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Bespoke suits out of college - Page 3

post #31 of 67
[quote=edmorel] I am sure that you would not advise someone who just learned to drive to go out and buy a Ferrari as their commuting car just because they can afford it. QUOTE]

Nobody is going to mistake a Ferrari for a Chevy, and practically EVERYBODY has heard of Ferrari
Many, many people don't know a Kiton from a Brooks Brother. A low level office data entry person wearing a Kiton will not attract much attention. His choice of accessories (shirt, ties, cuffs, pocketsquares) are the items that generate attention, not the suit.
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel
I think Jodum's point is that, given the work that he'll be doing (and without even taking into account that fact that his body will most likely change over the next few years), it's best if he goes somewhat low key. In investment banking, there are certain "rules" as to attire. A first year guy who outdresses the boss and his more senior coworkers will be walking around with a target on his back (many here underestimate whether people can tell that you are wearing something expensive of not). Also, he'll likely be eating lunch and dinner on a 4-5ft. wide desk with tons of paper, drinks and stuff all around. Is that they type of environment that you want to expose expensive clothing to just because you can? I am sure that you would not advise someone who just learned to drive to go out and buy a Ferrari as their commuting car just because they can afford it. And is all Brooks stuff crap? Even the Golden Fleece?
Anyway, maybe our resident nyc banker, gdl203, will chime in on this topic..

I can see your point and I suppose it would depend upon the culture of the company as well. It would interest me to know whether that fear is real or imagined though. My uncle used to managing director at an i-bank so i'll ask him the next time i see him. From what I know of him though, I don't think he'd give a shit if someone under him chose to wear more expensive suits than he did, as long as they got the job done. Hell, he knows I get stuff done bespoke and he's never given me shit for it despite the fact that I earn nowhere near the amount of money he does. I would like to think that most rational men could just chalk it up to a difference in priorities. Some guys spend a lot on their cars, others on their wardrobe, and still others on home electronics.

Now whether or not to wear brioni or kiton to an interview just out of college would be an altogether different question...
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106
Most of the nay-sayers perhaps have cases of sour-grape, telling the kid to stick with cheap suits.

I don't think it's a case of sour grapes at all, but prudence. If the kid wants to buy a suit with pinstripes made out of thread of spun gold, let him. But at his young age to be spending what will be a very large portion of his income on suits is insanity. Chances are he's graduating school with a huge debt and call me insane but an investment banker who would rather spend money on an asset that immediately begins depreciating rather than pay down expensive debt is silly.

Hey, if he's liquid, has little to no debt and wants to blow a wad on Kiton, I say more power to him. But if he's got loans and bills to pay, then a bunch of decent RTW or MTM suits should be enough until he earns more money.
post #34 of 67
Obviously the kid has a little of daddy's money. I think, though, that to make that kind of investment in clothes at that age is pretty foolish:

Suits depreciate
He will likely outgrow (horizontally) the suits in a few years out of college
Most people will not be able to tell the difference - I have gotten many more compliments on my $300 Calvin Klein than on my Oxxford or Zegnas.

Unless this kid's parents are very rich - "Rolls Royce rich", not "BMW rich", this is a bad use of money at this time.

/I don't know why, at the tender age of 29, I am deriding this poster as a kid
//Get off my lawn
post #35 of 67
I have to agree that there's just something incongrous (and not really in a good way) about going super-high end bespoke right out of college at a low level job. Obviously money isn't a huge object for nelly, so if I were in his shoes I'd get some nice, but conservative RTW for work and indulge in high-end streetwear and "night-out" clothes (Richard James would be fun.)
post #36 of 67
Thread Starter 
wow, everyone is really getting excited over this whole issue.

Just to clarify a couple of things, no I am not rich. With my current savings I wouldn't be able to get too many of those suits and I would rather be able to put a down payment on an apartment. I guess my original question was more about how much of a bespoke suit purchase should be based on style (in that case how old I was and what I did wouldn't matter) and how much is based on function (what is pratical for my lifestyle).

i'm definitely going to just stick with decent and presentable MTM suits until I'm middle-aged or win the lotto.

p.s.- I don't even think my father wears suits. Do you have family members that don't understand your clothing purchases?
post #37 of 67
So long as you dress so as not to draw undue attention among your co-workers while on the job, how you look the rest of the time is better left to their imaginations.

If your office wears khakis and polos, don't wear double breasted suits to work. In fact, you don't need to spend on many suits in that case. The usual two will suffice, but you may need black tie, a blazer, and both summer and winter odd jackets and trousers.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
I have to agree that there's just something incongrous (and not really in a good way) about going super-high end bespoke right out of college at a low level job. Obviously money isn't a huge object for nelly, so if I were in his shoes I'd get some nice, but conservative RTW for work and indulge in high-end streetwear and "night-out" clothes (Richard James would be fun.)

If you really love the clothes then it's worth a bit of sacrifice. As long as you're not being totally irresponsible and spending loads of debt to pay for them, I really don't see the difference in spending the money on clothes instead of a fancy car or high-end stereo, as long as it doesn't continue forever because after all, you do have have to start saving at some point.

As difficult as it may be for some to understand, it's a choice based on preferences. You like streetwear but I can't stand the stuff and I've become so aware of all the flaws of cheap suits and rtw that I really have no choice! My room 101 is definitely fused suits with big armholes for life. That would be absolute torture :P

As long as you're not buying clothes so that you can walk around saying you're wearing this or that brand name thinking it impresses people I'm all for it, regardless of income. If you're short for cash but love the good stuff, just shop sales or ebay instead of paying retail, like many on this forum do.
post #39 of 67
Were you an art history major, by chance?
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel
Anyway, maybe our resident nyc banker, gdl203, will chime in on this topic..

Here are my views on this:
(1) unless you work in one of the very few firms on Wall St that require a business attire for all bankers, as a 1st-year analyst ("A1") you will wear business casual outfits most of the time. You will wear suits only when invited to client meetings or other deal events (roadshows, diligence trips, closing dinners...). I would estimate that an A1 in I-Banking wears a suit between 10 and 20 days in a year, depending on deal flow
(2) wearing a well-fitting, expensive suit is not as much of an issue as wearing "flashy" clothes or specific items that can be seen as such. Some examples that spring to mind are suspenders/braces, flashy/funky cufflikns, contrasting collars, light brown shoes. It would look very strange to see an A1 wearing any of the above
(3) the main ways for an analyst in I-banking to be well regarded, well paid and to get the great next job they are after are to (a) be humble and hard working (and be perceived as such), (b) not attract any negative attention (in such a competitive environment, people tend to notice the mistakes and errors of judgment first...), (c) show great judgment and initiative, which will lead others to think that you can step up to the next level of responsibilities

As was said here and before, there are unfortunately a number of older, "conservative" i-bankers who tend to think that - for example - wearing brown shoes with a suit is an error of judgment. As it is a bit late to change their perception, I would recommmend any young banker to dress in a conservative Wall St manner (navy suit, white shirt, black shoes, Hermagamo tie) unless he sees that the environment in his group/firm is different and more relaxed than that.

Also, contrary to what was said here, I know a number of senior bankers in my firm and group who can tell in one look if a suit or pair of shoes is high end or not. An MD in my group occasionally greets me with "Nice shoes. Lobb?" when I wear a pair of JL or EG. He gets all his suits custom made and he (just like a number of others) has an eye naturally trained to distinguish quality from mediocrity. Of course, a bunch of other bankers couldn't tell the difference between a BB and an Attolini suit...
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203
Here are my views on this:
(1) unless you work in one of the very few firms on Wall St that require a business attire for all bankers, as a 1st-year analyst ("A1") you will wear business casual outfits most of the time. You will wear suits only when invited to client meetings or other deal events (roadshows, diligence trips, closing dinners...). I would estimate that an A1 in I-Banking wears a suit between 10 and 20 days in a year, depending on deal flow
(2) wearing a well-fitting, expensive suit is not as much of an issue as wearing "flashy" clothes or specific items that can be seen as such. Some examples that spring to mind are suspenders/braces, flashy/funky cufflikns, contrasting collars, light brown shoes. It would look very strange to see an A1 wearing any of the above
(3) the main ways for an analyst in I-banking to be well regarded, well paid and to get the great next job they are after are to (a) be humble and hard working (and be perceived as such), (b) not attract any negative attention (in such a competitive environment, people tend to notice the mistakes and errors of judgment first...), (c) show great judgment and initiative, which will lead others to think that you can step up to the next level of responsibilities

As was said here and before, there are unfortunately a number of older, "conservative" i-bankers who tend to think that - for example - wearing brown shoes with a suit is an error of judgment. As it is a bit late to change their perception, I would recommmend any young banker to dress in a conservative Wall St manner (navy suit, white shirt, black shoes, Hermagamo tie) unless he sees that the environment in his group/firm is different and more relaxed than that.

Also, contrary to what was said here, I know a number of senior bankers in my firm and group who can tell in one look if a suit or pair of shoes is high end or not. An MD in my group occasionally greets me with "Nice shoes. Lobb?" when I wear a pair of JL or EG. He gets all his suits custom made and he (just like a number of others) has an eye naturally trained to distinguish quality from mediocrity. Of course, a bunch of other bankers couldn't tell the difference between a BB and an Attolini suit...

And so it was written, and so it shall be done.......

That is the good thing about working at a small place like I do. There are no "clothing politics" and the ladder only has a rung or two (of course I also don't make the high 7 figure income that gdl makes ). I agree that people underestimate the recognizability of quality clothing. Whenever I wear something good to the office, people immediately notice. They might not not Borrelli from macaroni but they can tell things such as fit, fabric, cut.
post #42 of 67
and I would absolutely not spend that money.

You only make $60k base and maybe 60k in bonus (it was more this year, but they were records..it won't be like that next year).

Buy two suits and you're out 10k. Thats about 12% of your after-tax income...and that assumes that you don't contribute to your 401k (stupid) or pay for health insurance (again, stupid).


The answer should be clear.
post #43 of 67
I used to be an ibanking analyst for Lehman. I would suggest a three areas of attack:

1. A power suit like a Brioni or Kiton pinstripe for big client meetings. For less money maybe a Zegna MTM or RTW. I might shy away from Brioni or Kiton as you don't want to outdress or tie clothing-wise the management.

2. Invest in some quality custom dress shirts and casual slacks for other days like maybe Incotex, Zanella, Zegna trousers. The odd sportcoat may come in handy and if you are in Boston or NYC a good winter coat is mandatory. I like the Loro Piana Horsey Jacket since its great in rain and covers the suit jacket.

3. Invest in a good pair of Edward Greens in dark brown for versatility and style. Invest in EG or Lobb rubber soles for bad weather days.

Some other advice: Don't take Wall Street too seriously. It's very easy to get sucked in by the materialistic culture. It's just a job and even the most lauded Managing Director is just a sales guy at the end of the day.

Sorry I couldn't resist. Wall Street is a great place to start but a lousy place to end in my experience.
post #44 of 67
I just have to say that these threads always crack me up. Granted, the OP did ask about high end/custom/bespoke clothing, but it just kills me when someone says something to the effect of, "don't go bespoke, just purchase two or three Brionis and you'll be all set - maybe Zegna if you want to slum it. For shoes you should look at Edward Green or Lobb, and by all means get some rubber soled Lobbs for wet weather."

In some ways, this forum is an excellent place to ask for advice, because the people here are extremely knowledgeable. In other ways, I think that the advice given from time to time is somewhat unrealistic, as it is being given by people who have an unusually high interest in men's clothing and style.

My advice - go to Brooks Brothers (or another comparable store). You will walk out looking like an investment banker. Contrary to popular opinion, BB does not produce "crap." You don't even have to go to the Golden Fleece level to come out looking extremely professional with clothing that will last for years (believe it or not!). If you hit them during one of their sales, you can get some extremely good bargains, particularly on suits. There is a lot of nice and well made clothing out there that, for whatever reason, doesn't rise to the level of a Kiton, an Oxxford, a Brioni, or a John Lobb.

If you find, after a time, that you have developed a true passion for clothing, then make the jump to the higher end. Until then, if your main goal is to come to work dressed professionally, you don't need to spend such a huge chunk of your disposable income on clothing (especially if you're just graduating from college).

Just my two cents. Others here will undoubtedly disagree.
post #45 of 67
Well said, JBZ

It's kinda ridiculous to be telling clothing novices to go buy some Kiton/Brioni/Lobb
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