An internal memo at Goldman Sachs regarding a new “firm wide flexible dress code” was widely reported this week, but don’t expect the firm’s investment bankers to turn up in sneakers and sweatpants any time soon.
Goldman began relaxing its strict rules on formal business attire in 2017, especially for employees in its technology division, reportedly in order to compete for talent with more chilled-out Silicon Valley operations and hedge fund managers.
The latest announcement, from the desk of ceo David Solomon, cited “the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment,” according to Reuters (Reuters, 3/5).
That change may be slow to penetrate Goldman bankers’ sartorial choices, however.
Several bankers at the firm, asked by PFR whether they would be turning up to work in jeans and a T-shirt or even flip flops, simply laughed.
A former Goldman financier gave one reason why they are unlikely to abandon their formal dress: When bankers don’t wear suits, their bosses assume they don’t have client meetings that day, and that impression could have an impact on their bonuses.
That means that even the so-called “Midtown Uniform”—the shirt, slacks and vest combo favored by business bros that has become so iconic that it has its own dedicated Instagram account—will not be an option.
“All of us know what is and is not appropriate for the workplace,” the memo reads, optimistically. “Of course, casual dress is not appropriate every day and for every interaction and we trust you will consistently exercise good judgment in this regard.”