Goldman Sachs relaxes its dress code, as corporations look to attract new talent

Global Business

Goldman Sachs recently announced it is adopting a more casual dress code. Many see it as a bid to attract younger talent and project a hipper image that mirrors that of some of the most innovative companies in the world.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more on what some are calling the end of an era.

A memorable scene in the 2000 film “American Psycho” captured Wall Street’s long affinity for finely-tailored suits.

But times are changing. Goldman Sachs recently joined several other banks in announcing it would be ditching the “suit and tie only” dress code for its employees. The firm had already relaxed clothing requirements in 2017 for those working in its digital and technology divisions.

In an email to staff, the 150-year-old bank said: “Given the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment, we believe this is the right time to move to a firmwide flexible dress code.”

The memo was signed by Goldman’s CEO David Solomon, who also moonlights as a DJ.

Some experts believe the change is about wanting to attract millennials, who might be more drawn to the work culture in Silicon Valley. But fashion and retail consultant Robert Burke, CEO of Robert Burke Associates says the move is also about branding.

“I think it is also making sure that Goldman Sachs looks and feels modern like some of the most successful companies, which happen to be tech companies,” said Burke.

The email didn’t specify what exactly constitutes a flexible dress code. It simply stated employees should use “good judgement” in wearing clothes that are “appropriate for the workplace.”

Burke advises it’s better to err on the side of caution.

“One doesn’t want to go into the polar fleece kind of vortex of wearing vests. That takes it in a different way and probably would influence the way that the customer of Goldman Sachs would look at their executives,” said Burke.

The work uniform of today may be more casual, but experts say Wall Street’s obsession with status isn’t going anywhere. They say accessories will become even more important markers of success as the suit and tie goes out of fashion.