We all laugh at the stereotypical banker in his pinstripe suit and Hermes tie, but it's not particularly humourous when you're a student trying to work out what to wear for a banking internship. As a student who's struggling to get an outfit together for the summer, here's what I've learnt from analysts already working in banking.
When it comes to shopping, the basic rule is to use common sense. As a summer analyst, we're the lowest level on the food chain. Hence try not to wear anything outrageous. We're there not to attract attention through what we wear but to impress them with our ability to work.
There's no point in blowing your wallet on a selection of 2k suits. My suggested TOTAL budget is 750-1000. This should cover all your basic needs: 2 suits, several shirts and ties. (Note: this suggested budget is assuming starting from nothing at all)
What to buy:
As a summer analyst you may not need to wear a suit every day. I would suggest buying 2 suits, 5-8 shirts, 2-3 belts, 4-6 ties, 5 pairs of dress socks and 2-3 pairs of shoes.
Your suit should be navy blue, charcoal, or black.
Shirts should be purchased on the conservative side. Blue and white would be the main stream colors. One point to note, I've been told that a summer intern should never wear shirts that have white collars and cuffs but other colors for the main body --- those are for MDs and VPs only.
Equally, don't go too crazy with the ties! Always remember: we are at the bottom of the food chain.
Regarding shoes, definitely try to have at least two pairs. One of the best pieces of advice I've got from current banking analysts is that that you don't want to be waking up at 7.30am and putting on the same shoes you were wearing when you got home at 3am - you want a fresh pair.
Where to buy it:
How can you buy so much stuff without spending a fortune?
Well, FCUK offers a really nice range of suits for around 200. Assuming all prospective interns has already a nice suit which they wore to interview, budgeting around 200-300 for another suit would be a reasonable choice. An American brand called "Banana Republic" also offers very high quality 100% wool suits for under 300.
TK MAXX offers a great range of silk ties. And Zara Man offers a great range of business shirts for a reasonable price (i.e. 25 - 30 pounds).
This is just a basic guide to how to prepare a summer wardrobe! Just remember, fit matters more than price!
The author is a university student who is interning at an investment bank this summer.