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Investment banker fashion fails in the extreme heat

Don't sweat

It's about to become very hot. People who work in investment banks will be turning to their 'summer wardrobes'. But those wardrobes can leave something to be desired.

We asked a selection of junior and senior people working in banks for sartorial failings they've observed in heatwaves past. Open-toed sandals and flipflops are now rare.- "I am very glad that shorts and flipflops were banned over a decade ago," says one head of global markets."Let us hope that this perk never comes back, even if banks are tempted to reinstate it as an easy freebie in these tough times."

This doesn't mean finance is free of fashion crimes. Far from it.

1. The sweaty shirt

The most common sight is the sweaty armpit. "There are a lot of classic light blue shirts with sweat stains," says one equity researcher, "It's not a good look".

"Visible sweat patches aren't great," says analyst. "If you're a guy, you need to wear a blazer to cover them up." This risks accentuating the issue.

2. The hairy chest 

As temperatures rise, you may be inclined to loosen your shirt and increase the airflow around your upper torso. Don't.

"Having more than three buttons open is a definite no," says the analyst. Don't go there.

3. The trendy trainers 

You work in an investment bank, not a fintech.

"I'm wearing my Nike Airs," says one DCM analyst. "It's been suggested that they're a bit casual."

"No trainers, except for medical reasons," says a banker at another firm.

4. The bad shirt

Has the heat encouraged you to select a more vibrant garment than usual? Do not go there either.

"The Central and Eastern European interns here have been wearing some strange shirts," says one (French) VP at a European bank. "There have been some really weird colours. Red and yellow shirts with black ties."

"There are people here in flowery shirts," says an analyst.

5. The vibrant trousers

"There are some very garish trousers on dress-down Friday," says one consultant. How garish? "Red, yellow, pastel blue," he admits.

6. The smart outfit, unsuited to the temperature 

This is a particular problem for interns who've invested in one or two expensive outfits and don't have any heat-appropriate alternatives.

"There are a lot of extremely formally-dressed female interns in grey pinstriped suits and pearls," says one VP. "They must be hot and I keep thinking they're directors. There's no need to be so smart."

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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