TikTok, it seems, is down bad. Whether it’s men wearing their hats backward or those showing some upper thigh with a pair of 5-inch shorts, TikTok users tend to go positively feral for a different male fashion trend every other month or so. The look currently driving the women of TikTok wild, however, is a surprisingly conventional one that’s been the subject of online ridicule for quite some time.
On TikTok, the finance bro is having a moment thanks to a few videos documenting New York City businessmen strutting around Midtown with their leather briefcases, tailored suits and Patagonia vests on full display.
The videos are taken by Czech Norris (who did not respond to InsideHook’s request for an interview) and uploaded to the TikTok account @czech_norris. There are five videos in total, one of which has accumulated 2.7 million views and nearly 300K likes (the rest have at least 50K views), and they all follow the same format: short clips of unsuspecting corporate dudes presumably on their way to JP Morgan or Sweetgreen while the song “9-5” by Sheena Easton plays. The lyrics (“My baby takes the morning train / He works from nine to five and then / He takes another home again / To find me waitin’ for him”) clearly indicate that these videos are not meant to poke fun at the basic finance guy aesthetic but are instead meant with genuine affection. A sampling from the comment section:
“Why is this so unspeakably HOT”
“My toxic trait is these being my dream men”
“My sexuality is whatever this is”
“This is why I hate WFH. I miss the view”
Men looking hot in a well-fitting suit is obviously not particularly newsworthy. It has always been hot and it will always be. But these men aren’t just easy on the eyes, they’re communicating something else to onlookers.
“We’re conditioned to view a man in a suit as successful, powerful and financially abundant,” says Turner Allen, a New York City-based personal stylist for men in the tech industry. “In an age where casual style is the default for 95 percent of people, seeing a man in a tailored suit feels like a glimpse into a time gone by. Since men typically don’t put too much effort into their style, witnessing a man in full regalia feels romantic, like a knight in shining armor.”
As we’ve written before, a slight variation on the ensemble is often dubbed the “Midtown Uniform” and has even inspired a popular Instagram account of the same name, establishing it as a status symbol among a certain subset of upwardly mobile analysts and I-bankers. @MidtownUniform documents Brads and Chads out in the wild, on the streets of New York City, donning their finance best: a black or grey Patagonia fleece over a button-up long-sleeve shirt, with khaki, navy or grey slacks and some brown dress shoes 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.
Like the navy blue sheets on the bed of every twenty-something guy who lives in Murray Hill, a Patagonia vest paired with a button-down and suit pants is considered a “red flag” that the man in the outfit could exhibit some fuckboy tendencies. But that stereotype could be falling by the wayside.
This newfound infatuation for the corporate bro look — whether we’re talking full suits or the Patagonia vest version — could stem from one of two things: our ever-increasing trend cycle or the vast uncertainty plaguing the globe right now.
“Everything is cyclical. A while back, we swapped the archetype, ‘basic finance bro’ for the decidedly cooler hypebeast street style dude. Now that we’ve exhausted the cool dude, we’re nostalgic for the basic bro again,” offers Allen. “For many people,” she adds, “a man in a suit represents stability. He has a job, a 401K, and structured life. It’s comforting to fantasize about a finance bro taking care of you.”
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