How do you shop for office attire?

I've been remote at big 4 since graduation, but soon I'm starting an IB position at a BB requiring me to be in the office 4 days/wk in NYC. I'm used to being in gym clothes and pajamas all day.

I have no idea how to shop for affordable clothes or how I should dress. How many suits do you own? How do you rotate each day?

I didn't get a sign on bonus and don't really want to break the bank getting clothes.

Any advice is welcome, thanks.

Comments (10)

Jul 1, 2022 - 9:22am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You can't have it both ways. You can't say you don't want to spend money and still say you want to look nice for work. You're going to have to adjust one of those. 

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  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jul 1, 2022 - 12:52pm

If you've been working for a while you should have money to buy clothes? 

When Charles Tyrwitt does a 4/$200 sale go and get like 8 shirts, blue, white, blue patterns in a variety of formality levels (if you want golf shirts get those too)

Go to Cole Hahn and spend $200-$300 on a pair of shoes, take them to Fossil and get a matching belt for like $40, most of them are brown on one side and black on the other so you only need one 

Formality is low right now so get one charcoal or navy suit from Suit Supply, pay for a second set of pants with the suit so it lasts longer ~$600-$750

Get at least three pairs of chinos (navy, light khaki and dark khaki) from J. Crew / Brooks Brothers / Theory / Club Monaco or where ever else for ~$100 each

If you want ties get cheap ones from Nordstrom or used designer ones off eBay and pay $5 to have them dry cleaned

That's an entire work wardrobe for >$2k, it's really not hard for guys. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 2, 2022 - 4:25pm

Agree with above, I would also recommend Allen Edmonds before Cole Haans if you can afford. They're more comfortable once broken in and will last a long time if you take care of them. They're having a very good sale going on right now, and their factory seconds are early indistinguishable from the normal.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 6, 2022 - 12:50pm

As an incoming analyst, that is what most of my wardrobe looks like. A few additional comments to include:

1. Pants: I've bought a combo of Lulu's ABC ($128) and Bonobos Weekday Warrior ($119) pants. The Lulu's are super comfortable, but I'm a little worried that they aren't formal enough for some office environments. The Bonobos are much more formal, yet still comfortable.

2. Watch: This is an interest of mine, so this might be a bit overkill, but imo a watch can really help complete one's work outfit. Without getting into the luxury segment, I'd recommend getting one of the following (or similar) with a black/white/silver/navy dial depending on your budget and personal style: Seiko SRPE55 ($275), Seiko SRPD55 ($295), Seiko SPB243 ($750), Seiko SRPE17 ($450),  Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical ($575), Orient Bambino ($150), or Timex Marlin ($250). When I was in the office last summer I also saw a fair amount of Apple Watches, so you could wear one of those as well if it's more your style.

3. Undershirts: I personally need help with this section. I have a few light gray Hanes V-neck undershirts that are invisible under my dress shirts, but they are too scratchy and aren't breathable. If anyone has any recommendations please lmk

4. Polos: I'm currently in the market for two or three "nicer" solid color, slimmer fit, pique polos. I'm considering ones from Rhone, Kent Wang, Sunspel, and Peter Millar. I'd appreciate any additional recommendations or suggestions. Thanks

Jul 6, 2022 - 1:06pm
CarsnWatches, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Side note for CT if you google 3 for 99 you'll see an ad on their website to get 3 shirts for under 100. That "deal" has been going on for years and I never pay more. 

  • Analyst 1 in CorpFin
Jul 2, 2022 - 2:10pm

I second the above comment - literally just did this and ran up about 3k all in 2 custom suits, 3 brooks shirts, new CH and new belt 

Jul 6, 2022 - 5:40pm
Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lots of good commentary here.  I'll add a few bullets/comments

  • Get two pairs of pants for each suit jacket.  You'll spend 80% of the workday at your desk with the jacket on the char and go thru pants a lot quicker than jackets
  • Don't be afraid of cheap suits.  a $100 suit that fits well looks better than a $10,000 suit that doesn't. I've worn $89.95 H&M suits to bell ringings.  Similar with shirts. Amazon Basics does a good number of solid color styles in several fits for $20/per.  I'm the slimmest fit there and 1 up (b/c I'm not in fashion) at CT
  • Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan are good advice.  Hit up the AE sale right now for seconds.  CH is much better for dress sneakers.  NYC means a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must 95% of the time. (my phone says I do ~5mi/day)  Try to find a classy looking variety of CH ZeroGrands at Burlington or the outlet for $50-100.
  • Don't blow your entire wad before day 1.  You might load up on suits and ties to find that 80% of the time people show up in khakis and cheap dress shirts
  • Khakis: Feel it out, I like Dockers perma-press.  I wear them a lot less than I used to tho.  Nicer is noticeable, but a perma-crease looks a ton better than un-ironed or poorly ironed
  • Watches:  Feel free to not wear one day 1.  Apple watch is fine.  Feel free to go watchless.  I'm a big Seiko fan, but I think the SRPE 17 (Cocktail time) is the only one I'd buy if I wanted to impress.  A watch is really personal.  If you want to have fun let it express you.  I'm a big fan of Long Island Watch's "Islander" series, particularly the dress watches.  It's tough to go wrong with anything that brand sells with a Miyota 9015 IMO 
The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
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Jul 6, 2022 - 6:54pm
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