UK Suit Advice

I'm a secondary school student hoping to get some work experience in an IB bank in London later this year. I thought I'd invest in a suit soon because I see myself wearing a lot in the next few years and plus, I really like suits. My current one is a vintage one I got from a secondhand shop but I'd like to get myself a decent one to wear in the long run.

Given the fact that my school blazer has been a dark navy, I've come to really like light grey suits but upon skimming WSO, it seems grey is looked upon as old-fashioned? Is it better if I get myself a navy or charcoal grey suit?

I'm a bit of a sucker for pinstripes as well. I heard pinstripes are semi-allowed in London but, in the US, it is frowned upon? Is this true? 

Yours sincerely,

Comments (17)

Most Helpful
Jan 9, 2022 - 4:27am

Honestly hardly anyone wears full suits anymore except when seeing clients so if you come in as an intern wearing a light grey pinstriped suit, yeah you're not gonna stand out in the best way. When I was your age I liked similar things and now I look back and cringe at what I was wearing. 

I would just go with safe navy and charcoal until you get a better guage on how far you can push the envelope. The most important thing is that it fits. If you have a TML or CT near you then go get measured and you can buy a suit on sale for like £200. 

Jan 9, 2022 - 4:30am

Thanks for your reply!

 That's the impression I got. I definitely don't want to stick out in a bad way. Can you wear pinstripes when you move up the pecking order (Associate)?

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 9, 2022 - 4:46am

Everyone wears a navy suit, from analyst to MD

If you wear a pinstripe suit, I would expect some 80s-related light jokes

Jan 9, 2022 - 6:33am

Go navy suit. Black shoes, not brown (cannot stress this enough).

Pick one up from Next for less than a hundred quid and get it tailored. Much more important that it is specifically tailored for your shape than the brand, plus nobody is going to expect a school student to have money for a premium suit.

Jan 9, 2022 - 11:30am

No pinstripes, whether London, New York, or elsewhere - seen as arrogant and quite a loud choice, especially for someone so young. 

Likewise, wear black shoes (monk straps are fine, don't wear loafers). 

Light grey is something I consider "Neopolitan" rather than old fashioned - stick with darker hues if you want to go grey (i.e. charcoal), however I'd say dark blue is a safer bet. 

M&S are a very safe option - they fit well, have a good range, are well made, and will last.

You've also got T.M. Lewin and Moss Bros - Hackett, etc. a step above this. 

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
  • 3
Jan 9, 2022 - 2:49pm

When I was looking for budget suits, I looked to M&S and everything about them was great except for one thing. Idk what it is but the material they use on the inside of the trousers and the jackets swishes almost like a nylon tracksuit. Like pretty loudly to the point it bothered me. 

Jan 14, 2022 - 1:33pm

What exactly is this no brown rule in lnd? I've got some premium Church's in a very dark burgundy. So its rather black than brown. Is that considered OK or still no?

Jan 16, 2022 - 9:02am

Go dark grey / charcoal - never black. 

Don't understand the obession with navy. 

Array

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jan 16, 2022 - 2:01pm

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