Looking the part of a stylish executive can be done on a budget, especially with our guide to office wear essentials.
By Chris Rovny, Fashion Correspondent
For future reference, interviews and orientation sessions are ideal times to get a feel for the office surroundings and spot what other employees are wearing. Full business suits or a blazer with pants?
Again, feel free to inquire about the regular workweek dress code, and find out whether it differs from Fridays and client meetings. Keep in mind that dress codes generally aren't as strict as they used to be.
Since you don't have the means to buy yourself 14 suits, 14 blazers and 14 trousers for a full two-week wardrobe rotation, you'll have to learn the tricks of mixing and matching, and adequate color selection.
Blazers, pants, and more business must-haves...
In terms of color, opt for neutral basics; they're versatile, conservative and timeless.. To start building your basic wardrobe, choose between:
- Always check the sales racks before you start skimming through the season's new arrivals. Classic men's garments are timeless and should remain pretty much the same throughout the years. Who cares if you're buying last year's collection? You will, because you'll be benefiting from hefty discounts and chances are that nobody will know the difference.
- Take advantage of online discount retailers, such as BlueFly.com. It offers designer merchandise ranging from suits and shoes to ties, for less.
- You might want a friend to tag along, to get an honest opinion. We all know how "convincing" salespeople can be.
Until next time, keep on stylin' and make the most of your office wear.
Dear 1st years –
It has come to our attention that some of you have already managed to become notorious for their willingness to elbow their peers out of the circle around senior bankers and virtually attack the bankers with questions, thus preventing other students from networking and participating in the conversation. This is never a good strategy and acting in a socially undesirable way runs a strong risk of branding you as undesirable not just to your classmates but also to recruiters. Once you feel that you have asked a couple of questions, and perhaps received a business card, do not monopolize the banker’s time by standing around awkwardly or asking additional questions. Let your classmates play as well. Furthermore, such behavior shows that you are aggressive and non-collegial, and therefore not a pleasant person to work 100-hour weeks with.
Bankers are very observant people. Moreover, it is much easier to remember somebody with a bad impression than with a good impression – do not smother the bankers with too many questions.
§ If you see a classmate standing behind you, step aside and let them in the circle around the banker – it shows team work
§ Ask a couple of questions and then move on or remain silent and let your classmates interact as well
§ If there are 6-7 students around 1 banker, you do not want to ask more than one or two questions
§ If there are 2-3 students you can ask a few more questions if you feel you are bonding well, but always be considerate toward your classmates – use your best judgment
§ If you feel you have spend a good 15-20 minutes with one banker, it is ok to excuse yourself politely and ask for a business card
§ If the banker has run out of business cards and you have one, offer to share with your classmates
§ Remember that these events are also meant to screen for those who can one day win business from clients – treat the recruiters the way you would treat a multi-billion dollar client
§ Do not monopolize recruiter’s time – especially the senior bankers. Talk to the junior bankers as well – they often are take the first stab at drafting invite only lists
§ Do not be fake and superficial in your attempt to shine – bankers interact with tens of people on a daily basis and can easily spot fake from genuine behavior
§ Do not overwhelm bankers with questions when they are taking a small break (i.e. chewing food) – remember they are also human beings and have had a very long day at work.
§ Do not get drunk or gobble down food in front of bankers no matter how hungry and tired you are
§ Do not be intimidated to let your personality shine – being stuck-up is never a good strategy – be pleasant, be fun, smile, and stay professional
Your aim at these sessions is not to compete with your classmates, but to impress the bankers. Be smart about it – this is not rocket science!
Use your social intelligence and best judgment. Be a team player. Be considerate to your peers. This will help not only you, but also the school, look professional and desirable.
Thank you and good luck.
Dear 1st Year Members,
It has come to our attention (through complaints from IBC board representing firms they are going to full time) that some of you may not have followed personal hygiene basics during recruiting events. We understand that it is an incredibly intense recruiting period, and is very hard to find time for yourself, but this is a friendly reminder on some dress code and personal hygiene basics:
§ Brush your teeth regularly, or have a mint/mouth refreshers before going to recruiting events (avoid chewing gums)
§ Carry anti-perspirant with you if you are worried about sweating. Don’t wear too much cologne/perfume
§ Carry a sewing mini-toolkit, in case your suit hems need an emergency sewing
§ Professional haircuts
§ No backpacks with you
§ Men – no tacky cufflinks or watches (with no crazy patterns, silver is preferable to gold)
§ Women – wear (preferably skin colored) hosiery and always carry an extra pair in your bag
§ Women – if it rains, do not show up in rain boots, no matter how cute you think they are
And again, if you have ANY concerns, please do not hesitate to share with the IBC Board!
UBS, the premium global bank catering to high end clients, has issued a brochure to its staff on proper dress codes.
The main message: first impressions count!
For example, men are advised to wear suits in dark grey, black or navy blue, since these colors "symbolize competence, formalism, and sobriety."
The brochure is in French, but you can use Google Translate to read them. Page 16 shows you how to tie a tie, and you don't need to know the French language to understand the graphic illustrations.
The WSJ summarizes some of the advice in English (see attachment section below).
Yes Warren Buffett used to say: "I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me", but you are no Warren Buffett.