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Dear Community,

While reading through these forums, I have found many forum topics on what color the inside of your shoes should be on Tuesdays, if you work on the 100 block of West Street, but no one seems to comment on back office attire. Little do you know, many of the world’s fashion trends were birthed in the BO.

Follow these tips to blend in with the BO, otherwise you will stick out like a sore thumb. People will accuse you of being stuck up - blissfully hopeful of making the jump to FO, or delusionally already there, calling your internal ledger movements trades.

- Do not wear anything nicer than khaki pants. If you're a hardened veteran, every day is jeans day.

-If you do splurge and wear khakis, spill coffee on them, or make sure you have road salt stains on the hems.

- Ties are forbidden. If you see a coworker wearing a tie, he is probably new. Go over and make sure he knows how overdressed he is, and ask him if he thinks he is Gordon Gekko or something.

- If your shirt does feature buttons, it had better be a short sleeve dress shirt.

-If you do wear a tie, it had better be a novelty tie (example: rubber duckies)

- Make sure you put some thought into your dress shoes. Wear and tear shows thrift and savings, something banks value. It will also show the new kids a thing or two about what it means to sell your sole to the bank by executing the same copy paste procedure for hour upon hour, year upon year until you realize you have been in the same desk for 20 years, and are about to be down sized because you make too much money.

- On casual days, everything is game. Ripped jeans, dirty sneakers and your favorite sublime t-shirt is encouraged, because you don't give a s**t!!!!

- Abercrombie dress shirts on the one day a year the COO visits your area. You want to look professional.

I hope some young, aspiring excel jockies benefit from this PSA.

Regards,

OilBaron

3

Comments (32)

  • mrb87's picture

    Spot on. I would add that only lime green, dark red or black solid shirts are acceptable. None of those whites or baby blues.

  • BTbanker's picture

    Funny, but a little sad for this community.

  • WTFinance's picture

    So true...

  • Flake's picture

    I lol'd.

    Also this is more true than people realize: "or delusionally already there, calling your internal ledger movements trades."

    Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    Clicked on link expecting this to suck....surprised to see that it's actually funny.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to Flake
    Hooked on LEAPS's picture

    Flake wrote:
    I lol'd.

    Also this is more true than people realize: "or delusionally already there, calling your internal ledger movements trades."

    Flake is back?

    Competition is a sin.

    -John D. Rockefeller

  • Banker88's picture

    A note on shoes - do not wear any traditional cap toe dress shoes or penny loafers. Square-toed loafers by Kenneth Cole Reaction or Rockport are the safest bet.

  • lasampdoria's picture

    Good stuff guys

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • In reply to lasampdoria
    Funda-mental's picture

    Always went to the back office to meet the guys I'd have to speak to on the phone.

    One guy who had been there 25 years was wearing:

    - A vintage team canada hockey jersey, with what looked like mustard all over it.
    - Camo cargo shorts.
    - Timberland boots that weren't tied up.

  • In reply to Funda-mental
    G.M.Trevelyan's picture

    Funda-mental wrote:
    Always went to the back office to meet the guys I'd have to speak to on the phone.

    One guy who had been there 25 years was wearing:

    - A vintage team canada hockey jersey, with what looked like mustard all over it.
    - Camo cargo shorts.
    - Timberland boots that weren't tied up.

    You can't be serious.,, does he even lift?

  • UFOinsider's picture

    Banker88 wrote:
    A note on shoes - do not wear any traditional cap toe dress shoes or penny loafers. Square-toed loafers by Kenneth Cole Reaction or Rockport are the safest bet.

    This is so brutally honest, I love it. The other stuff I don't know about, but this is such a dead give away. Seriously, the next time some dude who wears the square toed shoes with stripes says they work for a bank, ask them what ops area they are in: they always give the same response "how did you know I work in ops".

    I generally don't like ops bashing because I'm not all about rank and status and all; that and I spent some time in ops (along with a few others on this post) and prefer to hand out with them outside of work instead of every insufferable prick in M&A. I don't understand $400 shirts and ties, seriously, I think people who need that are ridiculous: invest that and retire early. But if you're some kid working a 3 month temp contract at a BB ops group for some 40 year old moron who failed the CFA years ago and never retook it, if you're reading this post and want to get out of the cesspool of mediocrity to MO or FO, remember:

    "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"

    Get busy living

  • In reply to Funda-mental
    AndyLouis's picture

    Funda-mental wrote:
    Always went to the back office to meet the guys I'd have to speak to on the phone.

    One guy who had been there 25 years was wearing:

    - A vintage team canada hockey jersey, with what looked like mustard all over it.
    - Camo cargo shorts.
    - Timberland boots that weren't tied up.


    wth do guys in the bo office do?!

  • In reply to AndyLouis
    MFFL's picture

    AndyLouis wrote:

    wth do guys in the bo office do?!

    They handle all the TPS reports

    "Well that's even more than less than unhelpful." - Jack Sparrow

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Unforseen's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    Banker88 wrote:
    A note on shoes - do not wear any traditional cap toe dress shoes or penny loafers. Square-toed loafers by Kenneth Cole Reaction or Rockport are the safest bet.

    This is so brutally honest, I love it. The other stuff I don't know about, but this is such a dead give away. Seriously, the next time some dude who wears the square toed shoes with stripes says they work for a bank, ask them what ops area they are in: they always give the same response "how did you know I work in ops".

    I generally don't like ops bashing because I'm not all about rank and status and all; that and I spent some time in ops (along with a few others on this post) and prefer to hand out with them outside of work instead of every insufferable prick in M&A. I don't understand $400 shirts and ties, seriously, I think people who need that are ridiculous: invest that and retire early. But if you're some kid working a 3 month temp contract at a BB ops group for some 40 year old moron who failed the CFA years ago and never retook it, if you're reading this post and want to get out of the cesspool of mediocrity to MO or FO, remember:

    "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"

    Loved the OP and liked this response, but there's also the other extreme.

    I love my classmates that work BO and wear white collared two tone shirts with engraving on their french cuffs. I mean, dress nice, but also dress for the environment you work for. I work front office with a laid back dress culture (clients are offsite so you only dress in suits for visits and when you go visit them) but even for business casual, i dress very well. Fitted clothing and clean pressed clothes, but nothing extremely expensive or lavish.

  • In reply to Unforseen
    dmm001's picture

    Unforseen wrote:

    Loved the OP and liked this response, but there's also the other extreme.

    I love my classmates that work BO and wear white collared two tone shirts with engraving on their french cuffs. I mean, dress nice, but also dress for the environment you work for. I work front office with a laid back dress culture (clients are offsite so you only dress in suits for visits and when you go visit them) but even for business casual, i dress very well. Fitted clothing and clean pressed clothes, but nothing extremely expensive or lavish.

    True story. One of my classmates in BB ops wears Michael Andrews bespoke suits, Allen Edmonds cap toes, and Ralph Lauren Purple Label ties to work. I'm all for dressing nice, but I have to wonder how much of his salary goes to his clothes...

  • OilBaron's picture

    I am glad I was able to bring some joy to everyone's day. Ah you guys got me on the shoes I think :) I wear Bostonian Parkdale shoes when there is snow on the ground so I don't ruin my Park Avenues. That is too funny!

  • In reply to OilBaron
    UFOinsider's picture

    OilBaron wrote:
    I am glad I was able to bring some joy to everyone's day. Ah you guys got me on the shoes I think :) I wear Bostonian Parkdale shoes when there is snow on the ground so I don't ruin my Park Avenues. That is too funny!

    Same thing here, but Wenham. Lately though....sneakers. I wonder if I could pass myself off as a settlements robot and get through security?

    Just for kicks.

    Get busy living

  • Jamin's picture

    I'm currently in BO and I wore a tie the first two days and got weird looks the whole time. Finally I was demanded to take if off on the second day.

    Opstar lifestyle, might not make it

  • In reply to Jamin
    UFOinsider's picture

    Jamin wrote:
    I'm currently in BO and I wore a tie the first two days and got weird looks the whole time. Finally I was demanded to take if off on the second day.

    Crab ass niggas, pay them no heed. Still dress well and keep a tie rolled up in your coat pocket for strategic meetings. Unless, of course, your goal isn't FO, then hey, every day is casual Friday?

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    UFOinsider wrote:
    OilBaron wrote:
    I am glad I was able to bring some joy to everyone's day. Ah you guys got me on the shoes I think :) I wear Bostonian Parkdale shoes when there is snow on the ground so I don't ruin my Park Avenues. That is too funny!

    Same thing here, but Wenham. Lately though....sneakers. I wonder if I could pass myself off as a settlements robot and get through security?

    Just for kicks.

    Same here; really like rubber sole dress shoes in the winter. I know I could wear boots, then change at work, but that is a lot of trouble.

    In truth, I'm in a satellite office. The only days I even wear a dress shirt are when I am going out immediately after work and don't have time to change. I have worn Asics to work 30% of the time. I am pretty sure I could get away with gym shorts in the summer. It is actually really nice not to think about dry cleaning...

  • Eurodealer's picture

    This is golden.

    OP: you work in the Ops?

    Anyway, while interning in the operations side I felt like a douche when I went in the first day in a suit only to realize noone else wore suits (thank god I didn't have a tie on but I still had to hide my suit jacket in the toilet for the day right after I walked in...). After that I just aimed to dress clean and relatively well but still according to the norm to not come out like a fucking idiot.

    I would not follow the "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" way. It's just generally a lot easier to go with the standard norms, or maybe upgrade a notch. But if you wear a 2k suit with the full juicy accessories (tie pins, pocket squares and what not) in an environment where it's clearly out of place, that is just so wrong and you will notice it.

    Just wear clean, sharp and FITTING attire. No one's going to be impressed by your bespoke suit, but by your actual work results.

    Anyone else had any first day confusion fuck ups?

    A buddy of mine interned on a trading floor years ago and was kind of owned by the traders. One of the traders let him know that they have "a very relaxed atmosphere on the floor, especially on Fridays" before he started working there. So my buddy goes in the first day (started on Friday, first day of the month) wearing deck shoes, shorts and a polo. He got instantly noticed by the traders with a chorus of WTFs and boyish giggling. The traders had ditched their ties for a nice summer Friday - That was their very relaxed. Anyway, the traders grinded him all day. He had never felt so shit before in his life. In addition to the verbal rape, the traders made him get them lunch from a place where you needed to take the ferry to (never wear deck shoes again bitch). It took him 2 hours. He was also forced to pop his collars and wear a tilted cap. I laughed so hard when he told me this but I could see that he was really in a bad way... But still, what a douche.

    Moral of the story, try to find out how you are supposed to dress before you start working or get fucked.

  • OilBaron's picture

    Yes, I am in OPS.

    The only thing I spent a lot of money on (a lot for a 1st year anyway) were some nice shoes, and a decent low end watch. Then I just got myself some CT shirts that were on sale, some lands end pants, some decent looking ties, and bam. Everything fits great, and I have a couple of nice items to go with them. I also didn't have to sell my soul to afford it.

  • In reply to Jamin
    moneymogul's picture

    Jamin wrote:
    I'm currently in BO and I wore a tie the first two days and got weird looks the whole time. Finally I was demanded to take if off on the second day.

    No kidding. I did a back office rotation and got called out on wearing a tie less than 30 seconds after stepping into the office.

    “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” - Jobs

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Jamin's picture

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    Opstar lifestyle, might not make it

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  • TonyPerkis's picture

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk