The Wall Street Journal over the weekend took a look at a look in men’s fashion being popularized by presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama: Suit and no tie.
It’s a fashion trend that can be seen in the c-suite of several large companies, including Microsoft and Boeing. The Journal story, which deems the suit-no-tie look difficult to pull off, calls Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s look (no tie with a button-down collar as pictured in one example) “slouchy.”
“Choose the wrong collar — button-down instead of spread — and the resulting casual effect might say middle management, not corner office,” the story posits.
Boeing boss Jim McNerny is pictured tie-less, but with a pocket square, which, according to the story, takes the look “a step up.”
For the record, a spokeswoman told the Journal that Ballmer usually wears a tie. I took a quick look at photos in our archives. During his recent visit to Asia, Ballmer was in a tie. At Microsoft’s CEO Summit in mid-May, he was tie-less (pictured with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, also tie-less, and Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, who sported an orange tie).
Joe Nicholson/AP Photo
Ballmer went tie-less again in November when he announced a major open-source deal with Novell.
Ballmer tends to go with a V-neck sweater over a button-down collar, which is a look Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates also favors, and which both men wore at an event celebrating the launch of their biggest product, Windows Vista, in January.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP/Getty Images