Comments (16)

Dec 23, 2021 - 9:54pm

I would get the Navy stripe. It's a little more formal. I think the light blue(that doesn't actually look navy to me) could come off as too casual. I'd prefer erring on the side of formality.

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Dec 23, 2021 - 10:43pm

Congrats on the role -- few thoughts as someone who has sat through a large range of NYC banker meetings over the last ~10 years:

I wouldn't get the 2nd one as the color is a bit too loud for the most formal meetings you might be brought into. Also with the 1st, would advise against suits with stripes (despite how subtle these are), stripes are generally out of style but this feels like more of a older person's suit than a starting banker.

This is presumably your first proper work suit and should be the foundation of your wardrobe -- I would suggest getting the safest color, i.e., dark navy no patterns (then from there you can stray with lighter colors / patterns if you choose). Stripes become problematic when the stripe suit's pants rips eventually and now you have a jacket that won't ever match with anything (due to the stripes) vs. dark navy you can get away with other similar dark navy replacement pants.

Suitsupply has a special fabric program (forget actual naming but believe it's something called NOOS or something "never out of season"??) these fabrics they will hold in stock forever and thus when your pants eventually rip before your jacket you can have the pants replaced (as your jacket will always outlast your pants and you don't want them to tell you they don't carry the fabric anymore / can't replace it).

This one looks good: https://suitsupply.com/en-us/men/suits/navy-lazio-suit/C3778I-S.html << note the description for the suit praises the versatility for any occasion this is what you want vs. the pinstripe one you'll see the description just says it's a pinstripe suit (some will say pinstripes are coming back -- no one at my office would -- but again you want the safest suit you can get if it's your first).

My thoughts though I'm sure some may disagree. 

  • Business School in IB - Cov
Dec 24, 2021 - 12:00am

At what point can one start branching outside of standard navy and charcoal? Similar to OP, always been tempted to get a lighter blue suit, or a subtle check print blazer for Fridays.

Also, can I wear nice loafers if I haven't closed any deals? Don't want to look like a try hard but I really like some of these designer sleds I'm seeing.

Will be a post mba associate…Thank you.

Dec 24, 2021 - 11:19pm

The above advice was really geared for a starting analyst -- the logic being you are going to almost always be the most junior person in the room so you don't want to draw too much attention to yourself (you could aim to stand out with helpful commentary / questions but not by being the only one in the room with a bright blue suit while everyone else is navy). You're also going to have a more limited wardrobe so you wouldn't want to get something that wouldn't be versatile enough for everything you may need it for e.g., a serious board room (board members will probably be business casual but all the bankers / co-advisors usually in dark navy / full ties) vs. also casual meetings with PE folks (who generally dress more casually in meetings no ties). 

As an associate in NYC, I think most of this usually doesn't really apply -- you'll generally have had prior work experience / gone to bschool so you'll have understood appropriate business fashion longer (vs. an analyst direct out of college usually can sometimes make some missteps which are noticed by a partner / MD given less experience in corporate environment outside of internship) so folks generally won't easily question an associate's fashion choices. As it relates to the specific items you had listed, I can't think of any specific reason why an associate couldn't pull off a lighter blue suit (if it's like the one OP linked), Friday blazer, or buckled Ferragamo / Gucci loafers as I've seen numerous associates wearing stuff like this around the office, including myself when I was a new A2A. For meetings I personally prefer to stick to the solid navy suit (I am a VP now) and cap toes as that's what most of my partners / MDs typically wear and I don't want my clothing to be louder than whatever they may be wearing in front of client -- wouldn't wear / advise a light blue suit but blazer could work if it's a more casual luncheon or on a Friday really kind of depends. 

Specifically on buckled loafers as that might be closest to a gray area -- my personal preference is to wear the ones with no bits or black bits so they aren't as loud. If you have any doubts with wearing loafers this will help reduce any concerns you have with people noticing. Calling it a "sled" might be what causes a coworker to think of someone as a try-hard ;] (just kidding)

I'm sure some may disagree with my personal opinions but really no hard rules with banker fashion -- It's a matter of how confidently you wear it. Have seen a first year analyst rock silver bit ferragamos but he was very competent so don't think anyone cared. Ultimately, given the variance between offices, I would just advise dressing conservatively until you've seen what folks around you / at your level are wearing and start branching out from there. Nothing you suggested wouldn't work for an associate at my firm though.

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Dec 23, 2021 - 11:21pm

I wouldn't get the second one just yet. I wear one like that (maybe a tad darker), but I'm in the south atm, and it's a lot more acceptable here. 

  • VP in PE - LBOs
Dec 27, 2021 - 1:10am

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