Suits for Wall Street, Providing the Protesters With Subversive Threads

What did Martin Luther King, Emma Goldman, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Aung San Suu Kyi and Harvey Milk all have in common?

Fabulous suits.

Occupy Wall Street may be joining the ranks of nattily dressed dissent. A band of Brooklynites, calling themselves the Proper Business Attire Working Group, is soliciting donations of suits (a.k.a. “tactical camouflage”) and money to buy suits. They plan to hit Zuccotti Park next Saturday with “a crack team of wardrobers…progressive tailors, radical barbers, and tactical image consultants.”

“Suits are camouflage in the warrens of Wall Street. And there are other advantages. Need a bathroom? Try wearing a suit. It’s easy. Want to walk past a police barricade? Put on a suit,” explains their website.

In other words: Now they mean business.

(This won’t be the first time protesters stage a strategic mini-makeover: The New York Observer, my alma mater, told the story of one organizer who “shaved his punkish haircut…after reading a New York Times story that portrayed the protest as a motley crew of anarchists, hippies and delinquents.”)

Jessica Bruder
Jessica Bruder