subdued power

Today in New York Times style section news items you cannot possibly relate to

Today, the Dow is once again soaring. But on a more sober, post-financial-crisis Wall Street, bankers and clothiers said, the dress code for men has steered away from Gekko-style displays of conspicuous sartorial consumption.

Basically when the Dow soars, everything else better be soaring too in order for you to bring out the Big Suit.

“The power suit is over,” said Euan Rellie, a New York investment banker with deep ties to the style crowd (he is married to the fashion editor Lucy Sykes, the twin sister of Vogue’s Plum Sykes). “Less is more today. Finance is less brash, and so are its clothes.”

Skip a beat…

The Gekko look took another body blow during the financial crisis of 2008 and, several years later, from Occupy Wall Street, several bankers said. Suddenly, it seemed either tasteless or personally hazardous to walk around in an outfit that shouted “1 percent.” It is no wonder that Wall Street peacocks have learned to dial back on anything that smacks of capitalist dandyism.
“I haven’t worn a pocket square in years,” said one investment banker, 40, who spoke anonymously because of his employer’s policies against workers’ speaking with the news media. “After the financial crisis, the people who are really stylish want to tone it down. Even if they’re wearing the same suits, they wear simpler shirts, simpler ties. People are making adjustments. I’m not wearing a pocket square, another guy is not wearing French cuffs.”
This is not to say that style is dead on Wall Street. Quite the contrary: The shift has allowed a new generation of Wall Street men to explore new frontiers of patterns and cuts.

Who said the “Occupy Movement” didn’t accomplish anything?

In the end, the goal is a look that does not scream “banker,” but whispers it. “The proper tone today is an elegance that doesn’t try too hard,” Mr. Rellie said. “Wall Street doesn’t want to show off anymore, because no one is listening.”

Har de har har.

This is a story that comes off the heels of the latest Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street, which is reviewed with much fan fare and with curious questions on its meaning to the society.  Interesting note:

As my colleague Joe Nocera has recently pointed out, the misdeeds of Stratton Oakmont — a relatively straightforward pump-and-dump scam built on the temporarily inflated value of often worthless stocks — have little in common with the elaborate, as yet mostly unpunished, schemes that wrecked the economy a decade after Jordan Belfort’s downfall.

Hm.  Maybe it’s all of one scene?

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