Braced for action: Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street Photo: Rex
The garish accessories, sported by actor Michael Douglas as ruthless Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, once summed up the brash ‘City casino’ culture.
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Red trousers are nothing for posh chaps to blush about
However, red braces have fallen spectacularly from grace and demand has plummeted as City wheelers and dealers seek to portray themselves as “a safe pair of hands”.
For the first time in almost 30 years, department store Debenhams now stocks just one pair.
Instead, its most popular braces are now risk averse grey, traditional bank manager dark blue and sombre serious black.
Debenhams spokesman Ed Watson: “The days when Gordon Gekko was a fashion symbol in the City has come to an end.
“City workers are abandoning styles once associated with flamboyant deal making and opting instead for colours which enhance the impression of being a safe pair of hands.”
Red braces first shot to prominence in the City after deregulation and the release of the blockbuster 1987 movie Wall Street.
Out went bowler hats, three piece suits and roiled up umbrellas as a new breed of trader, banker and analyst swept more conservative dressers aside.
With fortunes being made on the back of high risk investments, red braces became a virtual uniform as highly competitive teams decided that they too could be like Gordon Gekko.
Mr Watson said: “Our sales figures show that bright red braces first went into decline in 2008 when so many banks collapsed.
“The decline became even more severe the following year as more people began to realise that this was not a temporary blip and the reasons for the crash began to emerge.
“Suddenly flamboyance and risk taking became bad words, and City workers, eager to distance themselves from that culture, switched to conservative colours instead.
“Now our two top selling braces are both traditional grey – one is a light grey with pin dots and the other dark grey with subtle diagonal stripes.”
He added: “The message they send out is clear – it is one of trust, caution, and a highly conservative approach to handling money.
“It is safe to say that neither would have featured in Gordon Gekko’s wardrobe.
“Our next most popular colour for braces is beige. We’re assuming that these are now the braces of choice when today’s bankers really want to let their hair down.”
Edited by Sunita Patel-Carstairs