The subtle strategies of dressing for deal making:
When the Allen Edmonds shoe company sought a controlling investor last year, a string of private-equity groups trooped through its Port Washington, Wis., headquarters. "When the buyers would come in, every single one of them would have brand-new Allen Edmonds on," says Mark Birmingham, the company's president. Then in walked the crew from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, an investment firm based in Minneapolis. "They had seven-year-old shoes on. They were customers," says Mr. Birmingham.
Guess who won the bidding.