy, garish, and a sign of "trying too hard".
  • At the end of Interview With A Vampire, Lestat plays "Sympathy For The Devil" on a car radio. Granted he went out of style a few centuries ago and isn't looking his best, he's still Lestat.
    • Lestat is a fashionista in the novels, and was even as a human, as soon as he got his Badass Cape (and boots). He always prided himself on being impeccably dressed in the most stylish fashions of the day, insisted whomever was in his care was also suitably dressed (Claudia, and later Satan's Night Out), and more often than not seemed to pick his victims for their wardrobes as much as for their villainy. Any time the text is written from Lestat's point of view, you can bet there will be at least one paragraph reminding the reader what he's wearing.
  • Hans Gruber in 'Die Hard': "Nice suit... John Phillips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it Arafat buys his there."
  • In the '94 version of The Shadow, they parody the classic radio show's Product Placement in an exchange between a fur-and-armor wearing mongol barbarian and the slick Tuxedo and Martini hero:

Shiwan Khan: In three days, the entire world will hear my roar, and willingly fall subject to the lost empire of Shan Kahn. That is a lovely tie, by the way. May I ask where you acquire it?
Lamont Cranston: Brooks Brothers.
Shiwan Khan: Is that mid-town?
Lamont Cranston: 45th and Madison. You are a barbarian.
Shiwan Khan: Thank you. We both are.

    • Incidentally, the next time Cranston catches up with Khan (having dinner at a restaurant) the villain has acquired himself a suit and tie. It doesn't suit him (no pun intended).
  • Lucifer in Constantine wears a white suit, buth without shoes and black tar dripping from his bare ankles. Personal hygiene apparently isn't a big deal when you're the Prince of Darkness.
    • The demon played by Gavin Rossdale and the angel played by Jadis also wear some wicked suits, at least until the end where the angel Gabriel is apparently an escaped mental patient reduced to some nice pants and a wifebeater/corset.
  • Absolutely everybody who works for the law firm of Milton, Chadwick & Waters in The Devil's Advocate dresses in the most expensive and fashionable suits and dresses. Hardly surprising, considering who the senior partner is...
  • The Dark Knight - Averted. The Joker wears the shoddiest clothing imaginable, but it's pretty clear he's an evil, evil man.
    • It may have been a nice suit at first, but it's obvious that the Joker isn't too big on upkeep. He mentions that the outfit wasn't cheap, being paid for by Gotham's stolen mob money and all. It's also mentioned by the police to be custom-tailored after his arrest.
    • Ra's al Ghul and Scarecrow from Batman Begins and Two-Face from the sequel play this trope straight.
  • Bedazzled 1967 version - the Devil, when he's not dressed for evil work (as a telephone lineman, beekeeper, scuba gear drilling holes in oil tankers, etc) wears a tuxedo, cape, and cool mod sunglasses - and red socks with whatever else he's wearing.
  • If Shaffer's Amadeus's Salieri counts as a villain, then he truly was a Man of Wealth and Taste- pun intended.
  • Louis Cyphre of Angel Heart.
  • James McCullen AKA Destro and Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
  • Patrick Bateman in American Psycho puts a great deal of importance on clothing, suits and fashion. He is careful to don a plastic raincoat before killing Paul Allen so he doesn't get blood on his suit.
  • The majority of gangsters in The Godfather and its game adaptation are Badass in a Nice Suit, but Bruno Tattaglia goes one-up on the lot with a tux. He's a nasty piece of work, being responsible for the deaths of Luca Brasi and, in the game, Frankie Malone.
  • Mob boss Top Dollar from the movie adaptation of The Crow wears very fancy, expensive vintage clothing and keeps an array of antique swords nearby. This contrasts with his mooks who all dress in average clothing (jeans, jackets, etc.).
  • In Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus the Devil is this.
  • In Drive Angry, the demon sent after Nicolas Cage's character, known as the Accountant (played by William Fichtner), wears a black suit that never tarnishes. He can crash in a car off a bridge and walk out dressed impeccably, without a single crease.
  • Lee Woo-Jin, the antagonist of Oldboy. The final confrontation happens just after he had a shower, which means we are treated to the Man of Wealth and Taste's version of a Lock and Load Montage, including loving close-ups of his tie clip, his cufflinks, his shoelaces...
  • The Emperor from Curse of the Golden Flower's presence is often announced by the jangle of one of his splendid golden suits (oh yeah, and a servant yelling "his majesty the Emperor arrives!") Justified of course by him being the Emperor!
  • Sebastian Shaw in X Men First Class is a Faux Affably Evil arguable Complete Monster who always wears stylish clothes (with the exception of his anti-telepathy helmet), camouflages his submarine under a luxury yacht, and serves excellent champagne to the officials he's trying to manipulate into causing World War III.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Woland of The Master and Margarita: throughout most of the book, he appears as a wealthy, educated, and flamboyantly dressed foreigner. He's also Satan, so evil comes naturally, although whether his actions are for good or ill constitutes a debate unto itself.
  • Most of the Imperial officers in the Star Wars Expanded Universe wear the same sort of uniforms as they do in the movies, and they are pretty much stock evil. Grand Admiral Thrawn wears white, and he is extremely cultured and, while still villainous, visibly more ambiguous. He's also an alien, and actually all the Grand Admirals have white uniforms. It's just that none of them are nearly as prominent.
  • When "The Man", a very suave Horny Devil, first showed up in Tales of MU flashback stories in his pinstriped suit and natty hat, the above lyric got quoted by a reader in the chapter comments.
  • Here's a fun drinking game: take a shot for each of Shakespeare's "gentlemen" who are liars, traitors, thieves, or just general cads. Each and every of them was dressed in the height of fashion for their time and place.
  • Gentleman Johnny Marcone of The Dresden Files, wears suits that cost more than Harry's car and once managed to throw a concealed knife through a rope holding him up while hanging upside down and spinning around while a bloodthirsty loup-garou was about ready to try to eat him. In the dark. He's an Anti-Villain who ends up in Enemy Mine situations with the heroes a lot, but he's still not exactly a nice guy. He is, however, composed of pure, solidified Badass Normal.
  • Traditionalist vampires in Discworld, of course, wear full evening dress and opera cloaks at all times. More modern vampires also dress smartly, and the really dangerous ones (who aren't Black Ribboners, but are too modern to bother with all the traditional stuff that gives the prey a chance) can be recognised by their fancy waistcoats.
    • Cosmo Lavish in Making Money tries to pull this off (in imitation of Vetinari, who isn't exactly evil) and completely fails due to being morbidly obese.
    • Every single Assassin. After all, if one isn't impeccably dressed in the latest black silk, one might as well be a common thug who kills people for money.
    • Maladict, a vampire, manages a variant of this trope while in the army, by wearing the uniform so it's "deshabillé [...] scruffy, but with bags and bags of style".
    • Lord Hong in Interesting Times, who, in addition to being a very well-dressed Agatean nobleman, has a very expensive suit of Western Sto Plains clothes for when he conquers Ankh-Morpork, complete with silk-lined cloak and a Nice Hat with a feather in it.

He would walk through the city on that first great day, and the people would be silent when they saw their natural leader.
It never crossed his mind that anyone would say "'Ere, wot a toff! 'Eave 'arf a brick at 'im!"

  • Crowley and "Dr. Raven Sable" (Famine) in Good Omens.
  • Patrick Bateman's love of suits and fashion, as mentioned in Film, is given considerably more screentime (so to speak) in the book: every outfit is described in great and loving detail, down to brand name, fabric, and cut.
  • In The Guardians, this is the form demons take to live among humans and tempt them into evil; at least one is a US Senator. Subverted when the Guardians can't find a demon and later realize it's taken the form of a woman of wealth and taste.
  • Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter, as befitting the patriarch of a very old and prestigious wizard family.
  • Philonecron of the Cronus Chronicles series. He wears a victorian-style suit and a long cape, and frequently insults humans on their "atrocious" fashion sense. He even bought very high-quality tuxedoes for all of his evil henchmen.
  • Lestat insists on being at the very height of fashion wherever he goes. Whether he's in a frock coat, three-piece business suit, Badass Cape, or jeans and t-shirt, everything is of the highest quality and selected to convey the image Lestat wants to impart. Interestingly, Lestat seems to have an almost Cloudcuckoolander-like attitude towards his wardrobe, veering wildly between disinterested and obsessive. Clothes that he gets dirty will often be shoved in the bottom dresser drawer and never thought of again, while he showers adoring affection for an old woman who knows the story behind the themed cameo-image buttons on the jacket he's wearing. He plays with a Refuge in Audacity approach in Blood Canticle when he and his latest proteges "invade" a remote Caribbean island: They could easily sneak in through the heavy jungle, or just use their powers and slaughter everyone between them and the information they're seeking, but Lestat instead decides to garb his coterie in the most outlandishly over-the-top outfits in their wardrobes and dazzle their way past the drug lords in residence: The young man with him dresses in a metallic gold three-piece suit, the young woman in a high-hemmed ostrich feather dress not out of place in the Roaring 20's, and himself in a full leather suit described in the book at least a half dozen times, because he likes it that damn much.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Adam Monroe from Heroes.
    • Arthur Petrelli, poser that he is, tries to pull it off. He fails.
  • All of Wolfram and Hart from Angel. Particularly Holland Manners - wine cellar, trophy wife - and Lilah Morgan - next spring's Boracchi. And Hamilton, who can engage in any amount of Badass fighting without ruining his suit.
    • Also Darla, who favors apartments with view. And Angelus. And Spike and Drusilla. Then again, they're vampires.
  • The Master on Doctor Who, depending on who's portraying him. Roger Delgado and John Simm's Masters frequently wore great suits, Anthony Ainley's Master wore suits a few times, and Derek Jacobi's Master wears a Victorian version.
  • The Goa'uld in Stargate SG-1 tend to go for the traditional A God Am I-style flowing robes, headdresses, and gold ornamentation everywhere. The Affably Evil Baal, however, prefers a stylish turtleneck-and-suit-jacket combo - especially when he's pretending to be the CEO of a major Earth corporation. The fact that he's the only Goa'uld who doesn't himself believe that he's a god probably has a lot to do with this.
  • Notably, the Devil from Reaper is always seen wearing his trademark suit (of which he has multiple copies), and even has a subplot where his tailor dies, leaving him at a loss with what to wear.
    • He always looks cheerful too. At one point he expresses his disappointment in Sam by dropping store shelves on him. It's probably not a good idea to get him angry.
  • Supernatural: Possessed!Sam from the future wears a pristine white suit. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Rene Benoit in NCIS.
  • Matlock. Taste is subjective, and he is wealthy... And he dresses sharply, dammit.
  • The utterly psychotic Alpha in Dollhouse murders three people onscreen while wearing this.
  • Colonel Montoya from Queen of Swords.
  • Jack Bass on Gossip Girl. Bart and Chuck could also count, depending on whether or not you see them as villains.
  • In the Burn Notice episode "Friendly Fire", Michael coerces the allegiance of a gang by Wearing a red and gray silk suit, talking like Clint Eastwood and blowing things up by snapping his fingers.
  • Ashes to Ashes. Big Bad Superintendant Mackintosh favors well-tailored suits, but the real Man of Wealth and Taste is Jim Keats, with his monochrome grey suits and black leather gloves.
  • Sherlock 's Moriarty is finally introduced wearing a very fine suit.
    • "Westwood."
  • In the short-lived Brimstone series, The Devil (played by Lionel Luthor) wears an expensive Victorian suit, complete with a red tie and a pocketwatch. In contrast, an angel is shown looking exactly like him but dressed as a blue-collar worker (a ceiling painter).
  • Lionel and Lex Luthor of Smallville are this trope overlapped with Badass in a Nice Suit. So's Ultraman, Clark's Evil Twin from Earth-2. For examples that are purely evil, there's also Lex's Dragon Regan Matthews, Earth-2 Lionel, the relentlessy Axe Crazy Lx-3, and Alexander.
  • It can be debated whether or not King Silas of Kings is evil. It cannot be debated that he has excellent taste in suits.
  • In Once Upon a Time, while Rumplestiskin was slimy and grimy in the fairy tale world, he arranged things so that he would be a man of substance in the Storybrooke world, and so as Mr. Gold, he always wears snazzy, finely tailored suits and generally carries around a gold-topped cane. In both worlds, he's your go-to guide for making a Deal with the Devil.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Played straight in the trope namer, Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones.

Just as every cop's a criminal
And all the sinners saints
It's heads, it's tails, just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Practically the first thing Mephistopheles does in Faust is call attention to his elegant, fashionable attire.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Kain R. Heinlein from Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
  • Redd White in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. Subverted since that suit is incredibly gaudy. The "bling" doesn't help either.
    • Also subverted by Zinc Lablanc in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth; despite the name of his Leitmotif being Man of Wealth and Taste, his outfit is incredibly gaudy, to the point of being worse than Redd's. The only thing Lablanc's really got going for him is that he doesn't have ridiculously-colored hair (blond, as opposed to purple). Also he's not evil. Just annoying.
    • Kristoph Gavin, a murderer from the fourth game, wears a pretty neat double-breasted suit.
    • Manfred von Karma might fill this trope... in the seventeenth century. Cravats have fallen out of fashion nowadays. (Don't tell Edgeworth that, though.)
  • Pokey begins wearing a suit after becoming Monotoli's right-hand man in EarthBound.
  • Final Fantasy VII's President Shinra.
  • Fallout 3's Mr. Burke and his "boss", Alastair Tenpenny. Tenpenny wears a unique suit that gives a small bonus to the Charisma & Small Guns skills.
  • Liquid Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid 4 is fairly snappy dresser.
  • In Afterlife, the Demon adviser Jasper wears a business suit.
  • And of course, Albert Wesker.
  • Vampires in The Sims 2: Nightlife. The Counts wear Bela Lugosi knockoff suits with tailcoats and such, the Contessas wear old-fashioned evening gowns with puffed sleeves and lots of gold embroidery.
  • Vergil, as seen in Devil May Cry 3, wears a more old-timey outfit, complete with ascot, compared to Dante's modern fashion sense. Then again, he is an Anti-Villain rather than all-out evil. The human form of their father Sparda wore even more old-timey, complete with elaborate cravat, but he was a Defector From Decadence. Dante's lack of this has been theorised by some as symbolic of his estrangement from his family, which may make his case a Defied Trope.
  • Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Lee Chaolan and Jin Kazama all have incredibly dressy outfits for a fighting game; unsurprisingly they're all part of the same family. It remains to be seen if Lars will follow suit.
  • It's quite clear that The Rolling Stones provided more than a little inspiration for the design of Louis Cypher himself.
  • Megumi Kitaniji from The World Ends With You. Dude is stylish.
  • The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 prefers to do his meetings reclining in a chair in front of an impressive vista, wearing an impeccable suit, a cigarette in hand and a glass of expensive bourbon nearby.
    • Donovan Hock and Elias Kelham are lesser examples.
  • What, no love for Hazama? You gotta admit, that is one damn nice suit, he's even got the mannerisms down pat.
  • Rokkaku Gouji from the Jet Set Radio games.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Vampire: The Masquerade is full of them. Clan Ventrue is probably the most notable, as their clan hat is noble bearing and financial acumen, but many examples can also be found among the Lasombra, Tzimisce, Toreador, and Giovanni.
  • Giovanni Villanova from 7thSea is an archetypal example of this trope. He's evil with a capital E, has a prison built to spec as his own private hell for his enemies, beats his "fate witch" wife, and is generally despicable to the Nth degree... but he's a Prince, by Deus, and that means showing some style. One iconic moment is when he knifes a man from behind (one who's threatening the PCs), shoves him aside... and starts eating the victim's Fettucine Alfredo, because it's too good to waste. He also laments having the cook killed, because the pasta's that good...but while it's one thing to poison an enemy, it's another entirely for the cook to poison such works of art, so he had his men feeding said cook his own poison. Even Evil Has Standards, after all.
  • White Wolf offered an interesting justification in a short vignette written from Lucifer's perspective. He can't feel pleasure, or happiness, or anything good... but the bad stuff? He can feel the bad stuff. Every scratch of the fabric, every slight pain from an ill-fitting piece of clothing, every pang of hunger. He travels in utmost luxury, wears the best clothes and eats the finest food just so he can get as close as possible to feeling nothing.
  • While not a suit, Asmodeus from Dungeons & Dragons wears "regal finery of unimaginable expense", said to cost as much as a country spends on food in a year.


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Al Capone, as well as many other mobsters of that time, wore suits and fedoras. They would also be seen often smoking a cigar.
    • A suit was appropriate streetwear for men at the time; poor guys just wore really cheap ones.
  • African military dictators tended to have very spiffy uniforms.
    • The murderous Bokassa of the Central African Republic had GREAT costumes after he was crowned Emperor.
    • Mobutu Sese-Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) had the safari suit and leopard print fez.