Worried Lawyers Embrace Gordon Gekko’s Wardrobe
Posted Feb 5, 2009 8:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Fear of layoffs has more lawyers giving up business casual and returning to business suits and tasteful accessories, according to at least one consultant.
“Power clothes” are back in fashion, and worried lawyers are among those embracing the style, the Wall Street Journal reports. Communications consultant Gretchen Neels told the newspaper that the bad economy is spurring the change at law firms she advises. “In our economic times, you really want to have your game on,” she said. “You can't be too formal."
At men’s retailer Paul Fredrick, 1980s-style clothing featured in the movie Wall Street is back in style, the story says. Big sellers include white-collared, colored dress shirts and yellow power ties.
But at Bickel & Brewer, power clothes were never out of style, according to the story. Even mailroom clerks wear suits at the firm. Hiring partner Michael Gardner keeps an eye on clothing choices; he advised one new lawyer to ditch his trendy shoes for cap-toed Ferragamos.
Bickel & Brewer managing partner Bill Brewer explains his sartorial philosophy. "I think people expect high-powered lawyers to look like high-powered lawyers," he told the Wall Street Journal. "Anything else is sending the wrong signal."