Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were in Washington DC today (Sept. 5) to testify before a US Senate Intelligence Committee on how their platforms could be manipulated by foreign actors ahead of the midterm elections in November. But social media isn’t the only thing being manipulated, it seems.
Dorsey chose to appear before the committee wearing a suit with a button-down shirt, but instead of wearing a tie or leaving the top button casually undone—the two socially acceptable ways shirts are worn in formal settings—Dorsey raised some eyebrows by foregoing the tie and wearing what appears to be a popped shirt collar, or a collar designed to stand that way. The effect fell somewhere between Count Dracula and a Confederate general.
Popped collars have a connotation of rakishness, the affectation of choice for self-styled rebellious types from James Dean and The Fonz, through the preppy 1980s, to rapper Kanye West. Perhaps Dorsey was paying homage to the former Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, who was known for her popped collars.
As of yet, no one has sleuthed out the label behind today’s suit and shirt. But some in Silicon Valley took Dorsey’s choice of collar as an opportunity for commentary on his company:
Dorsey is known for his bold sartorial choices in Silicon Valley, where the standard uniform for men, from engineers to CEOs, tends to be jeans and a hoodie. Dorsey has favored the work of the edgy menswear designer Rick Owens. He used to dye his hair bright colors back in his “punk” days, and he has worn unusual open-toed sandals to speaking events. He also recently revived his habit of wearing a nose ring, which was on display today, along with a beard, on Capitol Hill.
Whether it was his rather frank remarks to the committee, or his choice of collar styling, Wall Street seemed unimpressed by Dorsey’s appearance today. At the time of publishing, Twitter’s stock price had fallen more than 5%, to about $33, from today’s opening price.