How a symbol of rebellion found its way into the boardroom.
Yves Saint Laurent’s classic moto jacket in calfskin, $4,990 at Neiman Marcus.

AS A CEO SUMMONED to Capitol Hill to face angry lawmakers, selecting your outfit—and therefore the silent message you’ll telegraph on camera—is far from trivial. Safe choices might include the Navy Blazer of Contrition or the dove-gray skirt suit that whispers, “I’m important—but not more important than you, Senator.”

So it was a bit of a sartorial shock last December when General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared in D.C. to defend the automaker’s decision to close four U.S. plants and lay off some 14,000

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