How To Dress For Success On Wall Street

You've graduated cum laude from an A-school, networked like a rabid-marketing salesman, and eked-out the technical interview and now you're on your way to becoming a FY Analyst at a BB firm! As you joyously pack you belongings together in anticipation of re-locating to NYC, you suddenly stop to realize that a new wardrobe is in need because the Hollister popped-collar shirts and kakis shorts are not going to fly on the street so in preparing for the WS lifestyle here's some practical advice...


I'm going to break away this week from my regularly schedule technical articles to share something on the lighter side...the unspoken WS dress code. Joshua Brown, a New York city-based financial advisor at Fusion Analytics and author of The Reformed Broker gives his practical advice on the reality of Wall Street attire and breaks it down by various positions. I suggest taking it with a sense of humor but it think its the exaggerated truth...

Industry professionals, what is your fashion advice to those just starting?"

Investment Banker
You really only need a pair of pajamas because you're not ever leaving and will sleep in the office more nights than you could possibly imagine. There have been stories about rookie bankers catching naps in utility closets just to show how many hours they can work. The truth is this is a part-hazing, part-barrier of entry, and realistically, none of the work a 23-year-old banker wannabe is doing at 1 am means anything significant.

Trader
Wear a fleece vest over a button-down shirt. That way I know what you are when you're standing in line in front of me at the Jiannetto's pizza truck outside of JPMorgan on Park and 47th. When there are too many trader types ahead of me I'll say something like, "Oh no, not another Flash Crash!" You'll run and I'll get my two grandma slices that much quicker. By the way, the fleece vest over a button-down shirt originated at SAC. Stevie likes to keep the room freezing cold to keep traders alert so every trader you see in that uniform is imitating that, whether they know it or not.

Institutional Broker
Wear something that will adequately conceal a wire. You'll be spending much of your day talking to your buy-side and hedge fund clients and sharing information left and right. There are some conversations that the bugs in your phone won't pick up so the Justice Department asks that you make sure to have some kind of recording device on you at all times.

Sell-Side Analyst
You should pretty much come in with a brown bag over your head with the eyeholes cut out because you will spend the next decade blowing people up with nonsensical calls like overweight or strong neutral. Your price targets will be based on DCF analysis which doesn't really mean anything in the actual supply and demand-based stock market. Getting used to hiding and wearing a bag to cover your shame is probably a great idea, so start early!

Private Wealth Management
You should wear a suit and I'd recommend a stop watch instead of a wrist watch, preferably one with a clock that counts down to zero. Set it to begin counting down 90 days from now because that's how long you'll have to raise your first $20 million in assets. You probably won't hit this minimum but that $16 million you managed to scrape up will be handed over to the grateful 45-year-old VP when you're let go this fall.

So, monkeys what your take on these stereotypes, is there any truth to them?"


...on a more serious note though, as promised here is some actual practical fashion advice for a First-Year Analyst Dress Code. I'd be interested to hear any thoughts on this as well.

Comments (36)

Jul 29, 2012

Eddie posted this on friday

Personal wealth is not how much you have in the bank or the worth of your portfolio. But, rather how you've used the wealth to make your life and those around you better.

Jul 29, 2012

Agree with Saul.

Monkey Shit thrown....

Someone take this down and deduct any bananas for this.

Jul 29, 2012

This says nothing about what colors the mens suits were.

Jul 29, 2012

You can't figure out colors dude? If you were at least semi-knowledgable about this industry, you'd know it's either gray, charcoal or navy and they are either plain, pinstripes or windowpane.

The fuck is wrong with you people? This isn't rocket science.

Jul 29, 2012

Waste of money. That girl should be bitch slapped.

Jul 29, 2012

this is pathetic new age shit. im in the process of compiling an authoritative guide to mens business attire.

Jul 29, 2012

Why work your tail off for clothes.. and don't say for pitches or client meetings.. majority of investment bankers don't meet with clients (only the top few). Even then they arent going to look at your suit and say oh, hes wearing something thats worth less than $4000, lets ditch him. If you are going to blow that money, do it on something thats more worth it. You would think that people that worked this hard wouldn't take their money for granted this easily. Just my two cents

Jul 29, 2012

Dont most bankers just spend their money on coke and strippers anyhow? They are expensive enough already.

Jul 29, 2012

Yeah define worth it? Different people have different values, good or bad.

Jul 29, 2012

This story goes to show how silly this industry has become. It's about the work you put in, although you still need to look presentable (as long as it doesnt cost you an arm and a leg!)

Greed is Good.

Jul 29, 2012

Since when would Louboutins be office-appropriate?

More is good, all is better

Jul 29, 2012

Read this hilariously detailed "UBS Dress Code" guide: http://thefinanser.co.uk/files/ubs-dress-code.pdf.
Like this classic:

"In general, it is not advisable to wear a jacket whose pockets are overfilled, as this disrupts pace."

Jul 29, 2012

That spending is unreal. My first suit cost 50 dollars.

I think you really have to be a moron, or at least obsessed with brands, to spend that much. A bespoke Saville row suit costs 5k on the high end, depending on the exchange rate.

You can get a comparable suit in Asia for a few hundred; if you don't want to make the trip, there are plenty of immigrant tailors who can still do it for under 1k. And if you are willing to go made to measure, you can get a top notch suit for ~450. It might not have the construction of a Kiton, but it will probably fit better.

Jul 29, 2012
West Coast rainmaker:

That spending is unreal. My first suit cost 50 dollars.

I think you really have to be a moron, or at least obsessed with brands, to spend that much. A bespoke Saville row suit costs 5k on the high end, depending on the exchange rate.

You can get a comparable suit in Asia for a few hundred; if you don't want to make the trip, there are plenty of immigrant tailors who can still do it for under 1k. And if you are willing to go made to measure, you can get a top notch suit for ~450. It might not have the construction of a Kiton, but it will probably fit better.

It's conspicuous consumption on crack.

Jul 29, 2012

In short: Is purple label ok or should it be worn only at some fancy parties?

    • 1
Jul 29, 2012

Have you been down to Wall St. lately? People don't wear pants anymore, it's just a thing now. If your dick is small, might as well not even leave home

    • 1
Jul 29, 2012
HFer_wannabe:

Have you been down to Wall St. lately? People don't wear pants anymore, it's just a thing now. If your dick is small, might as well not even leave home

Confirmed. These days on Wall Street dick measuring isn't just an expression.

Jul 29, 2012

short suit dipshit

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Jul 29, 2012

Did you put this shit through google translator?

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Jul 29, 2012

As long as they are very pronounced and bright chalk stripes, and there's a slight sheen to the suit. And make sure you wear black shiny shoes, patent leather even better, with tassles and pink socks.

But like @"HFer_wannabe" said, downtown on Wall Street people aren't really wearing pants much anymore. They're so 20th century. But if you're going to be working at a mid-town firm guys usually walk around with their flies down and grapefruiting in the office. They're all BSD's in midtown and want you to know how big their balls are.

Jul 29, 2012

Try not to make it so obvious you are a transplant. Go get some square toe shoes to match your ensemble.

Jul 29, 2012

you are going to want to stock up on do-rags

Best Response
Jul 29, 2012

http://www.toysrus.com/buy/kid-s-watches/disney-pr...

No one's gonna fuck with you if you're wearing that.

    • 2
Jul 29, 2012

Pairing that with a $2k suit and gamo shoes & tie, you feed the "my 4-year old daughter who I raise myself got me it for father's day" = pussy galore

Jul 29, 2012

Nothing says "you're the shit" like this watch below. Shocked you don't see more of them around the st.

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/guess-watch-men...|dc_33549820512%7C-%7CbEacJeYc

"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."

-John D. Rockefeller

Jul 29, 2012

Don't forget to match your socks..

Jul 29, 2012

If you're an intern, just go with something like a Tissot or a Hamilton. Even some jap watches aren't bad, like an Orient Ray (nice automatic in-house movement, sapphire upgradeable separately, pretty good accuracy, and great lume!).

If you're FT - my personal favourite I'd save up for would be a nice IWC, especially the Portuguese line. Personally, I LOATHE that stupid Cyclops on every Rolex; it just ruins being able to look at the day from an angle.

Mr.Mathie | Ideas are nothing without execution - Jeux de Commerce Central

Jul 29, 2012

I agree about how dumb cyclops' look. What about brands like Fredrique Constant or Baume and Mercier?

Jul 29, 2012

make sure that the brand of your watch also makes clothes... those are always the best

Jul 29, 2012
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Jul 29, 2012

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