Little Fedoras

"As several young men from a Manhattan consulting firm, one wearing a Princeton sweatshirt, tore up destroyed flooring in a house on Beach 129th Street in Belle Harbor, any tension seemed to have been dumped with the first wheelbarrow of drywall. The owner of the house said that the men's boss told him 'he wanted them to see hardship, to get out and work with their hands, because they mostly went to Ivy League schools.'

Stetson ad, 1950s (?). From here.
Jimmy Brady, 35, a New York firefighter who lived next door, was prying up carpet alongside the visitors. 'If there is any way you want to get accepted to a family or a community, it is to help,' he said. 'I've heard it from the hardest locals, that these guys are unbelievable. They get out with their little fedoras and they just start helping.'" (A18)

Nir, Sarah Maslin. "Helping Hands Also Expose a New York Divide." New York Times, Saturday, November 17, 2012.

An article that makes ample use of clothing to identify wealth/poverty. Also, Mr. Brady's use of the fedora as a marker of...upper class standing? Ivy League matriculation?