Bankers buy comfortable and colorful office clothes to return to the office

  • Wall Street banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are returning to the office in a few weeks.
  • Bankers stock up on comfortable office clothes like their remote work clothes.
  • Wall Streeters are also looking for colors and patterns to show off their personality at work.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

A year ago, the pandemic decimated Gina Mignona’s bespoke clothing company overnight. She and her Bond & Bari co-founders had spent the past 10 years creating bespoke costumes for Wall Street high brass, but a year of remote work brought her business to a halt.

While some banks have announced their return to office in recent weeks, business is booming again.

Gina Mignona, Viktoria Giese and Lesly Bavardo, co-founders of Bond & Bari

Gina Mignona, Viktoria Giese and Lesly Bavardo, co-founders of Bond & Bari

Gina Mignona


“In mid-April, all of the customers who told me last year, ‘I never wear a suit again’, started calling to say they needed blazers and dress shirts,” he said. she said. Before the pandemic, Bond & Bari treated 20 to 30 clients per month by meeting with clients at their homes or offices in New York, Westchester and Palm Beach. In the past two weeks alone, they’ve seen around 60 clients, she said.

“People want to dress well, and it’s not just because the company gives them a dress code,” she said. “When you come back you want to be beautiful and you want to be comfortable.”

Time has been running out for remote working on Wall Street for months, with top banking CEOs Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs complaining about the inconvenience of working from home. Remote work also plays a key role in burnout among young bankers, and executives say it has ruined the learning model Wall Street used to train young talent.

Big banks are finally coming back to the office: JPMorgan and Goldman have officially ordered employees to return to in-person work in the coming weeks, and other banks are hoping to bring interns into the office at some point this summer. Some, like Bank of America, envision a more comprehensive comeback after Labor Day, while others, like Citigroup, have said they are adopting a hybrid model to allow employees to work from home a few days a week.

For many bankers, that means the time has finally come for a new haircut, getting back to regular manicures, and pulling out shirts, ties, and dress shoes from the back of the closet.

‘Everyone wants something expandable’

But while dressing for the comeback on Wall Street and other offices will be a far cry from leggings and loungewear, retailers say the demand for comfortable clothing – albeit suitable for the office – has never been greater. high.

“As people start to return to the office, there has been a shift from the pre-pandemic formality of dressing in traditional corporate attire to a more casual approach to work wear,” said Tracy Margolies, director of merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue told Insider in an email.

She said office attire won’t be as “buttoned up” as it has in the past, and that the top-selling categories in men’s department stores are polo shirts and soft knits; cargo pants and chinos; and soft jackets.

Women buy transitional knit dresses; dresses in “bold, punchy colors” and fun summer flat sandals, she says.

There is also a strong demand at J. Crew for soft woven dresses, pants and shirts, Lisa Greenwald, the retailer’s director of merchandising, told Insider in an email.

“The change in trend is driven by more relaxed silhouettes like easy pull-on linen and chinos (no sweatshirts), linen dresses and button-down shirts as well as feminine tops,” she said.

Mignona said she sees a similar demand for comfort from her customers. For years, Wall Street companies have reduced their dress codes from business to business casual – Goldman Sachs, for its part, moved to a “flexible, company-wide dress code” in 2019, but said staff to continue to dress according to customer expectations. for meetings.

Bond & Bari jacket

Bond & Bari customers are hungry for patterns and pockets.

Gina Mignona


This trend is likely to continue if businesses are to successfully woo bankers from the comfort of their own homes, where they can meet clients and close deals on sweatpants.

“Everyone wants something expandable,” she says. Customers are also asking for premium, tailored denim that suits even “the most mature business person,” she said.

In March, Credit Suisse Financial Markets and its advisory leadership told employees the company would enforce a casual dress code when people returned to the office, but traditional dress code requirements would remain for meetings. with customers. A spokesperson for Credit Suisse told Insider this month that the company is set to present more concrete plans to return to the office in the coming weeks.

JPMorgan’s Dimon recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal CEO Council wearing jeans, moccasins and a polo shirt.

Comfort is a priority for bankers who are reintroducing travel and office work into their lives, and seeing colleagues and clients in person makes some people take more risks with their work attire. The Wall Streeters are looking for loud blazers, colorful shirts, cashmere vests and pocket squares, Mignona said.

IMG_2749.JPG

The Wall Streeters are ordering bold colors and layered cashmere.

Gina Mignona


“I have a client who has probably bought 45 navy suits of the same color, same weight, same fabric, same style, with red ties and white shirts for 10 years,” she says. “Last month he called me and told me he wanted a pink seersucker blazer, salmon cotton pants and light blue pants.

Let us know what you think of your return to the office! Contact reporter Samantha Stokes at [email protected] or Signal: 646-389-7866.


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