Deutsche joins 'third wardrobe'

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Instead, the newly dressed down from Deutsche are likely to bolster a sartorial trend worthy of Tony Blair himself. Retailers would like to move to a 'third wardrobe', apparel deemed more casual than the suit but less casual than jeans.

Andrew Ward, a director of outfitters Austin Reed, says its Reed Collection, which follows this third path, has enjoyed double-digit growth since its pre-emptive launch in spring 1998.

Moreover, says Ward, as dress-downers become more confident in their new armoire, so it is being filled with more exciting garments. In the early days, men were particularly reticent, he says, typically opting for chinos and a polo shirt.

But experienced dress-downers at banks such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are today being slightly more adventurous and are returning to the suit.

The new suit is not the same as the old suit. However. Lycra suits, linen suits, and crease-proof suits are popular, says Ward, while tailored suits are set to become the ultimate in individualisation.

As the 'third wardrobe' gains strength, dressed-down staff may perhaps be distinguishable only in being attired in better fitting clothes than their dressed up counterparts.

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