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Despite Casual Fashion Trend Sweeping the Business World, Lawyers Choose the Familiar


At a time where the casual, disheveled look—made famous by numerous entrepreneurs—exudes power, have lawyers traded in their fitted suits for baggy jeans and sweaters?

The answer, according to blogger Vivia Chen, is not yet. For most attorneys, the conservative suit is still the go-to uniform, the Careerist suggests. According to image consultant Diana Jennings, a suit sends the “message of authority, precision, and stability that lawyers need to communicate,” the Careerist reports.

The casual fashion tastes of the rich and powerful were first chronicled in a New York Times business article, which argues “the bare-bones personal uniform is being seen in some corner offices as the ultimate power suit.” The laid-back business look, according to the Times, has been embraced by the likes of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who dons hoodies and sneakers, and Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne, a frequent wearer of black sweaters and checked oxford shirts.

In spite of the laid-back trend, lawyers are still opting to wear conservative clothing, according to the Careerist. But dressing conservatively doesn’t mean looking outdated, Jennings cautioned.

After asking experts for fashion advice, Chen wrote, “So let me see if I have all this straight: Dress conservatively, but make sure you’re conservative in a trendy way. Also, wear distinctive accessories, but don’t be gauche or Donald Trump-y about the jewelry.” How are attorneys supposed to keep up with fashion advice that seemingly sends mixed signals? “It’s all a delicate balancing act, isn’t it? No wonder lawyers are still stuck in the 1980s.”

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