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Couple questions regarding pinstripe suits

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I haven't really gotten around to looking yet but I'm going to buy a couple more suits this summer. I already bought a 3 button made to measure black armani, which hasn't yet arrived. Next year I'll be interviewing for student jobs in investing/finance and the year after analyst positions at investment banks This summer I'll be wearing suits at my job, however it's a much more casual setting as I'm working for my parents and I oversee staff, deal with client related problems and do accounting stuff at a hotel. So I'm buying suits for this summer, but the most important thing is that they need to be appropriate for the IB interviews I'll be doing not too far down the road. Obviously one of the new suits i get will be a navy pinstripe. A couple questions: 1) 2 or 3 button? I'm 5'11" and slim. My preference is 3 but I'm not sure if there are any "rules" I don't know about for IB interviews. I know the older guys usually wear 2 button but what about the younger people? Is 3 button acceptable in the IB world? I know they're picky as hell about how you show up for your interview.. I will surely have the suit for 2 years so I'm thinking about IB while I'm buying my suits for this summer. 2) Is there a rule about the spacing of the pinstripes? When i was shopping for my black suit i found a 3 button navy pinstriped versace which fit me very well and looked really nice. The pinstripes were quite closely spaced though (.5-.75cm or so apart i think). It seemed more a suit to wear out at night or something that would look good with even just a white t-shirt underneath, although that's just my subjective opinion and I haven't ever been in a corporate environment so I don't see what people wear and have never really payed much attention to it. Does this sound right or does the spacing of the pinstripes have no bearing on where it would be acceptable to wear the suit. 3) What to get for my third suit is sort of up in the air. The navy pinstripe will be my interview suit. For this one though i have a bit more room to breathe. However I'm thinking I will probably want to wear a different suit to second interviews (again for IB) so bear that in mind. It would be nice to stray away from navy for this one but I really don't know what would be appropriate for such a suit. I don't really need suggestions on brands since i know what fits me best and which i like. I need suggestions more in the way of which style/color of suits i should go with for my needs. Thanks.
post #2 of 11
I am actually buying a beautiful Hugo Boss Red Label pinstripe suit in the next couple of days. Stockholm, being I swear one of the biggest chic cities in the world, is really buzzing with this pinstripe fad. I have been shopping non-stop trying to pick which pinstripe I wanted, but the Hugo Boss one was the best I found. It has wider pinstripes than what you were talking about, it is navy blue with white stripes. There are many different colors (black/grey) with different color stripes, but I found that the navy blue with white stripes looks the sharpest. I prefer the 3 button suit as well, especially for interviews. As you might remember, I am too applying right now for ib jobs, and the pinstripe is a staple in their clothing repetoire. Oh by the way, I got my feedback from my Merrill Lynch interview in London, and they said that the only thing holding me back was my general lack of Equity Research in its role in investment banking. So a good tip for both of us it to read a lot of books about the subject. Just thought you might like to know a little tip. Definitely get the pinstripe suit though. I am thinking of also buying a Hugo Boss red woven tie to wear with it...I'm such a Hugo Boss junkie it makes me sick.
post #3 of 11
Definitely go for wider spacing with pin stripes....Close spacing looks "younger" and less conservative. OK for many jobs, but not IB. Have you considered gray or olive for your third suit, and a solid, just for balance? That way you could add some subtle striped shirts to your wardrobe, and have about as much fun as you could get away with in an IB environment...A classic, solid gray, or even a nail head would be a great choice, in my opinion. I think 2 or 3 buttons work- maybe even buy a vested. You don't always have to wear the vest.... My two cents....
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. I kinda figured there was something that just wasn't right about the suit I was looking at and that it wouldn't be appropriate for IB even though I really liked it. And fratstud thanks for the tip. Try again in the summer btw. I've read in more than one place that it's the best time to apply, you just have to be persistent and not lose touch with the people doing the hiring. I can only hope it will be better 2 years from now when I'm applying for a job. Regardless, now is the time for me to learn as much as I can about the field so that I can answer all their questions when it comes time for the interviews. If there are any particular books you think are worth reading please feel free to suggest them. And there you go plugging Boss again I've got a lot of their casual clothes and whlie I do like their suits, they don't fit me properly and they don't do made to measure, so they're not really an option for me. It's too bad too cause they're a great value imo.
post #5 of 11
Wider spaced pinstripes provide more tie pattern possibilities. Pinstripes should be subtle. You don't want to look like a "gangstah" from a 30s movie. For a 3rd suit, how about a subtle olive brown? I've got a Calvin Klein in that shade which breaks up the weekly wardroble routine nicely.
post #6 of 11
In this day and age of 3 button mania, I think a 2 button suit looks distinctive and neat. Not everyone is flattered by a 3 button suit. Don't get me wrong, I like 3 button suits. More important than the buttons are the vents: center? none? or side. Side vents--very British--make for a very sleek look. They also flatter the body. One can put their hand in a pocket and the coat doesn't crumple up. Alas, I noticed that the suits in the Chicago Burberrys all had center vents--a compromise to American taste.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ya I like side vents too. The black armani I'm still waiting on will have side vents and I'm thinking maybe center vent or ventless for the navy pinstripe and side for the gray suit but i'm not quite sure yet.
post #8 of 11
I work in an investment bank, and the primary keywords regarding suits are HIGH FABRIC QUALITY, CLASSIC FIT and DON'T BREAK THE RULES. Fabric? Wool, nothing else. No stretch. Almost exclusively navy. Solid or patterned (including stripes) are fine. But the pattern must be SUBTLE - from ten feet away, it must look solid. I personally like subtle herringbone wool. Navy, charcoal are basically your only options. Black is wrong. Pinstripes should be invisible from 10 feet away - this isn't the 80s. Classic fit? Versace is out, for one thing. Trousers should be loose, not fashion-tight. The key is in the details - the trousers should be cuffed and the right length, the jacket should be American style, preferably. single-breasted only, two or three buttons. Think armani, HF, ferragamo, brooks, zegna, cerruti, kiton, brioni, loro, hugo, donna karan, canali, etc. don't think prada, gucci, valentino, versace, calvin, etc. you see what I'm getting at? Rules not to break: No double-breasting. No big stripes. No weird material. No light colors. Shirts should be white, blue, gray, or any combination thereof. No oxford collars. Pinpoint or spread only. Remember to put in the stays. Ties should be conservative, but use judgment. Make a knot that fits the shirt. Use a 4-in-hand for pinpoint, and a half-windsor for spread (use judgment with this too). I personally like Armani, Dunhill, Burberry, and Calvin Klein ties the most. Belt matches shoes. That means oxblood with oxblood and chocolate with chocolate, shiny with shiny and matte with matte. I'm talking MATCH. Socks should be black or navy, and be knee-high. Brown belts with navy suits - black belts with black suits. If you're going for an interview, keep your jacket on, and unbutton your buttons only when you sit down. When you cross your legs, hike up the trouser leg so it doesn't stretch. THE SAFEST POSSIBLE OUTFIT (nothing can go wrong here): - Solid navy suit, single breasted, 100% worsted wool, single-vented, cuffed and pleated trousers, 3" lapels, 2-button. - Oxblood leather Ferragamo-type shoes, lace-up, half-inch heel. - Dark navy dress socks - White cotton dress shirt, button cuffs, not french, pinpoint collar. - EITHER solid light blue silk tie with slight iridescence, OR conservative patterned red tie (diamonds, grid, paisley), 4-in-hand knot - Oxblood belt - gold buckle if the tie is red, silver buckle if the tie is light blue. That's the safest outfit (the money market account-kind of risk). If you want to take more risks: (FIXED INCOME-kind of risk): Light blue dress shirt- use a dark navy tie with subtly silver or gray patterns (EQUITIES-kind of risk): charcoal suit- a) blue dress shirt with a navy or gold tie b) white dress shirt with brown, dark red or navy tie Warning: outfits whose colors are too warm can subtly convey the color red, which can represent poor market performance. This doesn't ALWAYS happen, and the red tie is such a staple that it has no meaning in itself, but be aware of outfits that are too warm. Navy is neutral and elegant and management always wears it. Abe
post #9 of 11
WOW- Abe 2, what an excellent detailed answer. Man, they sure don't allow you guys much latitude in dress.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great reply abe. Just curious, how many different suits do you wear to work?
post #11 of 11
Well, for one, these rules aren't official, they're just the style and trend in the business. I own eight suits that I wear on a regular basis, six of which I wear to work. I prefer to vary my shirts and ties more than anything else, and I break my above rules often, simply because I know how dress within the boundaries of the office. If you do too, then do it. The rules above are just safety precautions. We're constantly poking fun at each others' outfits, so there's no real way to get it "right" e.g. "Shopping with the Joker?", "Oh, hi, I'll have a latte and toast, please", "New salvation army digs?", "Oh, the 'hit-by-a-car' look. Liking it, liking it..."
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