The Goldman Sachs Elevator Guide To Dressing Like A Gentleman
— Updated on 11 June 2021

The Goldman Sachs Elevator Guide To Dressing Like A Gentleman

— Updated on 11 June 2021
John McMahon
John McMahon

Fashion is a tricky one. Given that the vast majority of blokes are fashion illiterates (at the least we try but can’t always execute), getting your daily wardrobe right is a tough one.

It’s common to make an effort for that expensive black tie fundraiser or your mate’s beach wedding, but the devil is in the details you put into your daily clothing routine. After all, what’s the point in only putting in 110% effort once every blue moon? Your personal brand is at stake, so make sure you’re making a bang-on-point impression every time you leave the house.

Goldman Sachs advice is notorious for being taken with a grain of salt, but they still make some valid points. At the least if you find just one takeaway from this article, it’ll be useful come next Monday morning.


  • You can’t go wrong with a two-button, notched-lapel suit. It’s a classic look that fits nearly every body type.
  • If your suit stands out or is too distinctive, your colleagues will remember it as the one you wear all the time.
  • In terms of colour, keep it to various shades of grey and navy, with a few varieties of pinstripes. That’s all you need. Brown suits are for back office guys.
  • Buy as many suits as you can reasonably afford. And go bespoke or at least semi-made to measure. Remember, “an architect is only as good as his builder, and a fashion designer is only as good as your tailor.”
  • Pocket squares are for bucket shop bankers and CNBC pundits. Skip it.
  • No pleats and no cuffs. Cuffed pants are for limo drivers.
  • A belt is generally optional, but in the United States, you should wear one.
  • Go with a small, symmetrical, half Windsor knot. And the general rule, especially at banks, is that you can’t rock an Hermès tie until you have some clout. So, again, play it safe with Zegna or Giorgio Armani.
  • Picking out shoes doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Keep it simple with some classic Prada loafers.
  • Don’t be cheap with the shoes either; women notice. Besides, quality $700 shoes last 3-4x longer than anything you can get in the $300 price range.
  • Contrary to popular belief, flamboyant socks don’t add flair or personality. They just make you look British. Instead, buy twenty pair of identical black socks. Throw them away and refresh every six months. It feels great to start the day off with brand new socks.
  • On casual Fridays, wear whatever socks you want, but please God, still wear socks.


  • Get your shirts made. The value of a custom shirt far exceeds the cost, and the relative value is a no-brainer.
  • Have new shirts made every year and donate the old ones to a charity that provides clothing and career guidance to low-income men.
  • Stick with a stiff spread colour; it’s versatile enough to work with or without a tie, and goes with jeans or a suit.
  • Oxford collars and shirt pockets are for Bernie Sanders supporters.
  • If you sweat, wear an undershirt. You can’t beat NVSBL – they’re longer (stay tucked), more comfortable, sweat and odor fighting, and totally invisible. Hygiene and aesthetics aside, quality undershirts will significantly prolong the life of your dress shirts, and generally make you less disgusting.
  • Monogrammed shirts are passé. Get your gun monogrammed instead.

The Gym

  • The era of baggy shorts is over. And mesh shorts are only acceptable in Myrtle Beach or the buzzer waiting room at Applebee’s.
  • Get rid of the Ivy League apparel, unless you like barefoot running on a treadmill or pursed-lipped nodding at every person you pass on the trail.
  • When it comes to name brands, Under Armour is for guys who think Chateaubriand is a French cabernet.
  • These Birddogs are the best shorts on the planet — perfect for the gym, playing tennis, or (how I use them) chasing a toddler around a playground.
  • While you’re at it, spend less time on a treadmill and more time playing a competitive sport. After all, the squash court is an extension of the office.


  • Cedar shoe trees are a must, especially when you travel.
  • Backpacks might be “suddenly cool for grown men” but not with a suit. Grow up, and get an adult bag.
  • When it comes to watches, they serve a purpose – presenting yourself as “high-status” is proven to make you appear more attractive to women. But avoid Panerai — it’s an action hero watch for guys who brag about cheating on their wives.
  • Other than wedding wings, watches, and cuff links, no jewellery. The only thing worse for a woman than meeting a guy she likes with a ring on his wedding finger is meeting a guy she likes with a ring on any other finger.


  • There is no such thing as a “going out” shirt, especially on a first date.
  • If you insist on wearing cologne, no one should smell you from five feet away or five minutes after you’ve left the room.
  • Get your haircut every 3-4 weeks. And if you’ve got problems up top, shave it or transplant it.
  • Always keep decent facial moisturizer in your desk or gym bag.
  • Don’t be an idiot when it comes to buying jeans.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

John McMahon
John McMahon is a founding member of the Boss Hunting team who honed his craft by managing content across website and social. Now, he's the publication's General Manager and specialises in bringing brands to life on the platform.


Share the article