Boom-time casual is back
Toss the sharp clothes from the Great Depression wardrobe, and put on something that says 'laid back' and 'confident.'
On March 9th, 2009 the S&P stock index hit a low of 666. Also appearing on 3-9-09, was Jeffrey Tucker’s article “Dress Like the Great Depression.” Tucker was preparing job seekers for a new sensibility in work attire, writing “be ready for today’s tight job market, which seeks serious men, not goofs in sweats and polos.”Skip to next paragraph
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Tucker waxes eloquent about the smashing dress of the Great Depression: hats, suits, shoes and ties, with everything well put together. “The point is that these men were under pressure to perform, to show that they were valuable, to demonstrate on sight that they were desirable commodities as workers,” Tucker writes.
Two years have passed and the job market remains tight. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve has been, shall we say, loose. Zero interest rates. Quantitative easing one and now QE2, with QE3 and beyond under contemplation. There was TARP and TALP and now TARP Jr. A ballooned Fed balance sheet has money gushing into likely (the aforementioned S&P has doubled) and unlikely places.
Every Monday is now Merger Monday (this week’s big deal has AT&T buying T-Mobil) and social media businesses are popping up everywhere playing the Google lottery after huge valuations were hung on Facebook and Groupon.
In web-land, everyone’s gone Zuckerberg. T-shirts, jeans and hoodies. “It seems that if you dress up too much, you run the risk of not being taken seriously,” said Erica Zidel, a Seattle-based Web entrepreneur who attended Harvard around the same time as Mr. Zuckerberg. “There is an unspoken rule in entrepreneurial culture that your look should be laid back.”