Back when I was younger, people who worked in finance looked different. They all wore suits, tie, cufflinks with their facial hair clean shaven. Now a days it’s a little different. You don’t wear a suit unless you work at a bank, and if you are at a hedge fund – business casual can be pretty open to interpretation.
Here is exactly what you will need to survive your first spring/summer working on the buy-side:
American Crew Fiber: Probably the best stuff you can put in your hair. They have a few different types but Fiber is definitely the best.
Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts: One of my favorite brands, and they have great quality items for really cheap prices. You can generally get 4 Shirts for $200, and they will last forever.
Hugo Boss Metost: My goto dress shoe. Not overly done, kind of simple, and looks good. Read my review here. $225.00
Bonobos Weekday Warriors: The best pair of pants you can buy. They are comfortable and come in three different fits (Tailored, Slim, Straight) and a bunch of different colors. Checkout their physical locations to get fitted (my review here) and start ordering. $98.00
Patagonia Vest: Also known as the douche-vest, or finance-vest. This thing pretty much just says “I work in finance, and am presumably smarter than you.”
The other week we held our annual office fantasy football dinner, where the bottom half of the pool picks up the tab. We have a weekly pick em league, with over 30 guys, so it’s safe to say you want to be on the top of the table. The bill per loser can really rack up, especially when some people go for the jugular, i.e. Porterhouse for 2 for 1, or bottles of Opus One. For me, win or lose, I do it for the networking and face time.
The past few years the dinner has been held at Smith & Wollensky, but this year my boss decided to change it up. He has his assistant look into private rooms at Del Frisco’s, Quality Meats, Maloney & Porcelli, Keens… I think even at one point the idea of STK Midtown was thrown around. However, due to the dinner being scheduled around some pretty important people and the size of the group, none of the above were able to accommodate us. That’s when we came across Club A Steakhouse, which was close to the office and has a private dinning room on the second floor that we would be able to fit the group.
Earlier that morning, in true sore winner fashion, my boss sent out an email to all the winners/losers advising on how to maximize tonight’s eating potential by not filling up for breakfast and/or lunch. I definitely took note, and ordered a light lunch from Certe around 11:00, so I would be starving.
We all walked down 58th Street and saw the trees outside Club A wrapped in lights, which made me realize I passed this place the other day going back to my apartment from Home Depot. We walked in, and quickly realized this place loves the color red. There was red ceilings, red walls, red seat cushions… Also, they had a ton of velvet. They had enough velvet to make velour suits for the whole borough of Staten Island. With the decor of red, gold, and velvet, I felt like I was in Tony “Scarface” Montana’s Miami Mansion – I was waiting to see a globe with the words ‘The World is Mine’ on it. So we walked up the stairs into the ‘Living Room’ section – which could seat up to 45 people. As you could have guessed, more red and velvet, and a fireplace which was nice.
The feast was about to begin and I was starving. I ordered a Chimay as we waiting to order. Haven’t had a good Trappist beer in a while, and wanted to see what the good old Belgian monks have been brewing. As soon as the waiter took our order we saw the first rush of appetizers come to the table, thick cut bacon and seafood towers. The bacon was unbelievable, cut about 1/4 of an inch thick, and was getting some great reviews from the table. It was tender, juicy, and had a nice charred outside. From every angle I was able to see people cutting the bacon and stuffing it into their mouths. The steak sauce they provided went well with the smokiness of the meat. Since going to to Club A, I have been contemplating stoping their for lunch just to get some swine – and at $5/slice it’s extremely tempting. Onto the seafood towers, which were massive. I honestly do not remember how many of these we ordered but all that remained was crushed ice and the discarded inedible carcasses of the shellfish. The platters included U7 Shrimp (which means 7 shrimp per pound so they were huge), Lobster, King Crab Meat, and Colossal Crab Meat. Seafood was all extremely fresh and before I knew it I was ducking out of the way of pieces of shells flying from fellow employees cracking open massive lobster claws.
Once the shared appetizers were cleared from the table, we received our personal appetizers. I went with the Tuna Tartare since the waiter talked it up so much, and it didn’t disappoint. The portion was massive, which was worrying me as I had a huge steak coming soon. Then I realized I am a bottomless pit, and ate the heaping mountain of raw tuna. We had a nice pause so we can all digest, and continue drinking before the main courses came. I drank another Chimay, followed by some Red Wine since the waiters kept refilling my glass – I mean, why not, I did come in the top 15 of the pool, and I was not chipping in for the bill.
Prior to the main courses, a slew of waiters came into the private room like something out of a movie. They were dropping down on the table the family style sides, which included 5 Cheese Truffle Mac, Onion Rings, Creamed Spinach, Jumbo Asparagus, Mash Potatoes, Garlic Herb Fries, and Hash Browns. Then came out the meat, I ordered Prime Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak for 3, to split with someone. The steak was good, however was a little over cooked – more towards medium, which was a little disappointing. This is something I could expect at a regular restaurant – but not somewhere with ‘Steakhouse’ in the name. I didn’t let this ruin the experience as the steak was still pretty good. I would say I ate my fair share of the Porterhouse, would even go as far to say I ate around 65% of it. The sides were all great, the best were definitely the hash browns and onion rings – definitely recommend ordering them.
After dinner we finished with some dessert and a Lagavulin 16, was going to order the Laphroaig 10, but as mentioned earlier I wasn’t paying…
On my off days from either Certe or Dig Inn (strange using gym terms since I haven’t seen the inside of one in months) I usually go with Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen. They currently have three locations in Manhattan:
8th Avenue & 41st
23rd Street & Madison
570 Lexington & 51st
With the Lexington Location being their newest, and the one I order from. Not only is the food great, but it comes delivered from Seamless pretty quickly. I generally order the Turkey Burger, with an extra patty, avocado, on a whole wheat bun. The burger already comes with arugula and tomato, and their special sauce – however I do not get the sauce. For a turkey burger, I have to say it is really juicy. Each bite you see the juices leak out, kind of looks like worcestershire sauce, unlike the hundreds of dried out turkey pattys across this great city. Whenever our food runners drop the order off on my desk, I see everyone stop and stare as they smell the burger – kind of an oniony, garlic, arugula smell – it is great. Although I cannot speak for the rest of their menu, I can say you should definitely order this if you are looking for a healthy and great tasting lunch order.
This morning I had some free time so I booked an appointment at Bonobos down the block from my apartment. I have been procrastinating on buying more work pants for the past few weeks, which has become an necessity due to the increasing bulge of my gut. So I woke up, a little hung over and walked over to Crosby Street. I read some reviews on Yelp about this location, about the people being snooty and pretentious – and I was kind of expecting the same. I walked in browsed around a bit, and then was greeted by some of the staff – and contrary to the people of Yelp’s comments – everyone was really nice. Also, I picture the atmosphere being kind of one of those hard-sells where they pressure you into buying way more than you came in for, and it was not. It truly was a great experience overall.
I met with Makenzie, and after a few minutes we decided on the cut and size I should be wearing in their products. We determined their Slim Straight fit looked best, and their team began to put together some things to try on in this style. I wound up buying two pairs of their WEEKDAY WARRIORS in Friday Grey and Light Friday Grey. Since I was a new customer, they gave me the 20% of Discount – which ended up saving me $40.00 and spent a total of $155 – for two pairs, which is great. Before I left Makenzie sent me my measurements for their Weekday Warrior, Workday Wools, Dress Shirts, and Shorts – which I can then use in the future to order more products online.
When I got back to my apartment, I realized I had a 30% off discount code from a flyer they sent to me the other day. So, went online and was able to order two pairs of their HERITAGE WASHED CHINOS which were finale sale – which I didn’t mind since I had all the details of my fit from today’s appointment. The chinos were marked down from $128 to $68 a pair, and then with the Discount Code: WINTERSALE30 I got the 30% for a total of $95.00.
So in total, four pairs of great fitting well made pants for $250.00 – so it was definitely worth waking up this morning and walking over there. I definitely recommend checking out their website, but I also think it is a great idea to goto one of their locations to get the fit that suits you best. They have 11 Bononos Guideshops, two of which are located in NYC – one in Flatiron, the other in SOHO. Also, they have 1-2 day shipping, which is free, so you can’t beat that either.
Prior to my first pair of Hugo Boss shoes, I would only buy Salvatore Ferragamo. I would pay between $400.00 – 625.00 for a pair of shoes that would last maybe 6 Months with everyday use. Also, these shoes were not made for New York Winters. I now only have two pair of Ferragamo’s, both of which I wear maybe once or twice a month – so they are in good shape.
Last year I purchased my first pair of Hugo Boss Metost Lace-Ups. They are awesome and look great, even better they cost around $225.00 per pair – and last more than double the average life of my more expensive pairs. I bought two pairs during Bloomingdales Friends and Family for around $330.00.
I pretty much wear these shoes almost everyday, with the exception of when I need a brown shoe – which I also picked up John Varvatos. The Hugo Boss shoes are comfortable, not heavy, and durable. Despite the occasional shoe shine when they guy comes to the office, or before big meeting, I really never take care of these shoes.
The shoe itself isn’t overdone like a lot of other brands. There is a toe cap, and some brogue work – that’s it. The picture below, makes he show look a little shiny, however it is more close to matte.