There are strict rules on what junior bankers should and shouldn’t wear

Braces are out

Pinstripes, power dressing and making a political statement through the colour of your tie – the dress code of a junior banker is a lot more restrictive then they’d have you believe.

Now someone has tried to clear things up. Giving their dos and don’ts of the clothing etiquette, Efinancialcareers pulled together their own strict opinions and views of a top banking talent manager.

Take note. It suggests trouser braces are strictly for the movies and the bankers who were old enough to be in the job when the first Wall Street film came out.

Never wear the same shirt two days running

They quite rightly point out that “when young bankers work long hours, hygiene can be a problem.” The best solution, much like the so-called magic roundabout, is to have a set of crisp white shirts on constant rotation. Go out and buy a fresh one if you have to.

Nothing gives it away more than a stain from yesterday’s desk lunch Nando’s or sweat marks from working until the first 17 of that 88 hour week.

Analysts and Associates can never wear braces

When you’re working in London, not New York, it’s a lot less Wolf on Wall Street, not even just plain Wall Street.

The finance site says: “One director says braces are the ‘worst’ thing you can wear as a junior – they’re only acceptable if you’re very senior or very old.”

Emphasis on the word worst. It looks like they’re not even acceptable as fancy dress at the office Christmas party if you ever want even a sniff of promotion.

Wild ties are out

“Please buy less of those ridiculous ties for the client meetings we’re only letting you attend out of sympathy.”

The most popular tie colour at Goldman is apparently Tory blue, closely followed by red and purple. Striped ties are too creative, don’t wear those.

Ties with reindeers, ties with novelty ducks and ties with any sense of expression are best kept as a Father’s Day present instead.

No pretentious gifts from mum or dad like a Rolex, Gucci loafers or family signet rings


Maybe it was a graduation gift, or maybe just a present for landing a job at the same firm as your dad. The rules on this one are clear.

“As a junior in an investment bank you will make no friends if you come to work dressed in the kinds of items that only senior vice presidents and above can usually afford.”

The problem with this is, at a starting salary over around £40,000 without bonuses, a designer wardrobe is quite comfortably in reach.  Tread carefully here and dress better than those below you, but cheaper than your superiors.

The rules on shoes are even more strict than ties

Simply put, “Brown shoes used to be out. They still are”. The rumour is Barclays even banned flipflops or any form of open-toed sandal for that matter.

Trainers are obviously off the cards too, so this leaves you with the tough choice of some kind of smart black shoe. Curiously, black heels are only out when they’re paired with a red dress.

Black shirts, never

It looks like there’s some kind of hierarchy at work here. “If you wear one as an associate, it’s worse than if you wear one as an analyst.” White is optimum, blue can work, but black? Never wear black.