Dear New Wall Street Interns: This Is How You Should Dress


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

June will be here soon and that means your Wall Street summer internship is about to start. First off, our congratulations on scoring the position. 

Now it’s time make sure you impress your peers and superiors with an appropriate internship wardrobe. 

Don’t worry. We’re here to help, summer interns!

Our thanks go out to The Fine Young Gentleman, one of our very favourite men’s fashion bloggers, whom we consulted for tips and suggestions.

“I think it is pretty simple, err on the conservative side of things and realise there may be more do’s than don’ts at your company. You need to look and act professional and you need to act in a manner consistent with the firm which you are interning at,” says the Fine Young Gentleman.

Know your audience.

'As an intern you are dressing for your peers, superiors and clients more than for yourself,' says The Fine Young Gentleman, adding, 'They want to see that you are capable of looking professional at all times.'

According to The Fine Young Gentleman, the rules--both spoken and unspoken--may vary from firm to firm.

'And even within firms different desks may have different rules, opinions, and expectations. Whereas others may have minimal restrictions. It is important to learn these early on so as to not make errors.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Stick to the basics.

'For suits go with solid navy and grey, perhaps a pinstripe or two, but keep it conservative. Some firms may have unspoken rules on pinstripes so observe those above you and figure out what is acceptable,' says The FYG.

'So what if solids are boring, they go with any pattern shirt or tie and are simple and indiscreet enough that you can wear the same solid navy or grey suit twice a week; three if you want to push it.'

The Fine Young Gentleman advises that interns avoid plaids because they will likely be 'too loud for an intern.'

What's more is he says to make sure your suit fits really, really well.

'Use the fit to distinguish yourself from your peers.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Remember not all offices require suits.

'If you are working in a business casual office the need for suits is obviously minimal, but make sure you have at least a suit and a blazer on stand-by in case you need them for an event or client meeting,' according to The Fine Young Gentleman.

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Don't go cheap on the shoes.

'Don't go cheap on the shoes. That is, get shoes that show that you give a damn, but not to the point where you are flaunting anything,' says The FYG.

'Do not walk in the door with square toe shoes as they lack good taste and class. Have at least one pair of brown and one pair of black shoes. Keep in mind that lace ups are more formal than loafers.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Avoid bit loafers like the plague.

'Avoid bit loafers like the plague, as legendary and badass as they may be,' according to The Fine Young Gentleman.

'At some firms it is taboo to wear bit loafers until you reach a certain level. Save them to impress your dates, not your co-workers. Plus you should have a degree before you get bit loafers anyway.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Do not wear suspenders.

'Luckily I do not work in banking or trading, as I have thus far had no problem wearing them. I would be iced if I wore my skull and crossbone suspenders on a trading floor,' says The Fine Young Gentleman.

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

French cuff shirts should be worn with a jacket.

'Do not wear French cuff shirts and cufflinks without a jacket. Most of your peers will know it is poor form and you should too,' according to The FYG.

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Don't go too formal.

'Stay clear of peak lapels and 3 piece suits. They are bold and more formal. And likely way too aggressive for an intern,' the FYG says.

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Pick appropriate ties.

'Stay clear of Hermes ties, many times they are regarded as a rite of passage, wait till you get the job offer,' says the FYG.

'Keep the tie game simple and classic. Stick to repp and regimental stripe ties and other conservative patterns like small paisleys, dots and geometric patterns.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Make sure you have solid white and blue shirts.

'Have a few well fitting solid white and solid blue shirts on hand. They will go with everything and anything,' says The Fine Young Gentleman.

'Button down collars are less formal than those that are not. The wider the spread on a collar the more formal, also the more aggressive. Button down collars look better when the top button is left unbuttoned, as they stay upright better.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Don't wear your pocket square to work.

'I love pocket squares. I think that whenever a jacket is worn, a pocket square should be as well,' says The Fine Young Gentleman. 'However, they are too flashy for an intern. You should own them, but do not wear them to work.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Keep your socks simple.

'Keep your socks simple, and as much as I am a fan of not wearing them in the summer, the simple fact remains: if you're an intern, you damn well better wear them,' according to The FYG.

'Navy socks go with navy trousers. Grey socks go with grey trousers. You can add some stripes, dots and basic patterns but don't be too flashy. Easy enough, right?'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

You make the suit. The suit does not make you.

'So what your dad bought you a Brioni suit. Congrats, chances are no one wants to hear about it; so don't brag,' says The Fine Young Gentleman.

'Remember: you make the suit, the suit does not make you. The same could be said for nice watches.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Be confident and comfortable in how you dress.

'Dress well, but you probably don't want to dress better than your MD or partner, as you may seem presumptuous,' suggests The Fine Young Gentleman.

'But then again, if he/she is a terrible dresser then you do not want to drop to their level. Find a reasonable medium in this case.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

Fit is paramount.

'Don't be afraid of dropping some paycheck at the tailor. Pants, shirt and suits; they should all fit well,' says The Fine Young Gentleman.

'Few things look worse than jacket sleeves that are too long or puddled trousers around the ankles. Oh, and those shirts that are far too big and billow out around the waist? Awful.'

Source: The Fine Young Gentleman

As an intern, you might be the victim of some office pranks. Here's a heads up...

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