Dressing for Deals, Wall Street Bankers Face Fashion Pitfalls – Wall Street Journal

http://493101md69llbt5okxl35m5o4n.hop.clickbank.net/

Wall Street, the last bastion of traditional corporate dress code, has been loosening its tie—and in some cases, getting rid of it completely—as male bankers increasingly take their sartorial cues from clients.



Goldman Sachs Group

Inc.’s new chief, David Solomon, appeared on stage in October without a tie at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif. He had worn a tie at the event the prior year, when he was the firm’s No. 2.

Citigroup
Inc.

Chief Executive Michael Corbat went sans necktie at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. for the first time last year. He was also wearing sneakers from startup Allbirds.

Bankers, retailers and style consultants say a cultural shift is under way.

Dressing too formally in certain settings can signal an unwillingness to adapt. In San Francisco, most bankers dress down. Cashmere V-neck sweater, $375, sidmashburn.com; Ermenegildo Zegna plaid shirt, $197.99; five-pocket pant, $500, mitchellstores.com; Jean Shop belt, $155, mrporter.com; Common Projects suede sneakers, $259.99, mitchellstores.com.


Photo:

Sid Mashburn; MR PORTER; Mitchell Stores (3)

While women on Wall Street have long had more complex calculations when calibrating how they dress, men have relied on a suit, slicked hair and shiny shoes for decades. Now, that strict sartorial code has given way to situational dressing. As Mr. Corbat likes to say, “You dress for your client.”

Situational dressing doesn’t necessarily mean dressing down. Bankers will likely always wear suits to meet with lawmakers and regulators in Washington. But men’s business fashion is now more fluid—making decisions about what to wear more complicated, confusing and potentially costly.

The trend began on trading floors, where interactions have mostly been digitized. With traders meeting clients over instant messages instead of cocktails and cigars, jeans and fleece vests are more commonplace.

It has been accelerated as banks deal more and more with Silicon Valley, where the aesthetic is anathema to formal dress, and as they move away from the traditional business districts of New York.


In this new, no-rules world, regional and industry differences are providing some guidance.

Some people at

JPMorgan Chase

& Co. point to an ongoing move to Hudson Yards, on the far west side of Manhattan, away from other bank offices in stodgy midtown or Wall Street. Citigroup’s Tribeca headquarters, where it consolidated its New York offices, is closer to Robert De Niro’s trendy co-owned restaurant Locanda Verde than to the Four Seasons. Citigroup employees say jackets and ties are increasingly scarce on the 38th floor, where the top bosses sit.

JPMorgan CEO James Dimon stopped wearing a tie to the office several years ago, barring client meetings, and increasingly has appeared in public that way, too. A memo sent to employees in 2016 announcing a less-formal dress code was sent just weeks after JPMorgan’s management committee, which includes Mr. Dimon, returned from a Silicon Valley trip. Earlier this month, Mr. Dimon sported Allbirds sneakers during Silicon Valley meetings.

For the South, with its warmer weather and penchant for bright colors, experts advise executives to soften their color palette. Kincaid No. 3 sharkskin suit, $1,450, sidmashburn.com; Regent fitted dress shirt, $92, brooksbrothers.com; dotted socks, $19.75, paulstuart.com; silk print tie, $135, and semi-brogues in espresso calfskin, $695, both sidmashburn.com

For the South, with its warmer weather and penchant for bright colors, experts advise executives to soften their color palette. Kincaid No. 3 sharkskin suit, $1,450, sidmashburn.com; Regent fitted dress shirt, $92, brooksbrothers.com; dotted socks, $19.75, paulstuart.com; silk print tie, $135, and semi-brogues in espresso calfskin, $695, both sidmashburn.com


Photo:

Sid Mashburn (3); Brooks Brothers; Paul Stuart

Bankers say clients today want them to be more relatable and up-to-date on business and cultural trends, in addition to being authorities on markets or deal-making. But “relatable” is subjective, and reading the room wrong has the potential to cost business. Dressing too formally in certain settings can telegraph an unwillingness or inability to adapt. Showing up in jeans and a sportcoat when a client expects a suit can mark the wearer as not serious enough.

In this new, no-rules world, regional and industry differences are providing some guidance.

One 30-something banker who meets with hedge-fund clients says he now buys mostly slacks and shirts, and a few blazers. Suits, he says, are for when he meets with an especially formal client, notably in Southern cities such as Atlanta and Dallas. In New York, he would wear just a jacket. In San Francisco, he’d go jacketless.

Julie Rath, founder of men’s image consulting firm Rath & Co., steers her executive clients down a similar path. When a client who normally suits up plans to meet with tech executives in Palo Alto, she says she tries to find items that help give him a more relaxed look.

That translates into a sportcoat, open-collar shirt and loafers—brown, not black. (Brown shoes, Ms. Rath says, are considered less severe and more contemporary.) The adjustment keeps her client from looking uptight and out of sync, she says.

In Chicago, “we do things like ditch the pocket square, or keep it to plain white cotton,” and switch to a more conservative suit, since the Midwest is generally more traditional, says Ms. Rath, who advises corporations and individuals. For the South, with its warmer weather and penchant for bright colors, she advises executives to soften their color palette.

In Chicago, ‘we do things like ditch the pocket square,’ since the Midwest is generally more traditional, says Julie Rath, founder of men’s image consulting firm Rath & Co. Canali wool blazer, $1,395; Eton check dress shirt, $127.49; Brax ‘Woolook’ pant, $198, all nordstrom.com. Anderson’s leather belt, $165, mrporter.com; Crockett & Jones Bristol leather bluchers, $660, barneys.com

In Chicago, ‘we do things like ditch the pocket square,’ since the Midwest is generally more traditional, says Julie Rath, founder of men’s image consulting firm Rath & Co. Canali wool blazer, $1,395; Eton check dress shirt, $127.49; Brax ‘Woolook’ pant, $198, all nordstrom.com. Anderson’s leather belt, $165, mrporter.com; Crockett & Jones Bristol leather bluchers, $660, barneys.com


Photo:

NORDSTROM (3); MR PORTER; Barneys New York

No matter the location, Ms. Rath says male executives headed to meetings in settings where business dress has evolved can’t go wrong with a sportcoat and slacks or dark jeans, or a thin-gauge sweater paired with dress pants and a sportcoat.

Even in more laid-back offices, she considers a fleece vest and jeans “trying too hard.” Instead, Ms. Rath suggests a more polished vest from Brunello Cucinelli or Loro Piana paired with a dress shirt and dark jeans.

Older clients, who are often more traditional, may still expect the person they’re dealing with to be in a suit, so executives should dress accordingly, says Anne D. Stills, a New York-based image consultant.

She recommends that female executives traveling to Silicon Valley dress in a crisp, white button-down with a pencil skirt or well-tailored slacks and “tasteful” jewelry—a look she described as more relatable to that audience. For a Midwest meeting with an agriculture or manufacturing client, she would pair a pantsuit with a crew-neck sweater or shell top.

The changes in business dress are being reflected on retail floors. When high-end specialty retailer Mitchells renovated its store in the wealthy Connecticut town of Westport, which is home to investment firms including Bridgewater and BNY Mellon, it allocated more space to upscale casual clothing known as sportswear.

“A lot of key executives are moving toward sportcoats and trousers,” especially on the West Coast, says Bob Mitchell, co-CEO of Mitchell Stores, the family-run company that owns the shop as well as a handful of similar stores on both coasts. Out West, the ratio of sportcoats to suits sold is 3 to 1, he says, while it’s closer to 50-50 at the company’s East Coast stores.

Situational dressing doesn’t necessarily mean dressing down. Bankers will likely always wear suits to meet with lawmakers and regulators in Washington. A Purple Label two-button suit, $3,295, ralphlauren.com; Barneys New York cotton-blend poplin dress shirt, $265, Title of Work silk tie, $350, and Carmina Shoemaker cap-toe leather Balmoral shoes, $495, all barneys.com.

Situational dressing doesn’t necessarily mean dressing down. Bankers will likely always wear suits to meet with lawmakers and regulators in Washington. A Purple Label two-button suit, $3,295, ralphlauren.com; Barneys New York cotton-blend poplin dress shirt, $265, Title of Work silk tie, $350, and Carmina Shoemaker cap-toe leather Balmoral shoes, $495, all barneys.com.


Photo:

RALPH LAUREN; Barneys New York (3)

In the men’s department at Barneys New York’s flagship Madison Avenue store, suits now take up one floor—less than half the space they commanded in the early 1990s, says Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s. The retailer also now mixes in more upscale casual offerings that can work for some business settings, while emphasizing suits with a more contemporary fit that allows men to pair them more easily with, say, V-neck sweaters or turtlenecks.

“They’re not wearing the suit with a dress shirt and tie for every client meeting,” Mr. Kalenderian says. “They’re wearing it in a more versatile way so it can work for casual or dress.”

Rothmans, an upscale men’s specialty store in Manhattan, once sold its suits in a separate downstairs area. Now, the retailer integrates suits with sportcoats and sportswear, so men can easily shop both traditional and contemporary business attire.

“You need a dark, solid suit, a navy blazer, a crisp white shirt, well-fitted jeans, a nice pair of brown, dressy shoes and a cool pair of sneakers,” says owner Ken Giddon. “Once you have those tools, you can get into any audience.”

Write to Telis Demos at telis.demos@wsj.com and Ray A. Smith at ray.smith@wsj.com

West Coast

East Coast

Midwest

South

http://493101md69llbt5okxl35m5o4n.hop.clickbank.net/

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com