City boys sober up

The colourful shirts favoured by City boys during prosperous times are out. These loud garments, seen as epitomising the “age of excess” have been relegated to the back of the wardrobe, according to sources in the Square Mile.

“Jobs are being axed,” says a consultant at Ernst & Young (who prefers to remain anonymous). “No one wants to look like a wide-boy.”

Warren Bennett, co-founder of online suit tailor A Suit That Fits says, “There’s a lot more traditional orders coming through the website at the moment. And we’re certainly selling a lot more white shirts.”

This is good news for Bennett, whose firm will pull in sales of £1.2m this year manufacturing bespoke suits in Nepal – at a fraction of the usual tailoring cost. “People are trying to prove to their bosses that they’re serious,” he continues. “They’re smartening up their wardrobes. We’re seeing a lot more people in the City wearing suits in general. It’s a great time for the business.”

As trends go, this is no flash in the pan. The markets continue to swing and job uncertainty reigns supreme in banks and finance houses – the white shirt’s popularity is assured.

“When you look around the office, there are far fewer eye-catching colours or loud ties,” says the E&Y consultant. “But it’s a good thing. People are concentrating on doing their jobs well, rather than looking flash.”

Warren Bennett is shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. For more details, check out our Growing Business Awards website.

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