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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.