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...