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Wall Street bankers’ ‘vulgar’ dress code

Wall Street dress code

Resist the temptation for embroidery

When do you cross the line between good grooming and bad taste? When you feel the need to wear a shirt with your initials embroidered into the cuffs.

So say bankers and headhunters in London, who claim cuff-embroidery is a thing among America bankers and senior finance professionals who are ‘proud of their achievements’.

Skip McGee, the ex-head of the investment banking division at Barclays is among those with his initials on his cuffs. When Bloomberg interviewed McGee about his new energy boutique, it reportedly found him wearing a, ‘crisp white shirt with his initials on the cuff.’ McGee isn’t the only one. Yann Gindre, ex-CEO of Natixis Americas, has been spotted in embroidered cuffs. So too has Lance Uggla, CEO of Markit.

Should you be following the embroidered cuff trend? Not if you work in London. “It’s a bit vulgar,” says one senior fixed income headhunter. “It tends to go with cologne in the hair,” says another.

Still, embroidered cuffs are not the worst wardrobe malfunction. That’s reserved for junior bankers who are above their sartorial station. “The worst thing you can do is to wear a suit that’s more expensive than your interviewer’s,” says another headhunter – speaking (as with the others) on condition of anonymity.

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