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.