Law in Contemporary Society
We discussed yesterday how a law firm that is decorated as if it never loses a case often is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why doesn't the same thing apply to dress? Earlier, we discussed how not all lawyers wear the expensive suits, and not necessarily by choice, but because of image concerns. Why do some trial lawyers wear flashy suits and others strive for more modest ones if they all want to deliver the message that they never lose a case? Why doesn't the conspicuous consumption/waste appear to apply as neatly to dress?

-- WhytneBrooks - 27 Mar 2008

After today’s class, I believe I’m equipped to amend my own comments. It seems that I have conflated the ideas of “flashy” and “expensive” suits. While there are both cheap and expensive flashy suits, as well as flashy and conservative expensive suits, it appears that law firms simply focus on the flashiness to determine what class one belongs to. I can attest to this, as today’s discussion reminded me of several of my college classmates who now are beginning their careers at a particular investment bank in Times Square, who are constantly plagued by the fear that their dress will be labeled “aggressive.” Previous examples of such aggressiveness are non-white or blue shirts or moderately patterned ties. Along the same lines, though, my friends discuss how their superiors will go out of their way to demonstrate the expensiveness of their (conservative) clothing. During lunch, men will flip their ties over their shoulders not just to avert stains, but will “accidentally” leave it positioned this way to show off the brand of the tie. Men will awkwardly position their feet during conversation so to draw attention to the nice new pair of Ferrogamos that they’ve just purchased. It seems very clear that this notion is alive and well in our industry today.

-- WhytneBrooks - 27 Mar 2008



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r4 - 07 Jan 2010 - 22:47:29 - IanSullivan
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