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4/5/11

After a 2 months pause, Levered Hedge is back. Recruiting is pretty much all over and focus has turned to preparing for summer internships. One of the main concerns of every intern is in the attire arena, as for many this may be the first time you have to dress for a business environment for an extended period of time. This article breaks down everything you need to buy before the start of the internship, as well as useful things to keep in mind during the internship. The post is broken down into sections by articles of clothing, and within each section there are pre internship and during internship tips. A lot of the info might seem a bit basic, but it has to be said as there are way too many mistakes made by interns.

One thing that I will say for everything, do not be fooled by brand names. The most important thing is fit. If you have the money and want to go for a brand name wardrobe then by all means go for it, just remember no one is impressed with a 20 year old wearing a Zegna suit and showing it off.

Throughout the article I will refer to the "Main Rules". This is the following:

Main Rule 1: If you keep having double thoughts about something, then don't wear it.
Main Rule 2: Impressions are everything as an intern.
Main Rule 3: As long as you are not standing out, people don't really care about you.

Suits
Color: Navy or charcoal. Do not wear a black suit or something overly light unless you are 100% sure that you can pull it off (think Main Rule 1)
Single breasted only. Unless you are 50+ or your name is Trichet, you cannot pull off a double breasted suit. It would be out of place even in an investment banking role, let alone in S&T.
Try to look for lighter fabrics. If you are in London or NYC, the summer gets hot, and food runs will be done over the hottest part of the day. When you are going from restaurant to restaurant in the heat you want to be in a cooler fabric to prevent from overheating.
Once you buy any suit, go to a tailor and he will make it fit perfectly, this is crucial to getting a good fit.
Quantity: despite the fact that you will not be wearing a suit 90% of the time in S&T, you want to have a minimum of 2 suits. This is because there might be times when you need suits 2 days in a row and if something happens to one then it is good to have a reserve.
TOP TIP: buy 2 suits each with 2 pairs of trousers. This way you have 4 pairs of trousers that you can rotate and always have a matching suit jacket. Then leave your 2 suit jackets at the office, and if you need it then you can simply take the matching jacket.

Shirts
Different people have different views on this, but as long as your shirt fits properly, has long sleeves, and isn't a brash pattern or color then you are fine. Some people will say that you should only wear white or light blue shirts but no one cares that much. Make sure to not wear anything that is overly dark.
Please, please, please do not wear short sleeve dress shirts, you are not a bus driver.
There are various directions you can go in in terms of brand. If you are on a budget Marks and Spencers/TM Lewin/Charles Twyrhitt are a good place to start and always have sales on. If you are looking to invest a little bit more than you can go Thomas Pink or Made To Measure, all the way up to bespoke or Turnbull and Asser for the top of the range. Honestly, no one really cares what you are wearing as long as you look professional, and for some people no amount of money will buy style. Personally, I went down the TM Lewin route and decided to invest once I started on a grad program.
When you buy white shirts, for the sake of everyone buy some of the thicker weave ones (ie royal oxford) or wear an undershirt. No one likes to see your nipples.
If you want to go down the Made to Measure route, there are some good ones. I can vouch for tailorstore.co.uk, received my shirt in less than 4 weeks and it fit perfectly. They also have cheap sample fabrics you can order. If you decide to try it out, order one as a sample and then go from there.
Quantity: I would advise a minimum of 10 shirts (ie 3 white, 3 blue, 4 other). You do not want to be scrambling for shirts or re wearing any because you didn't have time to do laundry or do your dry cleaning.
TOP TIP: keep a spare white shirt in the office at all times. Trust me, you never know when you will spill chocolate milk on your shirt :P

Shoes
Disclaimer: I am a huge loafer fan and I am not afraid to wear loafers with suits. Keep in mind that some may look at this as a fashion faux pas. On the trading floor, since you rarely have to wear a suit, loafers are standard attire for many traders and sales people. As long as your belt and shoes match and the shoes aren't something that stands out, then you are fine. No one cares about you as an intern to care that much.
TOP TIP: get some shoe trees and try to alternate shoes so that you do not wear two pairs in a row. This will prevent them from starting to smell of feet. Also make sure to get them shined every couple of days.

Ties
In S&T, unless you end up on a desk where the culture is somewhat formal (Nomura), then you will need one tie. Find a tie that matches most of your shirts and just keep it at the office. The only times you will need a tie is if you are going to a meeting with a client. This is what most people working do. Apart from the first day of the internship, I did not wear a tie once over the entire summer and still haven't.
Make sure to buy a quality tie, silk woven and be prepared to pay close to a 100 USD. Do not buy a Hermes tie that is so obnoxious because it will get you laughed at. You can go for brands just not the ones where its blatantly obvious (ie Hermes).

Belts
Your belt NEEDS to match the color of your shoes. Black with black and brown with brown. Also stay away from the big H hermes belts. You may think you look all cool but you really don't. It will never do you good and can only hurt you as it may rub some people the wrong way. Remember Main Rule 2.

Socks
Color of socks needs to match the color of the suit pants.
Go to any big department store and grab 10 pairs of black socks and 10 pairs of blue socks (assuming you have both black and blue suit pants).

Undershirts
Undershirts are a personal preference and depend largely on how much you sweat. If you find that sweat stains develop very easily then put on a light undershirt.
V Necks only, a crew neck under a dress shirt just looks sloppy.
TOP TIP: make sure to get undershirts that are long enough if you are going to wear them. If they are too short they will come untucked and result in a huge amount of bunching above the belt.

Casual Friday
If your office has a casual Friday, then make sure to ease into it. Do not wear jeans your first Friday. I would always say to let one intern make the jump first and then see the reaction. At the end of the internship, most interns were in jeans on a Friday (actually, interestingly you could see who was confident of getting an offer based on whether they were wearing jeans on the last week or not).

FINAL LIST OF THINGS YOU NEED
2x suit
4x suit trouser (2 for each suit)
5x undershirt
10x dress shirt
10x pairs of socks
2x belt
2x shoes
1x tie

Comments (354)

4/5/11

Eh, don't even bother with a suit for everyday use unless you work at DB or something. Maybe the first day to evaluate the culture or when doing presentations, but for the most part you'd look more out of place with one than without.

Jack: They're all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

Financial Modeling

4/5/11

Thanks for the tips! Although, I believe that in China/Taiwan, and possibly HK too, short-sleeve dress shirts are acceptable and not uncommon (I know 99% of people reading this will be working in the U.S., but just saying).

4/6/11
asiamoney:

Thanks for the tips! Although, I believe that in China/Taiwan, and possibly HK too, short-sleeve dress shirts are acceptable and not uncommon (I know 99% of people reading this will be working in the U.S., but just saying).

Thats fair enough. I just remember seeing some interns wear them and it was just ridiculous.

4/5/11

Thank you sir.. Mind if I ask where you purchased your suits? and the 2 pairs of pants with each suit is genius

"Major in economics; use your economics degree to get an analyst job on Wall Street; use your analyst job to get into Harvard or Stanford Business School; and worry about the rest of your life later"

4/6/11
teddy brosevelt:

Thank you sir.. Mind if I ask where you purchased your suits? and the 2 pairs of pants with each suit is genius

My intern suits were TM Lewin, but they were horrible. I fell right in between sizing on the pants so I had to choose between very tight euro trousers or very baggy ones. A weird hole also developed like 3 weeks in. I really wouldnt recommend their suits.

For grad I just got some bespoke suits as a graduation gift. Personally, if you can find some cheaper bespoke (if you live in asia or eastern europe), its the way to go.

4/5/11

I'm a freshman working in PWM and I'll need a suit and tie everyday.

4/5/11

why do we need 10 shirts?

4/5/11
ambition56:

why do we need 10 shirts?

Dry cleaning + 5 days in a week = one week at the dry cleaners and one week in your closet.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/6/11
ambition56:

why do we need 10 shirts?

When I started I was thinking I needed 5 and then just wash them/dryclean them on the weekends but trust me that is not what you want to be doing. You want at least a 2 weeks supply. I started with 5 and then ended up having to buy new shirts after work until i basically finished with ten.

4/5/11

Croata.com

high-quality european (Croatian) ties around 100 USD & up

planning on getting 3-4 myself before i start FT this summer

4/5/11
PSH2:

Croata.com

high-quality european (Croatian) ties around 100 USD & up

planning on getting 3-4 myself before i start FT this summer

Brooks brothers

4/5/11

Certainly not bad advice, but this would definitely add up to a lot more than I spent for my internship, or even when I started FT. Personally, I think you can get away with only having 1 suit (unless of course you work at a business formal place), and I wouldn't even consider spending $100 on one tie. 10 shirts is also probably a bit more than you need right off the bat . But hell if you don't mind spending the cash, this isn't bad wardrobe advice.

4/6/11

Revsly & Downtown22:

You will hardly ever wear a suit during regular things, but as an intern you never know when you can get an invite to a company presentation or networking event and its good to have a suit jacket in the office. I hardly wear a suit but keep both my suit jackets in the closets at the office. For example, at one point I remember getting an invite to a presentation of a company that was about to issue shares and all the sales and traders in the meeting put on ties.

You can probably get away with one, but I have a knack of spilling stuff on me so for me personally two is better.

4/6/11

We need one of these for females... Most of the discussions for female attire were limited to IBD...

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

4/7/11

this post is great, I agree with most of it but why is Nomura S&T an example of formal, its bus casual and barely anyone has a suit on unless you are sales.

4/7/11
kahuna4637:

this post is great, I agree with most of it but why is Nomura S&T an example of formal, its bus casual and barely anyone has a suit on unless you are sales.

Probably depends on the country/office, etc... As far as I know, Barclays is the only floor in NYC that is business formal.

4/7/11

Lol someone needs to find the 43 Page UBS Dress Code and post the pdf here this thread is far too serious.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

4/7/11
6/9/15

why is Nomura considered stricter dressing? Can you please explain further

6/16/15

Sounds like these interns have a rough day. I prefer working in a marketing firm where I can come dressed in my PJs if I wanted :P

3/14/16

Do you prefer making 60k instead of 120k+?

4/11/16

How about girls?

2/19/17

This, exactly. Girls have it so much tougher - you can't buy three suits, you need to show variety.

2/19/17

No dont wear a tie on a trading floor if noone does. I remember an intern that did that and people noticed it. Keep a tie in the drawer for any potential meetings, but absolute max go shirt and suit (no tie), thats as formal as you should go.

2/19/17

Drop the tie first day. If a floor is business casual typically only big dogs wear ties (i.e. MDs, Head of Desks bla bla)... you don't want to draw the comparison. And people will notice.

2/19/17

Do as the desk does, if you see ties then wear ties otherwise drop the tie after the first day or two, it shows you pick on on things and are a team player. You do not want to be the nerd who looks like he's trying to impress the boss, and at the same time don't go too far in the opposite direction and look like a slob. I think the message here is let your work speak for you not superficial stuff.

2/19/17

pick on on = pick up on*

2/19/17

Why don't you just ask (via email) HR or your rotation manager? That's what I did. They said suit and tie, jacket optional.

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

2/19/17

Formal dress and pant would do fine!

2/19/17

double breasted tux w/tails or gtfo.

in all seriousness, agree with @"derivstrading"

"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

"The investor's chief problem - and even his worst enemy - is likely to be himself." - Benjamin Graham

2/19/17

I wore a tie during my S&T internship, and I received an FT offer. I saw it as a sign of respect towards my superiors. I was asked about it once or twice, and people seemed to be ok with that explanation. Besides, you'll have plenty of presentations/meetings with MDs, heads of desks, etc. and you don't want to look like a slob. I also thought it was a bit funny that some people tied and untied their ties 4 times a day for client meetings. You might as well wear it the entire day and save some time.

Anyway, as long as you make sure you do excellent work and are likeable you should be fine either way. People usually aren't so narrow minded that an offer depends on a small piece of silk. Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable, as long as it is within reason. Wear plain navy/charcoal/mid grey suits, white or light blue shirts and polished black cap toe oxfords, it's not rocket science.

2/19/17

Current Intern here - I wear dress shirt and pants every day, no tie or jacket. All my bosses wear jacket no tie. I will only where a tie if there is a big company event or something like that. It sucks feeling inferior to our IB intern counterparts who get to wears suits every day!

2/19/17

What I told my interns:
-Wear a suit
-Wear a dress shirt (90s fit and colors are a no-go)
-No ties or bowties, keep that somewhere at your desk.
-Take your jacket off when seated at your desk

When in doubt; If Gordon Gekko or Jordan Belfort wore it, then it is a no.

CNBC sucks

"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

2/19/17

At a top BB. I usually just wear slacks/dress shirt and loafers. I keep a jacket/tie and a vest at my desk. Don't over think it, avoid wearing horsebits/crazy socks. Also just ask your manager.

"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."

-John D. Rockefeller

2/19/17

Do as your desk does...that simple

2/19/17

Full suits during full-business days in your program (usually the first day and a few others). Shirt and tie for the other days. Stay away from the following:

Really nice or showy cufflinks
Slick, dark, or super-aggressive shirts/slacks
Trendy or super-shiny shoes.

Other than that, you can't go wrong.

2/19/17
Mis Ind:

Full suits during full-business days in your program (usually the first day and a few others). Shirt and tie for the other days. Stay away from the following:

Really nice or showy cufflinks
Slick, dark, or super-aggressive shirts/slacks
Trendy or super-shiny shoes.

Other than that, you can't go wrong.

do very many people wear french cuffs? i get the sense that it's not exactly the type of shirt to wear when you're just sporting a shirt and tie without a jacket

2/19/17

What about for females?

2/19/17

All of this depends on the firm. Some firms are bus professional (suit and tie) while others are bus cas (no tie and no jacket).

2/19/17

Thanks for the help. The office I'm going to is more casual but still professional, so is it okay to wear french cuff shirts without a suit coat? And does anyone have any tips on where to buy some good clothes for an internship?

2/19/17

I am wearing a french cuff shirt w/ jeans at work right now. You'll be fine.

Go hit www.ctshirts.com when they have a sale. good off the rack shirts.

2/19/17

Pink's the colour in IB. When I was an intern I honestly wore pink Versace shirts, Tiffany cuffs, zenga suit, valentino pointy shoes with a patch of leather at the back. And I got an offer. I could just sense the offer because I was a gun, at least relative to the interns who didn't get offers. No one gave a damn what a wore.

So... no need to try to tone down yourself. I would disrespect you for trying too hard. Just do your job and get it done well.

2/19/17

Sigh. Those damn pink shirts again. Why?

2/19/17
aadpepsi:

Sigh. Those damn pink shirts again. Why?

There is nothing wrong with pastel colors. Sort of a prep look. Pink WAS a classy color until recently when every dumbfuck public high schooler from here to Los Angeles started wearing hot pink polos.

2/19/17
zala rules:
aadpepsi:

Sigh. Those damn pink shirts again. Why?

There is nothing wrong with pastel colors. Sort of a prep look. Pink WAS a classy color until recently when every dumbfuck public high schooler from here to Los Angeles started wearing hot pink polos.

Yep - always a trad/WASP staple until the whole trend started. Now, its just another color IMO.

2/19/17

Notice his spelling of the world "colour"? Beg your pardon, Aad, but it's the damn British men and their absurd fashion sense. Pink shirts, yellow ties... or yellow shirts, pink ties (which I have also seen). This is not a good thing.

2/19/17
Mis Ind:

Notice his spelling of the world "colour"? Beg your pardon, Aad, but it's the damn British men and their absurd fashion sense. Pink shirts, yellow ties... or yellow shirts, pink ties (which I have also seen). This is not a good thing.

I disagree. A great outfit for a Friday in the summer is a nice khaki cotton (maybe linen) suit with a pink shirt and a beige tie with an off white pocket square (in a puff), paired with chestnut loafers. Regardless, the man must wear the clothes instead of the clothes wearing the man.

No offense, but I've seen too many women attempt to advise men on fashion, and they end up looking like clowns - pink shirt, pink tie or black shirt with red tie. I wouldn't advise women on their clothing.

Navy suit with pink shirt, red or brown or blue tie works usually.

2/19/17
Mis Ind:

Notice his spelling of the world "colour"? Beg your pardon, Aad, but it's the damn British men and their absurd fashion sense. Pink shirts, yellow ties... or yellow shirts, pink ties (which I have also seen). This is not a good thing.

Don't believe me!! Take the advice of this guy.... dress like an auditor at big 4.

2/19/17

Anyone else have some good links we could all browse? That ctshirts.com link was solid, thanks exGSbanker

2/19/17
brackmdj:

Anyone else have some good links we could all browse? That ctshirts.com link was solid, thanks exGSbanker

Two of the best websites to browse:

ebay (know your measurements)

and

sierratradingpost.com

I picked up an Isaia for under $500 on STP, ticketed at $2500. Great quality suits IMO.

2/19/17

I agree, this is not a good thing. I don't like pink shirts on men. Not at all. Tsk tsk..

Mis Ind... if only more people thought like us... there would be world peace :-)

2/19/17

i always thought banana republic made nice clothes

do bankers really look down on banana that much?

honestly, i don't think clothes are very important, as long as you don't look like a jackass.

how much do you guys spend on average for shirts and pants?

what brands?

2/19/17

When I was a summer, I tried to strike a balance between not looking like I ran the place and not looking like I bought my suit at Walmart.

I try to stay around $40-50 for the average shirt in my wardrobe, and maybe spend more for a few nicer shirts.

2/19/17

I failed to mention that the shirt I'm wearing is pink with blue/white stripes...

2/19/17

Doesn't anyone believe in gender color boundaries anymore?

2/19/17

to all: please learn how to dress yourselves and stop looking to online forums for advice.

2/19/17
coupdetat:

to all: please learn how to dress yourselves and stop looking to online forums for advice.

Well, maybe people are looking for advice in order to learn how to dress on forums where people have experienced the i-banking environment. Ever think about that? Not everyone can afford hiring a stylist or going through 100 shirts to learn how to dress. In fact some people don't have taste, that's why they seek other advice. I fucking hate it when people don't help, but instead cricize and flame the posters. If you don't have anything worth saying, don't say anything...

2/19/17

definitely try to match up with the latest Victoria Secret fashion show. You will be extended a full time offer on the trading floor.

2/19/17

Except maybe without the large wings though, might get in the way at the trading desk

2/19/17

or learn how to walk on top of LCD monitors.

Financial Modeling

Best Response
2/19/17

Definitely better to over dress than under dress. Removing your jacket, tie and top button = suddenly business casual.

2/19/17

Suit and tie. Unless you work in tech you can never go wrong with business formal.

2/19/17

always full suit on first day, after that do whatever is normal around the office

2/19/17

conservative

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

2/19/17

Suit up! Go for conservative colors, nothing flashy

2/19/17

tank top and jorts.

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

2/19/17

You win! Jorts it is.

2/19/17

The business casual of the construction/ landscaping industries

2/19/17

TonyPerkis:

tank top and jorts.

Don't forget the crocs

2/19/17

When I got my first internship, I called my manager-to-be and asked about the office dress code. It's also a great way to have another touch-point with your future supervisor and can lead to further information about what to expect on your first day (generally eases the nerves).

Sucked though because I found out it was business formal and the only suit I owned was a black one from like Burlington Coat Factory and shiny black Sketchers from high school homecoming.

Nothing short of everything will really do.

2/19/17

Honestly, you can never go wrong with a nice suit and tie on the first day. Or any day for that matter. Just be smart about it and keep it simple. No contrast collar shirts and no suspenders.

2/19/17

Always wear a suit a tie on the first day regardless of what they tell you. You'd rather be known as the guy who overdressed than the one who showed up in jean and a hoodie. Goes a long way to let people know that you're serious about what you're doing. That said i wouldnt recommend wearing a 3-piece suit and a bowtie (unless you'll be working as a clown).

2/19/17

or if your name is scruff mcgruff

take a lap

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

2/19/17

But i'm feeling skinny Tony!

2/19/17

If you're in a business casual environment, just wear business casual. My friend made the mistake of wearing a suite and was forever known as "the [stuck-up] guy who wore a full suit to work." They're not trying to trick you when they are telling you it's business casual M-Th.

2/19/17

Can guarantee that nickname didn't stick on your friend just because he wore a suit/tie the first day...

2/19/17

No turtle necks.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.

2/19/17

Interesting that they mentioned keeping business professional in the office at all times. My solution: Wear a suit, and once you get there and get a feel take the tie and the jacket off. You've know killed two birds with one stone for at least the first day, then you can get a feel for everything else.

Overall, I have a tendency towards overdressing initially because it's always better to be known for that rather than rolling around in khakis when everyone else is wearing slacks and a tie. Yeah, you might get ripped on but people will notice it.

2/19/17

intern should wear suit and tie on first day (to me), suit without tie can be deece on first day once you been in the game and have resume + credibility

agree, no contrast collars, no novelty cuff links (maybe silk knots if not too wild)

also, enjoy yourself, not many days will be that fun!

2/19/17

A "Big Johnson" T-Shirt to go with your jorts is also a nice touch. It really screams professionalism!

2/19/17

A black, long sleeve half turtle neck shirt tucked into jeans (belt optional) and gray sneakers.

Alright, Alright, Alright...

2/19/17

iSlicedBread:

A black, long sleeve half turtle neck shirt tucked into jeans (belt optional) and gray sneakers.

This is a well-proven method for advancing quickly.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

2/19/17

Company policy can be business casual but your group's MD / directors may have their own opinion on how they prefer their analysts should dress. As mentioned previously, always stir on the side of conservatism and once you're more established imitate the FT analysts.

2/19/17

Even if you know that the dress code is business casual, always wear a suit on the first day.

2/19/17

Can't go wrong with 2 white & blue shirts, they'll go with literally anything you have.

2/19/17

I'm planning on 3 suits. Jos A Bank. They look good and fit pretty well.

2/19/17
2/19/17

Shades of blue

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

2/19/17

conservative colors. navy, dark grey, maybe black or dark brown

2/19/17

bluegold:
conservative colors. navy, dark grey, maybe black or dark brown

Yes, if you mean charcoal yes, fuck no, fuck no.

MM IB -> TMT Corporate Development

2/19/17

Thanks for all the responses guys. In terms of brands, what do you think I should go for? I'd like to spend between $500-1000 on each suit, and maybe around $75 (flexible somewhat) for shirts.

dollas

2/19/17

boobielover:
Thanks for all the responses guys. In terms of brands, what do you think I should go for? I'd like to spend between $500-1000 on each suit, and maybe around $75 (flexible somewhat) for shirts.

For shirts, Charles Tyrwhitt is good quality at that price point. They do a 4 for $200 deal too. Can't speak to their suits, but they're also at that price point. Could be decent. http://www.ctshirts.com

2/19/17

Are you in IBD? I will be very frank and recommend overstocking on shirts. As a summer, you want to be the first one into the office and the last to leave ... disregarding facetime, you should be in early because you want to learn and leave only when you've asked people what else you can do to help them.

That means you won't have time to get to the dry cleaner or the store, and the last thing you want to do is put on your tenth and last clean shirt and not know what you're going to do the next day. Get more shirts, socks, and underwear than you think you'd ever need. When you come back a year later after senior year, it's not like you won't still need shirts for work.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

2/19/17

Absolutely do not get black. Unless you're going to a funeral.

2/19/17

Charles Tyrwhitt shirts and Indochino suits (http://www.indochino.com/Suits) are the general rule of thumb for summer analysts and new full-time hires. I have both and really like them for the price.

2/19/17

Brooks Brothers Slim Fit or Extra Slim Fit shirts. You can pick them up for $79 at regular retail, or wait until the first to third week of June where their Semi-Annual Sale comes back. They are 40% off if you buy 4 or more.

Forget Charles Tyrwhitt. There's a reason they run "sales" year-round. If you want to save a buck, go pick up a dozen from them at $44 a pop. If you want to reach a bit beyond $75, look at Thomas Pink.

If that is your price range for suits, you could very easily go MTM or bespoke and get far better construction and fit than buying OTR and getting tailored. If you do want to go OTR (off the rack), look at Suit Supply, Hugo Boss, and the other usual suspects. If you want to go made-to-measure, check out MySuit; their entry-level fabrics are $495 (so a suit will run you $544 after tax) but you can get nicer ones into the four-figure range. You can also check out Mohan Tailors, he always has a new deal out every few months based on his fabric inventory. Franco Ercole is a little beyond your budget, almost all of his stuff runs nearly $2,000 to start. You could also look into St. Laurie; I have no personal experience there but a man whose sartorialism I respect has commissioned four suits from them over the past decade.

Also, realize that all this is purely for your summer analyst role. If you have the money to afford things like this, by all means, splurge. For 10 weeks though, your focus should be on your work product. Wait until you've received and signed a full-time offer before you start dropping dollar on clothing. Even then, maximize your dollar value and make wise purchases rather than impulse ones; every single one of these retailers has various sales timed throughout the year, you can literally stretch your dollar twice as far if you develop a relationship with the salespeople or proprietors of these stores.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

2/19/17

APAE:
Brooks Brothers Slim Fit or Extra Slim Fit shirts. You can pick them up for $79 at regular retail, or wait until the first to third week of June where their Semi-Annual Sale comes back. They are 40% off if you buy 4 or more.

Forget Charles Tyrwhitt. There's a reason they run "sales" year-round. If you want to save a buck, go pick up a dozen from them at $44 a pop. If you want to reach a bit beyond $75, look at Thomas Pink.

If that is your price range for suits, you could very easily go MTM or bespoke and get far better construction and fit than buying OTR and getting tailored. If you do want to go OTR (off the rack), look at Suit Supply, Hugo Boss, and the other usual suspects. If you want to go made-to-measure, check out MySuit; their entry-level fabrics are $495 (so a suit will run you $544 after tax) but you can get nicer ones into the four-figure range. You can also check out Mohan Tailors, he always has a new deal out every few months based on his fabric inventory. Franco Ercole is a little beyond your budget, almost all of his stuff runs nearly $2,000 to start. You could also look into St. Laurie; I have no personal experience there but a man whose sartorialism I respect has commissioned four suits from them over the past decade.

Also, realize that all this is purely for your summer analyst role. If you have the money to afford things like this, by all means, splurge. For 10 weeks though, your focus should be on your work product. Wait until you've received and signed a full-time offer before you start dropping dollar on clothing. Even then, maximize your dollar value and make wise purchases rather than impulse ones; every single one of these retailers has various sales timed throughout the year, you can literally stretch your dollar twice as far if you develop a relationship with the salespeople or proprietors of these stores.

That helps a lot, thank you. Honestly, I think I'd rather get a couple of suits off the rack, only because I don't have the ability to drive to different stores to get anything MTM. I prefer a slim, well fitting suit, and I'd like one that lasts me a while. Generally speaking, slim fit, 2 button, flat front. Are Brooks Brothers suits the way to go here, given my price range? And which style best matches what I want (or more generally, what analysts wear)? Thanks again.

dollas

2/19/17

Oh I forgot you aren't based in New York yet. I would say your options in store are going to be either Huge Boss (they have too many different fits to keep track of) or Brooks Brothers Milano or Fitzgerald fit, depending on how broad your shoulders are. Those are their two slimmest fits, but the Milano has the advantage of having every jacket dual-vented whereas the Fitzgerald follows the trad styling and adopts the center vent. Personally, I refuse to pay their full retail value knowing I can get MTM for a lower price and enjoy nearly complete customization.

If you time the sales right, you can get Boss suits for $450 which normally retail at $800. If you wait until Brooks' Semi Annual sale, you're talking deep discounts as well (30% off, I believe).

As stated countless times on this site, keep it conservative to start: charcoal, navy, then a mid gray if you're going for a third. You can't have too many white shirts, and following that, blue (keep it light, don't be the obnoxious guy with dark blue shirts).

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

2/19/17

any good tailors in NYC?

2/19/17

One place to start is www.ctshirts.com, they have good shirts and constant sales.

Incoming Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master
Literally a problem, solve for both X and Y, please and thank you.
Hugh Myron: "Are there any guides on here for getting a top girlfriend? Think banker/lawyer/doctor. I really don't want to go mid-tier"

2/19/17

Get 3-5 suits in navy, grey, or charcoal from department or outlet stores. While you're at it, pick up like 7-10 slacks of those same colors. Others will tell you to have your suits tailored but tailored suits can cost $1500+ and requires you finding a trustworthy tailor to begin with. Also suits aren't 3D-printed onto your body so there's really no such thing as a perfectly tailored suit.

Get any shirts you want so long as they fit you well. Stick with white and light blue, maybe lavender-ish colors too if you'd prefer more variety.

Get any shoes you want so long as they don't have square toes. Probably best to stick with black and burgundy. Should also probably avoid brogues.

Get belts that match those shoes

Any dark-colored socks would do.

Dark colored ties. Bright blue and other more conservative colors are okay too, but nothing like yellow, orange, green or pink. A friend of mine who also interned at a BB said ties with animal patterns were popular in his office so maybe grab one of those too, just don't get one from Hermes or ferragamo (they're overpriced anyway).

Also don't buy cufflinks, suspenders, or pocket squares

2/19/17

Getting your suit tailored and getting a tailor-made (bespoke suit) are two completely different things. When people on this site tell you to get your suits tailored, they are referring to mostly minor alterations to an off the rack suit. These should run you at most ~$150 per suit in NYC, and will greatly improve the overall fit and look of your suits.

I second going to Charles Tyrwhitt. Try to get to one of their stores so you can try on some of their shirts and suits, both of which are good and reasonably priced, to see how they fit.

2/19/17

That's probably true but I'd still say it's money that can be saved. If you find a suit that you like but may not fit well just look elsewhere.

A friend of mine also recommended ordering custom-tailored suits from a site called cottonbrew, and it costs about $500-700 per suit.

2/19/17

Anaconda:

That's probably true but I'd still say it's money that can be saved. If you find a suit that you like but may not fit well just look elsewhere.

A friend of mine also recommended ordering custom-tailored suits from a site called cottonbrew, and it costs about $500-700 per suit.

Um, if he doesn't buy 7-10 pairs of pants (when he already has 5 suits) he can easily afford the alterations...

5 suits and 2 pairs of pants is plenty for an SA/1st year analyst.

2/19/17

Unfortunately, it's pretty rare for most people to find a suit that ticks all the boxes in terms of quality, fit, and cost right off the rack. Can you luck out? Sure. But honestly, you're going to be spending $500-600 per suit anyway so why buy something that you may not like very much or that isn't good quality just because it was the only thing you found that would fit you adequately? You might as well get something you like and factor in the (marginal) $100-150 for alterations. This way you will also have a few suits ready to go once you start a full-time gig.

Of course, if you have one of those bodies which lends itself well to off the rack formal clothing, then definitely save the money. Regarding online MTM suits, I heard good things about the better names like Inside Dragon, Black Lapel, etc. however, it's a pretty time-consuming process having the suit made for you.

2/19/17

It's up to the OP, but since he said he's definitely not rich, I'd figured he might want to save money when possible. Plus I'd find it hard to imagine that one couldn't find just 3-5 adequately fitting suits off the racks. Also ignored what I said about 7-10 pairs of slacks, I meant 7-10 total including the ones with your suits.

I want recommending buying sits online but merely staying its an option if you'd really like. But is go with buying suits off the racks and paying for alterations if you want. Just know that there is no such thing as a perfectly fitted suit and you really shouldn't be spending a lot of money on clothes, especially not as a SA. No one is going to judge you for wearing a cheap quality suit because no one is going to notice, unless they're checking in brand labels on the inside...

2/19/17

Don't do this

2/19/17

In regards to shirts, how many do you think would be an appropriate amount? Not sure how often I am going to be able to get laundry done...

2/19/17

I'd say 7-10. That may be a little too many but it is hard to know then you'll have the chance to do laundry ever.

2/19/17

Anaconda:

Get 3-5 suits in navy, grey, or charcoal from department or outlet stores. While you're at it, pick up like 7-10 slacks of those same colors. Others will tell you to have your suits tailored but tailored suits can cost $1500+ and requires you finding a trustworthy tailor to begin with. Also suits aren't 3D-printed onto your body so there's really no such thing as a perfectly tailored suit.

Get any shirts you want so long as they fit you well. Stick with white and light blue, maybe lavender-ish colors too if you'd prefer more variety.

Get any shoes you want so long as they don't have square toes. Probably best to stick with black and burgundy. Should also probably avoid brogues.

Get belts that match those shoes

Any dark-colored socks would do.

Dark colored ties. Bright blue and other more conservative colors are okay too, but nothing like yellow, orange, green or pink. A friend of mine who also interned at a BB said ties with animal patterns were popular in his office so maybe grab one of those too, just don't get one from Hermes or ferragamo (they're overpriced anyway).

Also don't buy cufflinks, suspenders, or pocket squares

lol don't buy 3-5 suits

"My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known."

2/19/17

if this is for FT, then:

3 suits - navy, charcoal, subtle pinstripe navy
shirts - white, light blue, pink. Spread collar. One cutaway collar to impress girls on dates (lol)
ties - I'd recommend Ferragamo or Hermes, but you can find some nice ties at Ralph Lauren (Black label)
shoes - Park Ave, dark brown shoes, pair of black loafers
belt - match your shoes

if its just for a summer internship:

buy all of the above but from a more budget friendly place such as CT

2/19/17

Also people on this forum will tell you to get only leather-soled shoes and if you happen to find a good deal on them, do get them. But remember, leather-soled shoes are:

-Generally more expensive
-Generally more uncomfortable
-Heavier
-Doesn't provide good traction
-Not water-proof

I think the reasoning is that leather is typically sewed on whereas rubber is glued on (A cheaper and lesser quality practice). But there are plenty of rubber-soled shoes that are sewed on as well.

Feel free to get what you want but since you appear to be on a somewhat tight budget, I'd figure you want to save up when possible. Truthfully, no one will notice unless they actually ask to see the soles of your shoes.

2/19/17

OP, do not listen to Anaconda. I definitely agree with what others have posted regarding sites like Black Lapel, Dragon Inside, etc. (I especially like BL). At minimum, you'll probably spend $500 for an OTR suit at a department store, so spend $500-700/suit at BL and get a better quality suit that actually fits you. You definitely have enough time to do this; I know BL takes about 4 weeks to deliver.

Regarding shoes, do yourself a favor and don't get anything worse than Allen Edmonds. Any cheaper and the shoes won't last nearly as long, causing you to spend more money in the long run replacing them.

Depending on how much you want to spend on dress shirts, you can go to places like CT or you can also get them for not that much money from BL.

2/19/17

OUR suits cost about $200 minimum; if you want it fitted it'll cost probably another $100 or so, but if you have time, which you should, you'll find an OTR suit that fits well enough.

If you want a pair of Allen Edmonds go ahead but even the cheapest pair cost like $150.

OP; you don't have to listen to me at all but seeing as how you're just a SA and made it clear you're on a somewhat right budget is figure you'd want to save up wherever you can.

2/19/17

Most quality suits come with unfinished pants so that you can choose your break. Fit is far more important than brand so the OP should absolutely use a tailor. Well worth the cost.

2/19/17

I would keep the following in mind:

1) Worry about the fit more than anything (in shirts/pants/suits). You might find a great deal on a Zegna shirt, but if it doesn't fit well, it will look terrible. No one can really tell what brand you are wearing,etc, but it is very clear when clothes don't fit you. For shirts and suits, worry about the way it fits you. If you are a slim person, look for relatively slim fitting shirts (so that you aren't swimming in fabric, and the opposite if you aren't so slim, tight shirts can look rough...). Same thing for the suits, definitely get them tailored. I was in a wedding once where the groom wanted everyone to wear the same suit, it wasn't a very expensive suit (~$400) but after ~$100-150 in tailoring it looked great, still wear it, especially when I need a more "rugged" suit that I don't care about potentially getting dirty/etc.

2) For shoes, go for conservative shoes, rubber soles will last longer, don't need anything too expensive, would avoid the "clunky" look. Probably avoid to loafers, as they won't be as versatile (i.e. difficult to wear with suit)

3) As for where to buy, CT is decent for the price point, you can occasionally get hugo boss shirts for ~$50, as well as some brooks brothers shirts. Other options are some of the department stores during sales (or a place like Nordstrom Rack).

2/19/17

Rule of thumb is that a workhorse suit in S100 - S120 probably lasts you 75-100 wears, depending on how often you get it cleaned, and and how hard you're wearing it. Pants usually go first, for obvious reasons. Finer and lighter fabrics = less wears.

So If you buy 3 suits around S110, you can expect to get 225-300 wears, before they really start to look worn. During college my work suits at a menswear store would last for one season, and I wore each suit about 100 times before they'd start to get serious wear and tear under the arms, in crotch, elbows, and other stuff. These were S130 wool suits made by Isaia...

In the 500$ range, there's lots of decent stuff. Ralph Lauren on Sale, Brooks Brothers, some Asian made suits in full -canvass, the names escape me now. I'll make a list for you later.

3x500$ = 1500$

Slacks: Wool, should probably run you around 120$ a piece. Buy three, maybe some chinos too for casual fridays, since they're dirt cheap.

Around 450$ in total.

Shirts: TM Lewin, Charles Thyrwitt, etc. should suffice. You 3 or 5 for 100$, or what deals they usually have...buy 10 shirts. Solid white, Solid blue, subtle stripes or checks.

10 shirts = around 350$ at sales

Ties: Thetiebar has a bunch of ties for 20$-30$. They are far from awesome, but they work. Lands End sell decent ties for 50...hell, there's lots of brand new ties to be found on Ebay for 20-30 bucks, from decent makers (Canali, Corneliani, etc). Get 10.

10 x 30$ = 300$

Shoes: Not a fan of Allen Edmonds style, but they will last you for years. Maybe you find them for 300 bucks on sale, haven't really checked lately. Black Park Avenues are super safe. Other than that, check out meermin, loake, and such makers. They all make shoes in the 200-300$ range.

Two pairs should be enough to get you started.

2x 300$ = 600$

You can build a full wardrobe for around 3200$....Not too bad. One regular high-end suit alone will cost you that much in the store (Zegna, Isaia, etc.)

2/19/17

This. Well said.

Progress is impossible without change...

2/19/17

If cost is an issue just fly out to Vietnam and have their tailors make you suits for cheap. I have a friend who married a vietnamese girl he met while over sees and every year they go and get custom suits and tie made. They actually turn out really nice.

2/19/17

Banquero:

If cost is an issue just fly out to Vietnam

....

2/19/17

Oh the irony! It's only 3 grand man, just put it on the trusty credit card haha jk don't do that!

2/19/17

A wardrobe is an investment. Treat it as such.

Office:
Suits: suitsupply.com
Shirts: propercloth.com
Shoes & belts: meermin.es (20% discount on price if you order to the US)
Undershirts: Underfitshirts.com
Coats: suitsupply.com or burberry.com (expensive, but I've worn mine for 3+ years and still love it; good investment)

Casual (sweaters, socks, scarves, etc.): BergBergstore.com

2/19/17

So most BB's have gone business casual now- so I wouldn't buy more than 2 suits (you'll probably wear a suit for a few days/training). That way you can leave an emergency jacket at your desk and just own a bunch of matching slacks. Also don't buy ties for this reason. For the 2-3 ties you will actually need for the summer, do NOT spend more than $100 on a tie. I can recognize a Ferragamo or Hermes tie by its design and will think you are a douche for wearing one before your first paycheck. Tyrwhitt ties or something else, keep it budget conscious with the thought that you will probably never wear it in mind.

Here's where I got my stuff, I'm a snob when it comes to suits and shirts fitting so its all made-to-measure. My assessment is MTM is well worth the slightly-higher-than-OTR price:
Shirts: Indochino wrinkle free white, pale blue, lavender
Suits/Pants: Dragon Inside charcoal, navy, dark gray, light gray, blue (I have a more liberal office culture so I can wear light gray and blue, I don't recommend buying these colors till you see your office culture)
Ties: Miscellaneous brands, all under $50 apiece
Shoes: Jack Erwin black oxfords and loafers
Belt: Random Macy's belt that matches my shoes
Accessories: If you wear a pocket square, tie clip, or cufflinks I will (lovingly) slap you
Watch: Keep recognizable premium brands at home, I got plenty of compliments on my sub-$250 watches without seeming like a trust fund baby douche

2/19/17

Dear lord the amount of incessant garbage Anaconda posted in this thread is deserving of nothing but a series of "Throw monkey shit". Do not listen to a word he said about anything, not about leather-soled shoes being uncomfortable (seriously?), tailored vs altered vs rack suiting, etc. TackyTech's post is all you need.

No one is expecting you to look like a London top-firm lawyer, but there are minimums. You can find great workhorse suits in the $300-500 range that you then need to go have altered to fit you correctly. Match that with 10 dress shirts that you will rotate between cleaners sessions. You don't need more than one pair of additional pants per suit. You shouldn't be spending more than $30 / tie, so as per recommended, TieBar is great. Last but not least, shoes: you're spending all day in and on them, it's a worthy investment, don't cheap out. If I had to pick between all the categories, my shoes are my #1 priority. Go try on some Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Bruno Magli, etc. (that range) and see what you like and what feels right.

2/19/17

Yeah what Anaconda is saying is absurd. I don't understand why people are saying you should get super expensive ties. I think what tackytech posted is on the money. You can get AE's for even lower than $300 if you buy them on sale at Nordstrom's.

2/19/17

Suit supply suits
CT shirts

If you were in a client facing role in private banking I'd say get a nice pair of shoes and then some more everyday ones

2/19/17

Where are you working, geographically speaking? On the East Coast, suits are necessary, but on the west coast I doubt anyone will be wearing one (even at a BB). I interned at an upper MM bank in ER in SF, and they told me to stop wearing ties after two days. Even through all the interviews I had a BBs, I was the only one who ever wore a tie (including the more jr interviewers). Long story short: on the west coast you could probably get away with 1-2 suits and a couple more shirt/tie/sport coat combos.

"There's nothing you can do if you're too scared to try." - Nickel Creek

2/19/17

I'm with @Banquero on this one. For ~$1k you can get a roundtrip to Thailand, where you can easily get great made-to-measure suits for $200 apiece, and shirts for $30. Just show up for fittings 2-3 days in a row, and you can collect your stuff the day after or negotiate to have it shipped back home for you. Done.

2/19/17

buy Monks
Ferragamo tie (to impress everyone)
spend the remainder of your Money on suits Shirts and other stuff

2/19/17

Is it okay to buy button down shirts? Also, What kind of collars should I get.

P.S. I am also an incoming summer intern at BB.
Thanks.

2/19/17

Call me frugal but I peruse TJ Maxx on Wall Street post work every once in a while and just got a grey Ralph Lauren suit for $159 last night. If you're in NY, not a bad place to check out.

2/19/17

ditto...Marshall's and TJ Maxx can provide some ties and even slacks on the cheap

2/19/17

You can probably squeeze by on 3-4 suits even if you're wearing them everyday. But check on office culture first, I have seen people run out and rack up a bunch of suits on their credit cards to find out most entry levels wear slacks/shirt/tie. Dry cleaning will take some planning with 3 suits, but you shouldn't dry clean your suits very often, it ruins them.

I come from a very modest background and learned the hard way the value of good tailoring. Find a decent tailor via reviews and they can tailor a suit for $100-150 total. It's also absolutely necessary that you tailor your shirt sleeves if they don't fit. Personally I buy Brooks Brothers shirts on sale days (2 for $80 or something) simply because they fit perfectly for me without tailoring and I can save the $25 apiece. But that may not be the case for you.

Seriously, a suit with even minor tailoring imperfections (slightly boxy, sleeves too long, etc) will look really funny to anybody with any sort of eye, which tend to be either a few of your peers or the more senior people in finance. Not the burnt out middle managers who can't get ahead. And your suit pants will need to be tailored either way so spend the extra $30-50 on your jacket.

You definitely don't need 9 pairs of slacks. I'd start with 2-3 decent pairs. You can get by with 5 shirts if you wear mostly solid white and wash religiously. Buy decent ties (I have gotten good stuff at the Barney's outfit and sometimes Brooks Brothers has tie sales), another area where people with a good eye will notice. Don't buy Brook's Brothers outlet clothes, they fall apart. Also don't fall into the Jos. A. Banks trap, the suits are crap and while the ties and shirts look good on the rack, after 2 months of wear the shirts look thin and the ties lose their luster.

I have one decent suit from Brooks Brothers and a few off the rack from department stores in the $200-$300 range but you have to look hard and make sure they fit really well, even before tailoring.

Button down shirts are fine, are you referring to the collar? Button down collars are not as in style at the moment. Aim for collars with a bit of a spread to them so you can practice your windsor knots, looks better than a four-in-hand with a good tie.

2/19/17

So it seems that an adequate wardrobe would cost $3000+. Where is any prospective SA going to get that money before earning the first paycheck?

And regardless of how fitting your wardrobe is, you're still judged by the qualty of your work at the end.

2/19/17

No, you don't need to spend that much money...especially as a SA. There is no reason you can't go to Men's Wearhouse or Jos A Bank and get 3 suits for cheap, get them tailored to fit and you will be fine. Grab some $30 white and light blue slim fit shirts. A pair or two of Cole Haan or Johnston and Murphy shoes.

Why spend 3k on a wardrobe for 3 months? Will the clothing last forever... of course not. But you'll be sitting on your ass for 12 hours a day, do you really need expensive clothing? When you start working FT you can gradually add some custom clothing and retire the older stuff

2/19/17

From Scratch:

2: Suitsupply suits, one navy (dark), one charcoal. pay the extra for the in-store alterations, these guys know their shit. only single breasted. can stretch to 3 suits, if you sweat a lot. good value for money and it will fit you well.

5-10 Shirts: Charles Tyrwhitt have decent offers. go for fitted shirts. White or sky blue only, no patterns. button cuffs are easier, and you're only an SA, you'll look like a douche if you need to role up your sleeves and you have your stupid cufflinks

Chinos: 2 pairs, one beige, one navy, can be bought from high street stores, slim but not too skinny

3 ties: maybe some from college/clubs. Otherwise, plain red. Try to get silk. maybe have a look in charity shops if you're struggling, loads of guys in the city dump 20 ties at a time.

1 Black cap toe oxfords: Loake (if you're in the UK). if your feet sweat a lot, get a second pair. buy shoe trees.

1 pair, Loafers (or brogues): for any time outside of work. Dark brown leather. suede optional for loafers.

10 pairs of socks: Uniqlo, no bright colours.

10 underwear: Uniqlo

Watch: Black leather strap, analogue. any brand, nothing flashy, you can get that in 10 years when you've earnt it.
4 T-shirts: Uniqlo dry package

2 Belts: one black, one brown. Slim, no large buckles.

3 Casual shirts: Oxford shirts, brooks brothers, gitman (or uniqlo again). try to go for logo-less

Optional- 2 polo shirts: Uniqlo (again logoless things are better). if you love certain brands, go for polo/lacoste w/e

Try to go for things without logos or design, look simple, you don't want to stand out. focus on converting to FT.

2/19/17

Here is what i would do if you are on a TIGHT budget

Suits:
Take advantage of jo a banks buy 1 get 3 free you can get 4 Joeseph suits for 650 + pant alterations.

Dress shirts.
Buy 15 JCP Stafford fitted dress shirts when they are on sale for 15 usd
5x white 5x light blue 5x lavender

Ties:
go to tj maxx/marshalls where you can get good ties for like 10 usd and buy 2-3

Shoes:
Go to dsw and buy any cole haans in the clearance rack that look conservative for 100 x2

Belts:
Tj maxx that shit for like 20 per belt x 2

total spent = around 1200 usd for a good wardrobe

2/19/17

yup...all you need, especially has a SA

2/19/17