Is wearing a £2,000 suit too much for an analyst/associate grade interview

I just stupidly bought another Saville Row suit in preparation for upcoming recruitment in Asset Management at the associate level. I am just thinking from previous experience that I was maybe too dressed up when wearing similar suits and applying for analysts positions.

I get the impression that the MDs I was meeting to network, took me for an idiot/flashy git only interested in money and the trappings of being an IBD banker.

So I am annoyed with myself because, I had wanted to buy a reasonably priced suit for circa £450 but impulsively bought a more expensive £2,000 one instead (it was just such a beautiful suit).

Comments (35)

Mar 18, 2019 - 3:38pm
WardrobeEssentialist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How nice for you to have endured the drudgery of another Saville Row suit ;-)

Trying to decipher your comments about "the MDs I was meeting." Unless the MD was a convert to Peter Thiel's "never invest in a guy who wears a suit" philosophy, wearing a suit shouldn't have been an issue.

For your latest addition, did you chose an outrageous fabric or cut? If so, hopefully you have something more conservative from your prior purchases. If you show up in a well-tailored navy, charcoal, etc suit, Adam Smith's Impartial Spectator will subconsciously register that you're dressed for the occasion and have your act together.

They will then wonder whether you will reveal that you're an idiot/flashy git once you open your mouth. That's beyond the skills of the world's most accomplished tailor...

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Mar 18, 2019 - 6:37pm
WardrobeEssentialist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Even a high-quality Italian suit is made from a standard pattern. If you happen to be a body-double of the guy they had in mind when they cut the pattern, congratulations!

If not, bespoke tailoring starts with a pattern designed and made from scratch, based on 20+ of your exact measurements. The process often involves multiple fittings, so it requires patience, and multiple round-trips to London ;-)

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Mar 19, 2019 - 4:40pm
QuiltEmerson, what's your opinion? Comment below:
euwechue:
I just stupidly bought another Saville Row suit in preparation for upcoming recruitment in... So I am annoyed with myself because, I had wanted to buy a reasonably priced suit for circa £450 but impulsively bought a more expensive £2,000 one instead (it was just such a beautiful suit).
Lol, the not so subtle humble-brag. I hope you impress the entire internet with this absolute CRAZY powermove, you big swinging dcik!

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

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Mar 20, 2019 - 2:08am
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:
QuiltEmerson:
euwechue:
I just stupidly bought another Saville Row suit in preparation for upcoming recruitment in... So I am annoyed with myself because, I had wanted to buy a reasonably priced suit for circa £450 but impulsively bought a more expensive £2,000 one instead (it was just such a beautiful suit).
Lol, the not so subtle humble-brag. I hope you impress the entire internet with this absolute CRAZY powermove, you big swinging dcik!

There's always at least one.

Yes, I was quite happy with myself (New toy). But that doesn't take away from the real question I was asking. Thank you for your input?

P.S. £2,000 might be expensive for a piece of clothing but most people can put together 2k for something if they want to, so it's not really a big thing to brag about.

Most Helpful
Mar 20, 2019 - 4:10am
QuiltEmerson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, cause you're just that "spontaneous" and crazy that you'll see a tailor, walk in, get measured, pick out all the fabrics and wait a couple of weeks for them to finish the suit. You literally put the price of the suit in the title, in your post and in your comment, and you call it your "New toy" - but hey, it's nothing to brag about.

It's a nice suit, but it's not a "look how much this cost me"-nice suit. It's like buying a Rolex OP - sure, it's your first Rolex and a nice watch, but it's not so nice that you should go around telling people about the price tag. The people who know won't be impressed and the people who don't will think you're an idiot.

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

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Mar 21, 2019 - 5:16pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Show a picture of yourself in the suit e.g. with face blurred. It's impossible to tell whether it would be off putting or not depending on the look, cut, pattern, etc.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Mar 24, 2019 - 5:19pm
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for the reply. It's a dark navy blue 2 piece. I'm not an expert on suits but I like the fabric and fit; I am tall and thin so cloths don't often fit me well.

The quality will definitely stand out. I bought a similar dark grey suit before which people used to stare at me when I was wearing it. Especially with black hand made quality oxfords. Lol.

A bit anachronistic but I am genuinely old school that way. It's funny how people read so much into one's physical appearance. Particularly women who find reasons to bump into you or strike conversation.

I started this thread because I have started to reflect that I might be a bit flashy and that is not something I want to be known for. To me it seems perfectly fine to spend that kind of money on something like a suit...some people spend that on jeans. I am not from a rich family; just a normal middle class family of professionals; lawyers, doctors, bankers and politicians.

But then that's exactly it. See my parents wouldn't spend that much money on a suit. And they are doctors and have accumulated a reasonable nest egg. So does that makes me pretentious.

Mar 27, 2019 - 3:16pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To strike at the heart of your question, "does that make me pretentious" YES it does, but sounds like it's a core part of your being. What clothes you wear won't be the problem, it's your massive ego that thinks you truly deserve to wear them. You add zero value to society compared to your doctor parents. Don't be a knob and waltz about like you're better than everyone.

"people stare at me" , "black hand made quality oxfords ... I am old school that way" "women who find reasons to bump into you or strike conversation"

You are such an unconscious braggadocio, I really recommend you work on this personality flaw. Someone tells you don't worry, nobody will notice your suit and you insist that "the quality will definitely stand out" ... mate if you're "standing out" in Canary Wharf you are far too overdressed.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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Mar 28, 2019 - 6:08pm
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Clearly WSO is not the place for any meaningful conversation about different aspect of work in the financial services industry.

In answer to my own question, I conclude that it is probably a good idea to present as well as possible for your upcoming interview, and the cloths you wear is an important part of the package.

I don't really think it matters how expensive your suit is, as long as it fits well, is conservative and is in keeping with the culture of the firm and you feel confident wearing it. You might want to go for higher gloss if you are interviewing for a front office role like IBD, or Sales.

But most importantly, be yourself and let your personality shine through. Including your quirky idiosyncrasies.

Bye folks.

Mar 29, 2019 - 5:18pm
WardrobeEssentialist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree on fit and general fabric quality, but depending on the firm "let your personality shine through. Including your quirky idiosyncrasies" may actually be TERRIBLE advice.

Many firms take Cultural Fit very seriously, and their clients often have very clear expectations for how they expect a high-priced banker to behave. Quirky idiosyncrasies may be endearing if I'm hiring Deepmind to build an AI platform for my business, but I want predictably rational guys providing professional services.

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Mar 29, 2019 - 6:07pm
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:
WardrobeEssentialist:
Agree on fit and general fabric quality, but depending on the firm "let your personality shine through. Including your quirky idiosyncrasies" may actually be TERRIBLE advice.

Many firms take Cultural Fit very seriously, and their clients often have very clear expectations for how they expect a high-priced banker to behave. Quirky idiosyncrasies may be endearing if I'm hiring Deepmind to build an AI platform for my business, but I want predictably rational guys providing professional services.

Thanks for that post it is very useful. I think the topic went a bit off tangent as sometimes happens on forums. I'm gonna see how things play in the meet and greets and make a decision on whether to go cheaper for the interview based on the feedback.

Mar 29, 2019 - 6:29pm
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:
WardrobeEssentialist:
Agree on fit and general fabric quality, but depending on the firm "let your personality shine through. Including your quirky idiosyncrasies" may actually be TERRIBLE advice.

Many firms take Cultural Fit very seriously, and their clients often have very clear expectations for how they expect a high-priced banker to behave. Quirky idiosyncrasies may be endearing if I'm hiring Deepmind to build an AI platform for my business, but I want predictably rational guys providing professional services.

I think you might right. I that case if you are a quirky geek, it might be advisable to go down the quant or similar route rather than the IBD, Sales or relationship side.

Mar 29, 2019 - 12:22pm
williamthesnake, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're giving your interviewers too much credit. Unless you walk into the interview room with a price tag on your suit, I doubt anyone would know the difference between a £450 vs £2,000 suit. The vast vast majority of people are not fashion aficionados and the chances of someone being able to price your suit are slim to nil. Really, you're overthinking something that nobody will notice.

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Mar 29, 2019 - 6:32pm
euwechue, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 15, 2020 - 12:14am
Incoming cfa level 1 charterholder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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