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The Startup Guy

The Annotated Guide To Banana Republic's "Startup Guy" Look

What does it mean to look like a "startup guy," anyway?

Banana Republic, for its fall fashion line, has put together a "Startup Guy" look, which reads more "Brooklyn Guy on the L train" than hoodie-wearing tech dork. But no matter: Fashion is aspirational. "The Startup Guy" outfit isn't what dudes working in tech today actually wear, it is what they may want to look like after they see BR's latest catalog.

But what exactly makes this man in khakis and a blue button-down—pretty standard fare for business casual—the prototypical "startup guy"? Fast Company tried to discern what about this getup Banana Republic thinks screams "startup guy":

The hoodie is the stereotypical uniform of the tech geek because it suggests the wearer doesn't care about fashion; he is too busy coding. “Hoodie signals young talent,” a tech worker told Marketplace a few months ago. "I wear a pair of jeans and a black T-shirt almost every day," Erik Schnakenberg, the CEO of a men's fashion startup (!) added. "It's one less thing to think about." In other words, not caring about fashion is a fashion statement.

Banana Republic, however, thinks the unfortunately dressed nerd can do better, and still suggest he isn't too vain.

Or, here's another theory. As the tech bubble inflates, Banana has identified a different segment of tech bros: those running arms open into the gold rush. Those "Startup Guys" care about money and the toys it can buy. Maybe they're the dudes shopping at Banana Republic.

H/T VentureBeat

[Image via Banana Republic]

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10 Comments

  • Marc Posch

    Those guys are on the the forefront of technology, they create products that will change the world. Why on Earth would they want to care about what to wear. The hoodie and jeans as neutral uniform is just fine because it doesn't distract. Steve Jobs (as someone one who would only wear jeans and black turtlenecks) would laugh at carefully half tucked in button down shirts and dull banana khakis. Stay away from fashion nonsense, FastCo

  • I love these guys in SF. They have business cards that are the color of "...bone. And the lettering is something called Silian Grail."

  • Modern tech dudes’ apathy toward fashion reminds me of circa-90’s tech dudes ambivalence toward graphic and UI design. Their pride in looking like they don't care is real and misplaced.

    That said, khakis again? Ugh

  • evanvlane

    They're shirts and pants that have been altered to cater to the interests of a market segment. Why the snide analysis? There are better topics to write on in the creative sphere.

  • Love this, especially with "the new business casual" that has been seen on young professionals lately. Would love if you checked out my blog, crispmenswear.com! I talk about a lot of fashion advice for guys, and this is a great related piece!