So is it all sneakers now?

Last week was my first time back in the office at a large BB. All the big big bosses were coming in for meetings and the office was packed with people (generally) dressed for the occasion. I was the only one wearing proper leather shoes (Allen Edmonds) and everyone else was wearing some variant of the "dress" sneakers that have become popular. 

I mean, I get it, my feet were TIRED at the end of the day and couldn't get my shoes off fast enough. But I've always thought that sneakers with a suit (or even a sport coat) looked kind of goofy. It just looks like the tide has turned and no one is wearing proper leather shoes any more. Is that what you guys are seeing too? 

Comments (33)

5mo
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If we are not seeing clients on that day, yes, they are done as well.
On client visits we do wear suit/tie and proper shoes though. But those are rare events.

5mo
Addinator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yep - absolutely the trend across the board. It's also filtering down to dress pants, sport coats and even suits. More and more 'hybrid' type material pants with sport coats, as an example. 

I'm on the fence - if I'm in a suit, or even a sport coat at work, I tend to go full leather nice dress shoes. It's just my preference. Some people can get away with it and candidly for some people, they look far better than with some of those square toed shoes that people wear that are just awful. 

5mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree with you on the awful square-toe shoes. Or even worse - monk straps! Yuck!

Still, the dressed up attire with the sneakers just always looks so weird to me. Even if we're just talking chinos and a sport coat, it just looks "off" to not have proper shoes to go along with it. 

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5mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, I agree. But I made the posting because clearly the tide is turning. I mean I was the weird one for wearing proper leather shoes, everyone else was wearing the sneaker style. It seems like this is one of those "the toothpaste does not go back in the tube" type of things. 

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5mo
IcedxTaro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Many of the family offices I work around in are all traditional wear.  Nothing has changed in this regard because they are mostly client-facing.

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  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
3mo

I've noticed the same thing, family offices and FoF are still wearing business casual normally and business formal for meetings

Most Helpful
5mo
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Im right there with you, I still wear AE-esque shoes into the office but everyone else is wearing some variation of the "formal sneaker" (ranging from Cole Haan to Allbirds). A senior team member came in wearing jeans and asked why anyone (especially the majority of us junior employees) were wearing anything other than jeans. Seems that while going into the office is coming back, everyone is coming back dressed down. In my opinion in corp dev this makes sense, as we are almost never meeting clients face to face, so what is on our feet will never be revealed in zoom meetings. Obviously for meetings with the management teams the dress code changes, but for day to day purposes it seems our company has Oked the polo and jeans with Allbirds look. 

5mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

See that's part of my posting. This meeting was with executive management for our function, so just one level down from CEO. Said another way, if people were going to dress up, this was the day to do it. But no one really seemed to care. 

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5mo
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ah my mistake I missed that part. I work from home sometimes but any time I jump on a call that includes our C suite I will always throw on a button down and slacks (just in case) out of respect. While I totally understand that many have been accustomed to dressing down, the extremity to which it occurs at your BB is admittedly surprising. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
5mo

Because it's true. A lot of us just don't really care, especially after COVID and the increase in WFH/Zoom calls. I just dont see value in dressing in any way that is less comfortable outside of an interview, formal event, or client meeting (even then, depends on the client). Day to day, casual clothes are the move. Idk how it is at a BB, but I'm at an EB where all the higher ups, including CEO when he comes in, are on the same floor, and people still dress casually. 

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
5mo

Apparently all bankers want to look like VC's now. I'm all for wearing whatever you want within reason which includes these sneakers. But older bankers wearing "dress" sneakers with dress pants is cringey, especially if they have white soles. Do whatever you want in the office but if someone ever asks me why I am not wearing what they are wearing, I'd probably say that only they can make a *distinct* style look good or something. 
 

I'm no fashion expert but faux relaxed formal wear in an intense, formal environment is strange. If some older dude in brown leather sneakers came to me at night requesting the 100th, needless turn of a deck, I'd probably be more pissed off than if he was wearing formal dress shoes or even loafers. It's like you are pretending to be less of an ass than you are which makes you a bigger douche.
 

5mo
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No more deal sleds. 

I do have a nice pair of Ferragamo loafers that I should be wearing more often though. Those would have "fit in" better with a crowd of guys wearing the sneakers. 

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5mo
dedline, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Those Cole Hahn / AllBirds shoes are butt-ass-ugly. I resisted when I was heading into the office still rocking loafers / drivers with a modern chino (i.e. Bonobos) or tailored, designer jeans (i.e. APC, Nudie), white dress shirt and a sports coat.

Cole Hahn / AllBirds just looks like you have underlying issues that need to be addressed by a podiatrist and 50% of your personality is that you smoke meets via Green Egg on the weekends.

It's not the call.

5mo
Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:
dedline

Those Cole Hahn / AllBirds shoes are butt-ass-ugly. I resisted when I was heading into the office still rocking loafers / drivers with a modern chino (i.e. Bonobos) or tailored, designer jeans (i.e. APC, Nudie), white dress shirt and a sports coat.

Cole Hahn / AllBirds just looks like you have underlying issues that need to be addressed by a podiatrist and 50% of your personality is that you smoke meets via Green Egg on the weekends.

It's not the call.

I'd like to know where you work.  According to my phone I put in 4-5mi/day in my work shoes, and those Cole Haan's are great.  I won't wear them with a suit although it's basically the Nasdaq formal uniform, but I've gotten compliments on them from people as high ranking as the head of SPDJI. 

I also think Bonobo's are overpriced, and I've got an in for a blanket 60% discount.  Also: Smoked meats are great, but you really need to do better than a Green Egg.

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
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3mo
PeepeeFinancePoopoo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Damn bro, just call out my plantar fasciitis  

Life is a road... and I love creating potholes
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
2mo

For jeans in the office is there a color that fits with the white shirt? I have more casual lighter jeans that I feel are way too informal with a white shirt. I looked at what you recommended on APC - are these what you would consider business casual (jeans, dress shirt, dress shoes or nicer sneakers).

https://www.apc-us.com/products/cofbg-m09156?variant=39920232333411

I really don't have an idea what a business environment jean would be for someone in their 20's if that environment is ok. I'm assuming something darker, one color but if you have any pictures/links of suggestions that would be great.

3mo
PeepeeFinancePoopoo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Life is a road... and I love creating potholes
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