R.I.P. the Unofficial Finance Bro Uniform
Patagonia has officially stopped adding corporate logos to its Fleece Vest. Pour one out.
Check in on your finance friends, because Patagonia has announced it will stop adding corporate logos to its fleece vests. Yes, the unofficial uniform of the finance bro is officially kaput.
While it may be a shock to guys who live in Murray Hill, Wrigleyville and the Marina, the process of ending corporate logos has been in progress for two years now, with the brand announcing back in 2019 that it would no longer accept new finance clients. At the time, Patagonia said it would only work with companies that aligned with its environmentally conscious values, but a statement made a few days ago indicated it has now completely done away with adding third-party logos to products.
In the statement, the brand explains that adding a non-removable logo to its products reduces the lifespan of a garment. It’s difficult to resell or even re-wear a vest or fleece that’s been branded with a company logo, and the garment either gets forgotten or ends up in a landfill. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the entire world’s carbon emissions and 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year, according to Business Insider.
While the move is a step in the right direction for our planet and the regular, non-corporate-emblazoned Patagonia Fleece Vest remains on sale, we can still mourn the loss of a true cultural icon. Patagonia’s Fleece Vest has spurred countless internet memes based on how ubiquitous the style is for men in their twenties and thirties who work in various sectors of the finance industry.
Often dubbed the “Midtown Uniform,” the ensemble even inspired a popular Instagram account of the same name, cementing its cachet as a 2000s status symbol among a certain subset of upwardly mobile analysts and I-bankers. @MidtownUniform, which boasts 169,000 Instagram followers, documents wild Brads and Chads on the streets of New York City donning their finance bests: a black or grey Patagonia fleece over a button-up long-sleeve shirt, with khaki, navy or grey slacks to round things out. The photos are coupled with funny captions satirizing the typical finance bro lifestyle: trips to Montauk, happy hours on the LES, the stock market, buying low and selling high. And while it may appear the account is taking the piss out of finance bros, the bros themselves are totally enjoying the joke. In a 2018 interview with Esquire, the owner of Midtown Uniform explained the account is widely popular with the men it’s mocking, and most of the photos that are posted are submitted by the subjects themselves.
While the unofficial uniform of the finance bro certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, here’s hoping Patagonia’s crackdown on company logos will eventually force some men in the finance-service industry to … embrace a more creative sense of style. And listen, I get it! Your Patagonia Vest is very comfy and complies with your rigid work dress code. You’re a very busy man doing lots of stressful things with numbers and spreadsheets I will never understand, and the convenience the Patagonia Vest offers is much desired. But it’s boring and very clearly overdone. Take this opportunity to broaden your work attire horizons. We promise it’s not that hard, you can just, like, buy a nice blazer.
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