Appropriate Attire for Company Visit

babaganooosh's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 13

I am currently a first year university student. I got selected to go on a trip to NYC to visit investment banks and network. I only have a plaid navy suit. I've had it for a year, and I got it tailored. Would this be appropriate?

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Comments (17)

Jan 1, 2019

A blue suit and gray suit are should get one or both as soon as possible and also get them tailored. Much more conservative. The plaid suit may be fine but a gray or blue suit with a white or light blue shirt and black or brown oxfords (with matching leather belt) is definitely appropriate.

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Jan 1, 2019

Agree that navy and charcoal are the conservative basics for NY finance. For shirts, can't go wrong with a white spread collar shirt that fits you well: in more conservative offices, you will see white 2/3 of the time, so might want to stock up. For more detail on the top shirt choices of senior finance executives, see here

Jan 4, 2019

why spread collar? just curious

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

Jan 4, 2019

To establish the "facts on the ground" of what senior guys actually wear in Finance, I reviewed the annual report photos of top executives at S&P 500 banks and brokerage houses. Spread collars are considered more formal than buttoned down, so it didn't surprise me that ~75% of the execs wore spread collars.

Some older guys like Charles Schwab still wear the point collars that were in style when they started their careers.

If you're interested, you can read the entire post here, including charts on color and pattern.

Jan 4, 2019

Does this hold true for informational interview attire as well? Should you shoot for attire similar to the person you're meeting with (assuming you know what they will likely wear) or try to aim for one professional level above? I've heard both, would love to hear opinions.

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Jan 4, 2019

I'm guessing people are responding specifically to "a trip to NYC to visit investment banks and network."

As a general rule, I try to understand the dress code of the person I'm meeting, and then target "one level above" for two reasons:
1) most people who've worked in more formal settings view this as a sign of respect
2) it's easy to take off a jacket/tie if it's clear you've over-shot on the formal side.

If you mis-read the setting and come in less formally dressed, your host may think less of you, and it's harder to adjust.

Jan 4, 2019

Much appreciated!

Jan 2, 2019

You should have a bag you bring with you that contains Patagonia Vests and banker bags for the various firms you're visiting. They'll really appreciate how prepared you are!

Jan 3, 2019

Let's hope the OP has a finely tuned sense of irony.

Jan 3, 2019

I'd like to think I do :)

Jan 3, 2019

Plaid is a no-go. Get navy or charcoal. Doesn't have to be expensive. We joke about mens wearhouse and joseph a bank, but they're honestly fine.

Jan 3, 2019


Jan 3, 2019

Thank you all for the advice!

Jan 4, 2019

Keep it simple: solid navy / gray suit, white shirt, solid tie, lace-up shoes (not wing-tip with those dotted holes on them).

Absolutely no cuff-links.

No tie bar and pocket square either in my view.

Jan 4, 2019

Let's assume he will keep the jacket on during the visit. Would this change your "absolutely no cuff links" edict?

Jan 4, 2019

Also take a leather padfolio; it doesn't hurt being prepared

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

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Jan 4, 2019

"It is not our circumstance that controls us, but our thoughts that control our circumstance." -James Allen