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(wīt′sho͞o′, hwīt′-)
Of or being a long-established business known for reputable service and a wealthy clientele: "took a job at ... [a] pronouncedly white-shoe investment-banking firm" (Connie Bruck).

[From the white buckskin shoes once commonly worn by Ivy League undergraduates and considered typical dress of the American upper class.]


of or pertaining to members of the upper class who own or run large corporations: white-shoe bankers; a conservative white-shoe image.
[1975–80; appar. from the white shoes popular as moderately formal wear among suburban men]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.white-shoe - denoting a company or law firm owned and run by members of the WASP elite who are generally conservative; "the politician tried to hide his white-shoe background"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
exclusive - excluding much or all; especially all but a particular group or minority; "exclusive clubs"; "an exclusive restaurants and shops"
References in periodicals archive ?
Teach for America recruits like a white-shoe investment bank.
In downtown L.A., multi-generation immigrant communities (and priceless Victorian homes) were leveled in the 1970s and '80s to build sterile office towers for white-shoe law firms.
Having received an undergraduate degree from the Ivy League's Cornell University, and a law degree from New York University, Kaplan began his career as a barrister at white-shoe Wall Street law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, later moving to an academic post at the city's $10,000-a-semester Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.