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What Is a Trading Jacket?

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  • Written By: Janis Adams
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A colorful blazer, the trading jacket is a jacket worn by those participating on the floor of a financial trading pit. Considered workwear, trading jackets are intentionally made in bright hues to make each trader and the financial firm he or she works for easily recognizable. Also known as trading platform jackets, these garments are worn in and around all financial exchanges worldwide.

As traders are screaming out buy and sell orders, trading jackets are screaming as well. Their designs are usually colorful and bright so that they are easily distinguishable, even from a distance. Some are designed in traditional colors, such as black and green, while others feature flames or jungle prints. Many traders feel that a trading jacket is like a second skin.

Originally, trading jackets were made of mesh, which kept the trader cool and comfortable as he raced around the floor of the market. It also allowed for freedom of movement. Poplin collars and pockets were often added to these jackets.

The trading jacket is often personalized. It may have the emblem of the company the trader works for, as well as a special logo signifying the trader. The trader's badge may be incorporated into the design of the jacket, as well, if the jacket is custom made. PECO is one of the largest and most well recognized manufacturers of trading jackets.

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The most famous trading jacket of all was one worn by Nick Leeson. Leeson was infamous for causing the downfall of Barings Bank due to speculative trading. His jacket was offered by the bankruptcy liquidators in charge of the dissolution of KPMG for auction. Its reserve price was never met, however, and it was instead sold to Paul Taylor, a London finance manager.

The trading jacket is becoming more and more obsolete. The trading pit is largely being abandoned in favor of electronic trading, so jackets soon may no longer be needed. Trading jackets are often collected and held onto as treasured memorabilia by those in the financial industry. There is such a dwindling market for the trading jacket that many manufacturers have turned to making clothing for those in the culinary industry instead.

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