Sartorial Tutorial

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sartorial Tutorial

Waiting for a batch of presentations to print at the print room so you can go home, you scroll BusinessWeek for something worth poking fun at, when you come across an article giving sartorial tips for would be investment banking job candidates.


The article reads that you need to spice up a dark pinstripe and white shirt with a power tie in maroon or red. Being rather taken aback by the fact that a someone is recommending wouldbe investment bankers to look like essex boys with a makeover, you finally get over the fact that the you are most displeased at the mediocrity of the suggestion. You take another look at the picture of what an investment banker is supposed to look like, and you decide you've had enough. You write to BusinessWeek, suggesting they check with The All Nighter's article on How I-banking is like Barbie for the true i-banking look.


You dread seeing an army of intens this summer marching in in black tacky pinstripes, white shirts and maroon ties, so being the constuctive, problem-solving, thinking out of the box, individual that you are, you venture out for more on the investment banking look.

The phone rings, and its a call to let you know the books are ready. You go downstairs, pick them up and grab a cab to deliver them to Rupert for his meeting on Monday. It being a Saturday, you decide to do some proper shopping along the way. You decide to shop for the perfect i-banker candidate outfit, take a picture of the finished product and plead with BusinessWeek to revisit their suggestions before it is too late.

First stop, get a tie. Now you may be thinking that Hermes on Bond Street is pit stop number one. No! An intern should never wear an Hermes tie. This is a privilege for full-time employees of the firm. Also, when the intern performs well, by already owning an Hermes tie, they take the boss's pride away, when they buy them an Hermes tie at the end of the internship. So off to Old Bond Street and to ferragamo you go, getting off on Regents street and instructing the cabbie to wait.


You walk into the Ferragamo shop on the corner and browse through printed silk ties with the unmistakeable Ferragamo pattern. Not large and distinctively in your face enough to be a Hermes, but a tuch more geometrical and smaller motif size. Perfect for the intern. From far, the tie looks unobtrusive and will ward off comments from other jealous interns about the intern in question splashing his money around, whilst obvious enough to the trained analyst eye to signal that said intern has potential to upgrade money spending skills to higher ticket items. You finally pick out a fairly neutral bluish piece and take it to the counter.



Next stop, up the road to Ralph Lauren. Perfect place for an intern to get a shirt. You walk into the multi storey store and head straight to the first floor, where the purple lable stuff sits (if one is to buy a pony and polo player emblem shirt, one might as well go to NEXT or the GAP). You look around until you find the right piece. Creamy white, full cutaway collar, cuffed to appeal to a Brit interviewer and just about perfect. Happy with the selection you make your way to the counter.

Next stop, shoes. Off to the King’s Road and Tim Little for a pair of hand made shoes. Keep them clean, conservative and a perfect fit. Yes, perhaps the £1,350 tag is a tad much for a single pair, but you are soon comforted by the fact that the next pair will cost less. You are also comforted to see that the heels are not fully coater with rubber (only the corner in the back). You sit for a measurement and spend another two hours finalizing the style and walk out with a smile on your face, knowing that in a few weeks your brand new shoes will be ready to wear.

Happy with your day’s purchases, you tell the cabbie to take you home. You get a call from Rupert whilst in the cab, asking why the books are so late. You explain that the cabbie got the address wrong, and came back, so you had to call another one and send them again. Perfectly reasonable and having reassured Rupert, you get out of the cab, confirm the delivery instructions and get home.

Final touch. You call your tailor to confirm an appointment for Monday. He’ll come to the office. 10AM.

You recap on the day’s work. Damn it feels great to be an i-banker.

Tie. Only £70?
Shirt. Below £200 Bargain.
Shoes. Hand made for £1,350.
Looking like an Investment Banker. Priceless.

2 comments:

De Onion said...

Don't forget the pinkie ring - or is that reserved for full-timers also?

Thanks for stopping by over at the New Onion. I interviewed for an IB spot before I got the call I wanted...

Monkey said...

I'm glad you asked about the pinkie ring. That all depends. If one is interviewing at a blue blood english institution. STOP. There are none left. So, if one is interviewing at an institution that at some point acquired a blue blood English institution, there is a rather high probability that one will interview with an old Etonian like Rupert. In this case, if the ring smacks of Floreat Etona, one is well advised to wear it. However, one must always beware of the lurking American bankers who may not appreciate the custom and mistake the ring for bling, in which case, one would be advised to not wear it. Bottom like, if you interview with a Brit, wear the ring, and if you smell a yank, yank it off:)