In what may be the most tone-deaf, irresponsible men fashion trend since Marky Mark's sagging pantaloons, Brooks Brothers is now encouraging us to dress like Ponzi schemers and multi-millionaire welfare queens.
Of course, that's not quite the phrasing with which the company announced its spring line -- instead, the article in the men's section of Women's Wear Daily put it thus:
The Hamptons, the coast of Maine and the sand and surf of Palm Beach provided the inspiration for Brooks Brothers' spring collection.
Master Ponzi Bernard Madoff kept mansions in two of the three -- Coastal Maine was spared. But Palm Beach and the Hamptons were the stomping grounds for mini-Madoffs, as well as for those executives whose wild bets on mortgage-backed securities led to the economy's implosion and who can only keep their homes thanks to the government bailout.
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This is upsetting. Because if this economic catastrophe is good for anything, it's for dealing a blow to the glamour of a winter home in Palm Beach or a summer home in the Hamptons.