There’s no denying it: a fleece vest is comfy. Convenient. Warm. Versatile, even. However, along with a pair of slacks and a button down Oxford, these Patagonia monstrosities have become the winter uniform for New York’s tech bros and investment bankers.
But wait: isn’t New York a city of fashion?
We hear you. But such is life. Things change. Harvey Spectre is but a ghost, and the Big Apple is now full of cheesy Chads who wouldn’t know dernier cri if it was trending in the stock market.
The worst part about it? The uniform is almost a way of saying: not only do we make more money than you, but we don’t even need to dress well to do it.
Fortunately, there is an Instagram account cataloguing the various crimes against style that New York’s corporate-tech overlords are so obnoxiously committing.
The account, Midtown Uniform has dubbed these pastel-shirt wearing dudes, “Midtown Bros” and began exposing their cringe-worthy outfits late last year, with early posts bringing in (roughly) 30 to 50 likes apiece.
The creator, who prefers to remain anonymous, told Esquire he first noticed the trend when he moved to Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighbourhood from Los Angeles.
“On my way to work each day, I noticed dozens of guys rocking the uniform… Frankly, I was a little shocked.”
Early on the account relied on its creator’s covert photography skills and cutting captions (and thus features the most realistic snaps).
However, as the account got older, and more popular, “What began as one man’s cutting critique… morphed into a massive digital in-joke,” The Economist’s 1843 Magazine reports. At this point, posts began to look more contrived, as Midtown Bros started sending in their own photos.
This had a dual effect. Firstly, by correlation or otherwise, Midtown Uniform now receives upwards of 2000 likes per post. Secondly, even as it has grown, the account has become more exclusive—so some of its humour likely now goes over most people’s heads.
As 1843 points out, some of the captions will be intelligible only to the “finance bros” who submitted them: “Which explains the frequent coffee-related complaints on the account about ‘SBUX’ (a stock market abbreviation).”
Add in the mockery of budget airlines and people with Androids, and one begins to wonder how far the ‘truth to irony’ ratio will stretch (whilst still being hilarious).
Whatever the case, it looks like the Midtown Uniform (both the account, and the outfit) is here to stay, and is spreading to CBD’s worldwide, worn by men who have embraced the value-for-money outfit their kookiness (and profession) affords them.
And whatever you think of their arrogance…
You’ve got to admire their self awareness…
And ability to take a joke.
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