The dress code that says you've made it at a hedge fund

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I remember when I first received rite of passage into the hedge fund world. When I knew I had finally made it. When I officially became a master of the universe. No, it wasn’t when I made my first successful trade, or my first up year.

It was when I was given my first fleece vest.

It wasn't just any old fleece vest either. It was one with my firm's logo on it. I've never won the Masters before, but I imagine the feeling is very similar.

For some reason, wearing a fleece vest is a requirement for everybody on the buy-side. I don't know how or why it started, but it's now the symbol of working at a hedge fund. I was happy to get my first fleece vest because of what it signified. Even so, my first thought when I got it was, "Hell no!" Look, I'm no fashion icon. I'm not on the bleeding edge of style. My sense of style is best described as, hobo chic, but without the chic. So I can't tell you what's fashionable, but I can tell you what isn't. And a fleece vest isn't. It's just like the Masters. There's a reason why you don't see many golfers wear green jackets outside of Augusta.

The hedge fund fleece is surprisingly comfortable

It's funny how a person with no fashion sense would be reluctant to wear something because he thinks it's not fashionable. The irony is not lost on me. My life was perfectly fine, having never worn a fleece before. I saw no need to change that. Until one day...

I never have a problem with being too cold in the office. But one day, it was freezing. Maybe I under-dressed for the weather. Or I was starting to get sick. Or somebody turned up the AC. For whatever reason, I was cold. I tried drinking tea, but that wasn't cutting it. With no other alternatives, I had no choice but to put on that fleece vest. I was apprehensive at first, but that apprehension suddenly turned to delight. I was really surprised at how comfortable it was. Fleece vests are actually really good at keeping you warm. And unlike a sweater, they're not too bulky around your arms. Best of all, they do a phenomenal job of hiding whatever stain you get on your shirt after lunch!

I don't wear my fleece vest all the time, especially outside the office, since I don't need to broadcast to everybody where I work, but I have a newfound appreciation for how comfortable a fleece vest can be. Maybe I should start accessorizing it with a fanny pack? Could be the start of something.

Margin of Saving was created by an analyst at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund to help others learn how to invest and save.

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