Correspondent Richard Quest made a frivolous attempt to tie the bad economy to men’s fashion on CNN’s Newsroom program on Tuesday. Quest proclaimed that pinstriped business suits are “old-fashioned...and out of touch with reality....because they are the pinstripe of bankers.” He continued that if you wore such attire, “you may be mistaken for one of those bankers reaping bonuses.”
Anchor Kyra Phillips introduced the CNN correspondent just before the bottom of the 1 pm Eastern hour, noting that “the global financial crisis has taken a toll everywhere, including men’s suits. That old business stand by, the pinstripe- well, it’s being hit especially hard.” Phillips turned to Quest, who immediately started joking around with his colleague. One might have guessed that Jeanne Moos, the network’s usual purveyor of light reports, was away on a late summer vacation, so they got the British correspondent to stand in for her.
Quest, who actually was wearing a pinstriped suit, explained why the classic design was on the ropes:
QUEST: This suit that I am wearing for you tonight is old-fashioned, out of date, and out of touch with reality at the moment. Jeeves and Hawks, the fashion people on Savile Row, the makers of the London suit- surveys now on Savile Row are saying that pinstripes are out. Why? Because they are the pinstripe of bankers.
The old saying in Britain- the old saying in London used to be, never wear brown in town, because you used to wear brown suits in the country, or when you’re at your weekend home. Now, of course, people are wearing brown suits- they’re wearing different colors, and if you are wearing a suit like this- especially one with three buttons, which is so last year- then you are out of date, you’re out of tune, and- and- you may be mistaken for one of those bankers reaping bonuses- and there’s another ‘B’ there, but we better not say on television.
Quest might have been following the lead of the Washington Post’s Ylan Q. Mui, who reported on Monday that men’s underwear sales are a good economic indicator.
Phillips then replied to the correspondent that “all the pinstripes are in the poky because of all those bonuses and all that corrupt behavior.” The CNN correspondent took the fashion tie-in to an even more bizarre level, hinting that the downfall of the pinstripe might be connected to the ascendancy of liberalism: “I mean, just as much as we are now much more touchy-feely- we’re in tune with our feelings- our values have changed- pinstriped suits are out. People are now wearing lighter colors. They’re wearing more earthy colors. They’re getting in touch with their emotions and with their values.”
Quest and Phillips might have forgotten, in their cynical and all-too-predictable stereotyping of bankers, that lawyers and politicians also sometimes wear pinstriped suits (even First Lady Michelle Obama sported such attire earlier this year). I guess the liberal media must continue the blaming of their usual suspects, even in their unserious reports.