How to Dress for Success on Wall Street (Part 2)

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Hi Everyone. We're back this week with Part 2 of the Jon Yeazel Interview, "How to Dress for Success on Wall Street." See part 1 of the interview here.

Q: What are the suit essentials every man should own?

In my opinion the essential parts of a suit are not what many would consider essential at all. For the well dressed man the essentials are the small details of the suit that people often times will not notice until you actually put them into good use:

1. Pocket Square
I would say about 8 out of 10 men do not wear pocket squares regularly. A pocket square can add so much character to an outfit and it's such a simple thing to do. Whether you want it to blend in while at the office, or stand out during a night on the town, I strongly suggest trying it out and seeing what type of compliments come your way.

2. Shoes
A quality pair of cap toe lace-ups, wingtips or oxfords will go a long way. You want them to be streamlined and clean with a round toe and a thin sole. For bigger men you can get away with a thicker sole as you will require more support but the rounded toe is a must.

3. "Bolder" Sock
To compliment your great new shoes don't be afraid to wear a brighter sock. This is something that women love to see and when done tactfully can add just the right touch of style to any outfit. A great starting point is to pair your pocket square with your socks. An exact match isn't what you want, for example, try pairing an all red sock with red gingham patterned pocket square. That will be a great starting point to build on for your new look.

These are a few oft over looked details of a well-dressed man that not only look great, but exude confidence as well.

See us next week for Wall Street specific fashion insight from Jon Yeazel. Also, check out Neck & Balances revamped website for more info on fashion and accessories; including the N&B Everything-Stay (formerly The Gentleman's Fashion Anchor).

Comments (29)

Sep 2, 2012

Question: if you wear a suit but don't wear a tie with it.. is a pocket square still necessary? Or regardless, you should have a pocket square in? Also, any tips on where to get a good suit for someone in the $300-600 dollar range? Thanks.

Sep 2, 2012
Koho:

Question: if you wear a suit but don't wear a tie with it.. is a pocket square still necessary? Or regardless, you should have a pocket square in? Also, any tips on where to get a good suit for someone in the $300-600 dollar range? Thanks.

indochino

Sep 2, 2012

I have heard someone mention that it is weird to wear a tie without a suit jacket (just wearing your dress pants, shirt + tie). Is this true? Because I think it can look good.

Sep 2, 2012

I don't know... Pocket squares always look a little too tryhard for me. First year analysts are lifeless monkeys anyways and they'll just look that they're trying too hard. And I've always thought that it's much better for senior financiers to stray away from the typical caricature of an investment banker that wears them.

Sep 2, 2012

whatever you do do not wear a pocket square to work, also easy on the colored socks at work

    • 1
Sep 2, 2012
leveredarb:

whatever you do do not wear a pocket square to work, also easy on the colored socks at work

On the banking side, conformity at the junior levels is key. Don't push the envelope too far. A pocket square is an aggressive move for an analyst in general, but whether you can get away with it will ultimately be a product of your group's culture. Socks are a safer bet; I have a wild collection of socks and wear them daily. Probably a bit too daring, especially since I have my pants tailored with no break.

On the trading side, you can get away with pretty much anything. Same rule applies, however; discretion is key at the most junior levels.

Sep 2, 2012
leveredarb:

whatever you do do not wear a pocket square to work, also easy on the colored socks at work

Agree. Do not wear a pocket square at work. No one does.

This man does not work on Wall Street. The advice he gives might work for some other industries (I have no idea), but not investment banking. If you show up on your first day of work looking like this, your next post on WSO will be:

"Guys, I showed up to work on my first day looking like a huge douchebag. I was able to ditch the pocket square in the elevator, but should I just cut my losses and go buy new socks halfway through the day? Or would that be too beta?"

Sep 2, 2012

his advice is more english old money dress code lol, then again i do like wearing this stuff in my free time but not at work... (except for colored socks on a Friday)

Sep 2, 2012

Agree with Bankerella. This dude does not work on Wall Street. Keep it simple, fellas. Socks you can get away with, but pocket squares scream: "I'm a douchebag!"

As for affordable suits, check out Hart Schnaffner Marx. They have great stuff and you can pick them up on sale in the $400 range.

Sep 2, 2012

Neon green, yellow, orange and pink socks are so in right now.

Sep 2, 2012
Disincentivy:

Neon green, yellow, orange and pink socks are so in right now.

I personally try to model my look after the Oregon Ducks

Sep 2, 2012

I personally like the new Seahawks uniforms

http://imgur.com/k0Ckk http://imgur.com/KMLJK
http://imgur.com/s62dU

Sep 2, 2012

You guys are weak...I am disappointed.

Look and learn
Neon Socks, Neon Colors. on Flickr

Sep 2, 2012

[quote=Disincentivy]You guys are weak...I am disappointed.

Look and learn
Neon Socks, Neon Colors. on Flickr


awful. it's disgusting how attention-seeking it is. i've seen hipsters wear it, but that's about it. no style to it whatsoever.
Sep 2, 2012
DontMakeMeShortYou][quote=Disincentivy:

You guys are weak...I am disappointed.

Look and learn
Neon Socks, Neon Colors. on Flickr


awful. it's disgusting how attention-seeking it is. i've seen hipsters wear it, but that's about it. no style to it whatsoever.

I love neon in small doses. It's playful and charming, but this is just distasteful.

On a separate note, Please sign my petition to criminalize hipsterism. Thx

Sep 2, 2012

[quote=Disincentivy]You guys are weak...I am disappointed.

Look and learn
Neon Socks, Neon Colors. on Flickr

Socks and heels? I would have never pinned you as shoobie Dis.
Sep 2, 2012
luccabananas][quote=Disincentivy:

You guys are weak...I am disappointed.

Look and learn
Neon Socks, Neon Colors. on Flickr

Socks and heels? I would have never pinned you as shoobie Dis.

Never been to the shore, didn't know that's what they wear there. Plus I would rather kill myself than have legs like those.

Sep 2, 2012

pocket squares are not for junior people on wall st. if you are a producer bringing in alot of money then you can put back in the pocket-square and people will think you are stylish but until then just wear a regular suit like everyone else. I guess you could get away with "wacky" socks but I really dont see why you would do it.

Sep 2, 2012
Bondarb:

pocket squares are not for junior people on wall st. if you are a producer bringing in alot of money then you can put back in the pocket-square and people will think you are stylish but until then just wear a regular suit like everyone else. I guess you could get away with "wacky" socks but I really dont see why you would do it.

^ This.

I never wear pocket squares to work even though I usually wear them whenever I wear a jacket/suit outside of work.

I only know one sub-MD level guy who wears pocket squares to work. He's a VP at a PE firm and wears white ones with a straight fold.

Sep 2, 2012

Wrong, wrong and wrong again.
Colored socks? Pls... My old flatmate keeps on wearing them, he might get compliments from the PAs, but all he got from his direct boss was a remark..He is now not allowed to wear them during the week, and can only put them on Fridays... That was a few years back though, maybe now he wears them during the week...

Pocket squares? As a junior don't.
I have toyed with the idea of wearing them, I have to admit. Especially now that we are going into fall and I might be wearing my jacket more often. I rarely wear a tie, so quite nice to add a bit of color.

Colored socks though... I am not English enough for that...

Sep 2, 2012

Looks like this post turns out for a "'Dress for Failure on Wall Street"

You can only wear up to the level you bring in otherwise people look at you funny

Sep 2, 2012

I feel that if your on the sell side speaking and dealing with clients than you dress like a player if you want to be a player. As cliche as it may sound you really need to "act as if". If you'd like to attract small money than dress like it and small money will come along with a bright pretty pink slip due to your lack of production. If your running your own money or working on a desk than business casual is good enough.

-Gorilla A.

"I've forgotten who I had lunch with earlier, and even more important, where."
-- Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Sep 3, 2012

Do you shop at Men's Wearhouse for suits and ties?

The Four E's of investment
"The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

Sep 4, 2012

I am the business development director for Arden Reed, and the 2 founders and myself are all ex bankers. The advice from Jon can go a long way out at a party or at dinner - assuming you are awarded a night outside the office. We agree with the look that he is pitching as it does in fact add a lot of personality in an otherwise boring black, navy, or charcoal suit option... just not at an i-banking office.

Sep 5, 2012

Looks like the pocket square and brighter sock was a controversial move. I do enjoy the animated feedback. Unfortunately all of you have more experience working on wall street than I do so I am humbled to admit that I am learning from the feedback as I go. In my experience I have found that a pocket square is always a positive attention getter but I can see why coming in at the junior level calls for more humility than boldness. curious to hear some more from you guys.

Sep 2, 2012
jlezaey:

Looks like the pocket square and brighter sock was a controversial move. I do enjoy the animated feedback. Unfortunately all of you have more experience working on wall street than I do so I am humbled to admit that I am learning from the feedback as I go. In my experience I have found that a pocket square is always a positive attention getter but I can see why coming in at the junior level calls for more humility than boldness. curious to hear some more from you guys.

Thanks for your attitude and your willingness to learn. Your advice is largely helpful.

As for the pocket square, your support for that is based on "adding character to an outfit" and earning "compliments". Have you found the pocket square to be a "positive attention getter" in 22-year-olds working 36-hour straight shifts while taking abuse from multiple senior bankers, none of whom have any fashion sense?

Do you believe there's a place for character and compliments in a role where all your seniors see when they look at you is one more line of overhead that comes between the revenues they bring in and the bonus they take out?

You probably don't meet too many of these guys because they're working, not naffing around and lunching. But when you're writing advice for them, just run it through the following filter: "How ridiculous would this outfit look/feel after a miserable all-nighter when you haven't shaved or showered in 36 hours and all your bosses, who have zero fashion sense and zero sense of humor, are angry at you?

And now you know why young IBD analysts on Wall Street just hunker down and toe the line.

Sep 5, 2012

LOL at the neon socks by the way.....touche i guess.....is that how you spell that?

Feb 26, 2013
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