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What is the specific dress codes for the various BBs?

Comments (218)

  • TireKicker's picture

    At my bank it's business formal 4x a week and business casual on Fridays.

    A lot of the banks started going back to formal a couple of years ago after the dot-com bust--supposedly in an effort to shed the image of the laid-back tech entrepreneur whose company lost everybody a lot of money.

    At least, that's my explanation.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    Weekends are whatever -- I've seen sweatpants, hairy guys in their undershirts swilling beer, whatever. I wear jeans or slacks and a nice sweater, though... I'd hate for my VP to see me in a client meeting and think back to that weekend when I came in old sweatpants and a tank top or something.

    Weekdays are b-cas, heavy on the b, light on the cas. Some people wear suits every day, women especially. No cleavage, no flats, no denim of any color. Some guys get away with not wearing ties, but most don't try it. Guys' shirts are often Pink (not pink) or Burberry, never Brooks Brothers (or if they are, nobody admits it). Shoes for guys are Gucci or Ferragamo; shoes for girls are Chanel, Louboutin, Choos, or Ferragamo.

    Not having much money, you can imagine that I choose the Ferragamo. Heh.

  • BSD123's picture

    Thomas Pink Vs Philip Michael Thomas Pink

    Brand Vs color

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    Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

  • dav3100's picture

    Where on earth do you work that all of the analysts dress so well? Are you at a boutique ala Bstone?

    There's a lot of brooks brothers among the analysts at BBs. It's awful looking and you can usually tell if a shirt is Brooks, but people still wear them. I mean, most analysts aren't exactly loaded, and a lot just don't know how to dress anyway. There were a bunch of guys in my summer class wearing pleated pants, slip-on unpolished loafers, ill-fitting brooks brothers shirts, and j crew ties.

    Personally, though, I'd rather just own 5 thomas pink (or actually zegna and ralph lauren purple label are much better in my opinion) than 15 brooks brothers shirts if you're on a limited budget. Same goes for suits - if you're business casual, just buy a few very nice suits versus a bunch of cheap pieces of crap. No one will notice if you repeat clothing often...ties perhaps, but definitely not shirts.

    I'd really like to get into your bank if the female analysts dress so well. A lot of the girls at my bank were wearing cheap heels and always always pants. Skirts should really be required..much more classy.

  • Ronald R's picture

    I can't imagine that brooks brothers is really looked down upon this much. I am as snobby as almsot anyone I know when it comes to clothes and I regularly stop by Brooks, and own many staples pieces of clothing from them.

    Can you tell a brooks shirt from a RLPL? Of course. But, that doesn't mean that the BB shirt is terrible, it just means that the PL shirt is nicer.

    Seriously, if all of you think that people making $100-150k a year should be wearing all Purple Label, you are severely mistaken.

    Also, some people wear Brooks and JPress because they are fans of a more traditional way of dress than others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    Sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that... as long as you don't mind the made-in-Taiwan and mall-bought look. Not to mention fused construction on suit jackets that make the shoulder seams pucker after ten wearings. Nobody notices such tiny things, right? Right?

    Brooks Brothers makes "traditional" suits like Crate and Barrel makes traditional home decor: at as low a cost as possible, with as little variation as possible, while remaining visually similar to luxury goods. These brands are designed for the demographic that marketers refer to as "aspirational". Same as Armani Exchange. You think Brooks Brothers is "traditional"because of the marketing campaign that drives the brand image. Because you can walk into any suburban office building in Witchita Falls or Louisville and say "I'm wearing Brooks Brothers" and get instant brand recognition across the upper lower to upper middle classes. (That's not a good thing.) The key to breaking free from the mall-rat aesthetic is to stop and think about distribution chains and the economics of luxury branding.

    And I'm not saying this is the way it should be; I'm saying it's the way it is. My mom's electricity gets turned off every other month due to nonpayment, but many of the other analysts on this floor are the scions of millionaires and quasi-millionaires. I know one guy that's been wearing Pink since he was fifteen. There's another guy from Eastern Europe who grew up with next to nothing, but you'd better bet he lives in a crappy cheap apartment so that he can go out every weekend and buy more (and more and more and more) Burberry, Gucci, Pink, and whatever else guys are wearing these days.

    Just calling it like it is. I don't like it, but I'm in no position to fight it from where I am at the moment.

  • Ronald R's picture

    And I agree with the tailor comment, completely.

    I think it is difficult to call brooks brothers "mall bought" and not call pink that as well. Both are mass produced.

    Also, like it or not, Mis Ind, Brooks is a staple of old line, conservative, money, WASP male clothing. The ones that can afford to are wearing the Golden Fleece stuff and MTM, but it is Brooks nonetheless.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    The old line is no longer in control of investment banks, and Brooks Brothers has cheapened its brand to widen its penetration across demographics.

    And yes, bespoke is an excellent option, but while parents are usually happy to peel off an extra thousand bucks every now and then to buy Junior his new clothes, I've never known any parent willing to dress their kids head to toe in bespoke.

  • dav3100's picture

    Agree with the comment about bespoke. But while it's true you can get some bespoke clothes at relatively inexpensive prices, I'm always a bit skeptical about the quality of the fabric if the bespoke suit is not very very expensive. At least with good brands like armani, ralph lauren pl, etc., you know you're getting relatively good quality (and its cheaper than good quality bespoke). The same can't really be said for some random tailor in nyc or some internet tailor where you just enter your size measurements. Speaking of which, does anyone know where to find a list of the top tailors in nyc? I'd like to get exactly one well-made bespoke suit lol.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    Zala, all I'm saying is that I want to present a neat, attractive image to my superiors at all times. Between guys it's okay because guys don't focus too much on each other, and because there's a certain bracing masculinity about being ugly, poorly-groomed, and generally a sloppy human being (I love boys, but you got to admit that some of y'all get kinda foul every now and then).

    But I'm a girl, and I don't want my male VP to come into the office and see me with unmanicured toes in flip-flops, an ass clad in bulky sweatpants, and an old t-shirt with my favorite cartoon character on it. I may wear that stuff while cleaning house, but not at work. That doesn't make him gay, I don't think.

    However, some girls dress like that on weekends. Ick.

  • relinquo's picture

    our senior people are mostly, at least the ones who have taste, savile row and the like. i suspect that a couple have been getting some shirts from trips to india though.

    the less senior people all dress formally, but with varying degrees of classiness.

    i dress formally and conservatively, most of my work wardrobe is tailored or bespoke, but i haven't been at the analyst level for a while and probably took 18 months to assemble my collection. when i was an analyst i had one tailored suit, a couple of designer/brand name stuff that were adjusted slightly to fit perfectly. i also had a cheapo suit during my first few months (also adjusted by a good tailor), but i got rid of that as soon as my cash flow permitted. Shirts have always been Pink and the like, even during formal/semi formal events at univeristy. i think of it as capex and budget accordingly. my casual wear tends to less expensive.

    to analysts on a budget my advice is to dress conservatively and it probably pays to get your suits adjusted by a good tailor. better fitting cloths make a significant difference to your appearance.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    Ronald, don't be snarky. Yes, the words "formal" and "semi-formal" are constantly misused, particularly in the US, but almost nobody reads Emily Post anymore. I do, but that's me. We can't expect every single banker in his/her twenties and thirties to behave as if they were raised by old-money families.

    On the other hand, I believe your comments are slightly imprecise. There is more than one level of "formal" in both the US and in Britain. In the US, one encompasses white tie, one encompasses black tie, and of course in Britain there are strata of society in which orders are worn at times, in which case they'll be called for on the lower right hand side of the engraved invitation. You may wear black tie at a semi-formal event, or (as you correctly note) a cutaway, but in most US cities it is perfectly acceptable to wear business formal to semi-formal events, particularly before 8:00, particularly if you're a banker.

    So let's not be snarky, or you're gonna get snarked. There's no reason for your average banker or banking candidate to know this stuff. Cool?

  • so-cal's picture

    how much money do you guys say is reasonable for an analyst to spent to equip themselves adequately? What does one need to get to do the job?

    I personally don't give a shit what i wear as long as it is comfortable, so how much should someone like me blow and how much of what?

    As a college athlete, I have always tooled around in gym pants and the such...probably since middle school ...bad habit i guess. I know it this will not continue professionally, but don't personally see a need for custom shirts and underwear. Some of you dudes must blow a hell of a lot of money on clothing. I respect that, but that is just not my thing.

    Thanks

  • In reply to Ronald R
    zala rules's picture

    Ronald R wrote:
    I can't imagine that brooks brothers is really looked down upon this much. I am as snobby as almsot anyone I know when it comes to clothes and I regularly stop by Brooks, and own many staples pieces of clothing from them.

    Can you tell a brooks shirt from a RLPL? Of course. But, that doesn't mean that the BB shirt is terrible, it just means that the PL shirt is nicer.

    Seriously, if all of you think that people making $100-150k a year should be wearing all Purple Label, you are severely mistaken.

    Also, some people wear Brooks and JPress because they are fans of a more traditional way of dress than others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Yeah, people are a little too harsh about not wearing Brooks Brothers. For a fucking analyst, Brooks Brothers is FINE.

    But if I had to disagree with anything you wrote, I'd have to point out that Brooks =/= J Press.

  • Mis Ind's picture

    So-cal, get yourself one truly excellent suit, two white shirts, two solid shirts of conservative color, and two white shirts with stripes (if you like them). Six very good ties, four pairs of nice pants, two pairs of shoes (one with laces, one with the metal bit). Either keep all your leather goods (shoes, belt, watch, and manbag/softside briefcase if you use one) brown, or keep them black. If you like both, make sure you have a full set of both, and never mix the two. Ditto gold and silver fittings on watch, shoes, belt, etc. Ditto shiny/matte finishes on your leather. As you don't want to spend a lot of money, I'd advise matte black leather goods with silver/steel fittings. They look good with everything, even when they get a little scuffed, and don't need constant shining.

    You can skimp on everything but the ties, one of the white shirts, and the suit. Let these guys tell you what brand; they probably know better than I do.

  • In reply to Mis Ind
    relinquo's picture

    Mis Ind wrote:
    ...So let's not be snarky, or you're gonna get snarked. There's no reason for your average banker or banking candidate to know this stuff. Cool?

    thanks for the response. i think that ronald was just trying to make a point. also, i'd like to point out that i am not average in any sense of the word.

    that is all.

  • buysideanalyst's picture

    Mis Ind gave perfect advice on what to get. I would go for seven shirts though and no more than one with stripes. Three white, two light blue, one stiped/white and one pink or dark blue. And get them cleaned somewhere that charges more than $1 a shirt. You'll thank yourself in a year.

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  • buysideanalyst's picture

    You don't need to spend $200 a shirt. You need to spend about $85 to $150 at the maximum. If you find a good sale, you will be able to get something for $85 that is decent. Of course, as soon as I left the sellside I immediately threw away my $85 on sale shirt away.

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  • so-cal's picture

    are superiors really concerned that their analysts are wearing expensive clothing? I know one must look professional, have clean ironed shit, polished shoes, but u can get quality, good looking clothing at department stores. I have been going to h/p/y for 2.5 years (mostly oblivious i guess) but i dont even recongize a number of these brand you are talking of. If it was necessary to get these marked-up items, then i guess it is necessary, but is it? It is not like macy's and bloomingdales sells potato sacks with arm and leg holes.

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