How to Dress for Goldman Sachs in a “Suits Optional” World

For those who haven’t heard, Goldman Sachs relaxed its dress code Tuesday via a memo circulated by new CEO David Solomon (shout out to DJ D-Sol!) and two other firm execs. The memo cites the “changing nature of workplaces generally in favour of a more casual environment” as the impetus for the change, not surprising considering that three quarters of the bank’s employees are members of the Millennial and Gen-Z generations.

The memo was surprisingly vague, however, regarding exactly what is permitted — reading, in part, “Casual dress is not appropriate every day and for every interaction and we trust you will consistently exercise good judgment in this regard. All of us know what is and is not appropriate for the workplace.”

Ok, so probably no Gucci runway looks. Got it.

But in the event there were any young (or old, we don’t discriminate) financial dynamos out there looking for a little sartorial inspiration in this new Age of Casual, we thought we’d offer a couple takes on stylish-yet-appropriate kits, plus some shoppable options to help incorporate them into your wardrobe.

Now go forth and rock jeans.

Look 1: Denim Done Right

Granted, jeans + investment bank is not the world’s most intuitive combo — but then again, neither is french fries and a Wendy’s Frosty, and look how well that worked out. The key here is to keep the denim dark and tailored, the dress shirt straightforward (think white oxford or a low-key pattern) and the blazer classic and (relatively) understated. Finish the look with a nice pair of dress shoes (or boots) that have a bit of heft — sleek, suit-style dress kicks don’t play all that well with a more casual pant. Oh, and ditch the tie.

Slim “Wooster” Jean by Mott & Bow 

BUY IT HERE: $118

Regent Fit Oxford Sport Shirt by Brooks Brothers 

BUY IT HERE: $140

Polo Glen Plaid Sport Coat by Polo Ralph Lauren

BUY IT HERE: $125

Wingtip Boot by Thursday Boots

BUY IT HERE: $220

Look 2: The Cardigan Switcharoo

Keeping your shirt/tie combo intact but replacing your suit jacket with a nice solid cardigan is a classic, stylish prep look. You can go more formal by pairing a dressier shirt and tie with said cardigan and traditional slacks and dress shoes, or take things a bit more casual with something like a chambray shirt, knit tie and the denim/shoe combo above. 

Merino Wool Button-Front Cardigan by Brooks Brothers

BUY IT HERE: $168

“Edsel” Stripe Poplin Dress Shirt by Ledbury

BUY IT HERE: $145

Prime Paisley Tie by The Tie Bar

BUY IT HERE: $19

Grey “Braddon” Trousers by SuitSupply

BUY IT HERE: $199

“Burton” Double Monk Strap by Paul Evans 

BUY IT HERE: $425

Look 3: Polo Player

Whether it’s under separates or a suit, a polo makes for a great dress shirt alternative. A few notes though: keep the polo slim and trim (we’re longtime fans of a knit number), and if you’re going full suit, make sure it’s one on the more casual end of the spectrum. And take a long hard look around the room to gauge how many bare arms you see before removing your jacket.

Supima Cotton Sweater Polo by Banana Republic 

BUY IT HERE: $65

Havana Blue Houndstooth Suit by SuitSupply

BUY IT HERE: $599

“Stewart” Penny Loafer by Paul Evans

BUY IT HERE: $385

Bonus: The Zuck

Perhaps you’re gearing up to leave the firm to pursue your longtime furniture subscription startup dream. Perhaps you’ve always wondered if wearing an insanely expensive T-shirt and hoodie combo day in and day out would make you more productive. Perhaps you just DGAF. Anyway you slice it, channeling your inner Silicon Valley tech maven is sure to get you noticed.

(We’re kidding. We do not, under any circumstance, professional or otherwise, endorse this look.)

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.

Main image via SuitSupply