Goldman Sachs dress code, day one: "I am wearing my jeans"
Today is the start of a whole new world at Goldman Sachs. Following yesterday's message from CEO David Solomon to the effect that Goldman staff are now free to wear whatever they like within limits (“All of us know what is and is not appropriate for the workplace”), the suits are off. What comes next is up to individual Goldmanites.
It's still early days, but the indications are that individual Goldmanites are choosing....jeans. "I wore my suit Monday to Thursday, like usual," said one senior male employee. "And today I am wearing my jeans with a shirt and jumper."
While the new dress code might be expected to send Goldman men flocking to the shops, most have a small appropriate wardrobe already amassed from dress-down Fridays. "I am wearing my Friday clothes on a Wednesday," the same Goldman banker said.
Given that they have been liberated from formal attire for two years already, tech employees and strats might be expected to lead the way in the Goldman style evolution. However, some front office staff at the firm are sniffy about the sartorial selections of their comrades: "We have one strategist who wears a T-shirt and has a beard and long hair," said a trader. "- But he is not the norm."
Instead, David Solomon himself may prove the style icon for Goldman men of a certain age. "Solomon never wears a tie," said one insider. "Sometimes he might wear a Patagonia vest." Any future wardrobe changes will be watched for keenly.
Until then, jeans seem the safest bet. And not all jeans are created equal. If you're a man over 30 at Goldman Sachs, you are not going to wear anything too tight-fitting. Chino-cut Ralph Lauren's are apparently the favourites ("skinny enough, good shape"), followed by brands like Vineyard Vines. Dress like you're going to a country club is the mantra.
While some at Goldman are happy feeling denim on their thighs, several people at the firm are also of the opinion that this is no big deal. "It's the same as before," said one top trader. "Maybe fewer ties - but no one really cares about this internally. The reaction here has been pretty ambivalent."
Nonetheless, several senior Goldman bankers complimented Solomon's genius in busting such a move. "This is a generational thing," said one. "He's doing it to keep talent. Most of the GS bankers are now under the age of 30 anyway."
"This is a great move by Solomon," agreed another. "It's zero cost and it lifts the mood. I think we're the first - and most clients are casual now anyway."
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