It's been hot. In the UK, the heatwave may be about to break but this is little consolation to all those who've spent the past month sweating into their TM Lewin shirts whilst traveling to and from air conditioned offices.
Faced with the sorts of temperatures last seen in 1976, banking insiders say the finance population has being quietly taking action. There are no flip flops, for these are banned as surely as Hawaiian shirts. However, there are...ankles.
"I've some men wear loafers with no socks," says one vice president of J.P. Morgan. "It's unusual, but it's happening."
At Goldman Sachs, where operations staff to get to dress down in jeans and shirts all summer, there are rumours of one intern turning up at a meeting with an MD in a t-shirt and being sent out again. Elsewhere, there is the usual array of short skirts and sweaty armpits, diaphanous materials and standard-issue chinos.
Although London's Lord's Cricket Ground has relaxed its dress code and absolved "gentlemen" of the need to wear jackets in the pavilion, none of the bankers we spoke to had received any special sartorial guidance for the hot weather. Despite occasional threats to wear shorts (see below), the Goldman VP said displays of male calf are inherently unacceptable and that shorts are, "never allowed."
This is disputed by a senior banker at a rival firm, who says, "There has been a surge this week of men in the City in shirts with smart shorts... and yes, the loafer sans socks is a sadly far too familiar sight."
Meanwhile, one Jefferies associate claims to have spotted colleagues without ties. A Morgan Stanley associate said most people wear trousers and shirts and, "sit near to the air conditioning."
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