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Business attire for women

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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 15:05
toDoorNot wrote:

However am debating if we shud leave or hair open or tie it back as tight as possible.


How long is your hair? I guess it depends on that. Upto shoulder length open should be ok. Anything longer, I might tie it.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 20:23
if your hair tends to be frizzy/poufy, I'd consider wearing it pulled back - I think it looks more "put together" that way. In my case, if it's rainy outside, I pull out the straightener and have to pull the hair back or else I end up with hair looking like that of Richard Simmons (of 80s excercise video fame) - not quite the image I want to portray :)
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2008, 00:52
I wonder why most women who are powerful executives or CEOs have their hair cut short.. I rarely see them with long hair..
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2008, 01:58
hi girls,

I think skirt looks more professional than pants so I will def. wear skirt

And I did not say that the stockings should be lighter than your skin color, but as close to your skin color as possible. I don't think they should be darker/lighter but as exactly your skin color as possible.
Ofcourse you won't find some that are exactly your color, but an 'unnoticable' variation will not be noticed... so just go with something as close as possible
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2008, 02:01
bee186 wrote:
I wonder why most women who are powerful executives or CEOs have their hair cut short.. I rarely see them with long hair..


I personally think that too long hair is not professional. The longest my hair ever got is sholder length

Also, most older women (40+) prefer to have short hair, and the CEOs are normally older (at least 35+
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2008, 08:32
bee186 wrote:
I wonder why most women who are powerful executives or CEOs have their hair cut short.. I rarely see them with long hair..


I personally think long hair on older women isn't age appropriate.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2008, 17:14
My own two cents:

Women get away with a lot - the rules are much more fluid.

Stockings - I think you just look more polished with them on, but that's me. I would also say that tights tend to be a bit casual, but nylons are fine. Black or skin -- i see a lot of both, but white or whatever would seem out of place. I have heard people say that in the biz world you never go with bare legs, ever. However, I think that's changing with our generation. I wear 'em when I'm dressed to impress, but some friends don't, and these are friends who have a sensible look. If you want to be more conservative, wear stockings of some kind.

Pants or skirt -- I promise it won't matter for your interviews. Even in recruiting -- from brand mgmt to ib to consulting -- women wear both. Wear what you feel comfortable in. (It should go without saying that ally mcbeal's skirts were only fit for primetime and never the board room. Pants shouldn't be too tight.)

Hair - the general rule is that up is more professional, or shorter than shoulder. I tend to agree. I have two friends with glorious hair, the kind that smitten lovers would write poetry about. One's blond and the other a redhead. They've got great hair, but I think it's so much and so beautiful that you tend to see their hair and not them. It'd be like wearing fire-engine-red lipstick -- hello, lips....instead of hello, greatest accomplishment.

Shirt - sweaters and button-downs are both fine for admissions interviews. I have heard that button-downs are more conservative (this from an IB friend), but I see a lot of both. I never wear button-downs b/c I'm too busty. They never fit in all three places (waste, bust, shoulder) at the same time and I am too cheap to buy one that is sized as bras are. Also, I am short and curvy and just don't need the extra fabric that comes with the collar and buttons.

Don't know if this helps. If I can scope anything out for you all, let me know.

Oh, and I love TJ for suits. I got a great one - jacket, skirt, and pants - for $70. Retailed for way, way more.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2008, 01:39
About the pants vs. skirt dilema

When you interview you are actully marketing yourself, selling yourself. Anyone that has worked in sales can tell you that any detail matters. And, ofcourse you won't get the job just because of one detial but all the details put together make who you are in the eyes of the interviewer. Also, there is a thoury that people get an oppinion about you in the first 30 seconds they meet you, and it is really hard to change that first 'impression' or the first judgements that people make about you.
Therefore looks matters and every detail matters because it is part of the product you are trying to sell. And when you interview everythig you put on matters, even your nails matter!! and therefore it matters if you wear a skirt or pants. Sure both of them are present in the business world, and once you get the job you can wear them both in any color you like :) but for the interview go with the 'more perfect' choice = skirt. You just leave a better impression by wearing a skirt, and it is that first 'rather subcontious' impression that you leave on the interviewer, is the impression they get before they start to think whether they like pants or skirt better :). Maybe skirt is better because it is the more traditional and therefore the more normal business attire for women, maybe it is because the interviewer grew up watching his/her mother wearing skirt to work... who knows :) but when you interview you are not there to change traditions, you are there to sell your product.

I am still having doubts about the color though. I have heard that for men black is no longer acceptable color, but I don't know if that applies to women also. And if it doesn't why would it be any different for women ?!?!?
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:14
women wear black all the time.

also, keep in mind who your interviewer is. an alum working in IB will likely have different expectations from a student.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2008, 07:45
Darden2010 wrote:
About the pants vs. skirt dilema

When you interview you are actully marketing yourself, selling yourself. Anyone that has worked in sales can tell you that any detail matters. And, ofcourse you won't get the job just because of one detial but all the details put together make who you are in the eyes of the interviewer. Also, there is a thoury that people get an oppinion about you in the first 30 seconds they meet you, and it is really hard to change that first 'impression' or the first judgements that people make about you.
Therefore looks matters and every detail matters because it is part of the product you are trying to sell. And when you interview everythig you put on matters, even your nails matter!! and therefore it matters if you wear a skirt or pants. Sure both of them are present in the business world, and once you get the job you can wear them both in any color you like :) but for the interview go with the 'more perfect' choice = skirt. You just leave a better impression by wearing a skirt, and it is that first 'rather subcontious' impression that you leave on the interviewer, is the impression they get before they start to think whether they like pants or skirt better :). Maybe skirt is better because it is the more traditional and therefore the more normal business attire for women, maybe it is because the interviewer grew up watching his/her mother wearing skirt to work... who knows :) but when you interview you are not there to change traditions, you are there to sell your product.

I am still having doubts about the color though. I have heard that for men black is no longer acceptable color, but I don't know if that applies to women also. And if it doesn't why would it be any different for women ?!?!?


I wore a black pant suit to all my interviews. A little tight, even. With a sweater and unpolished nails. I think I still did pretty well.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 06:32
Regarding the pantyhose dillema:

I took a professional development class in undergrad (it was required for my major) that talked about how to write a resume & cover letter, how to interview, how to network, etc. On the last day of class, the prof. gave extra credit to those who came to class in business dress. Now mind you, I was working full-time at the time for a pretty conservative organization. So I came to class in what I wore to work that day: black skirt suit with a right-at-the-knee pencil skirt, a button down shirt, nude pantyhose, and black high-heeled mary jane shoes. The one critique that the prof. had for me was that she said I should have worn black pantyhose as to not draw attention to my legs. Now mind you, I had never heard this before, so take it for what it's worth.

You would not believe what most of the other students were wearing as "professional dress", though! Granted it was during the summer, so it was rather warm outside, but most of the girls had on short khaki skirts, a button-down shirt or knit shirt, no pantyhose, and sandals. Most of the guys just had on khaki pants and a button-down or polo shirt. And these were all seniors!

Also, regarding shoes, for conservative situations, open-toed shoes are a huge no-no. I've never been into open-toed shoes, but when I joined my current company, my boss (who is female) told me explicitly that hose and closed-toed shoes were mandatory with skirts.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2008, 17:06
For my B-school interviews, I bought myself a black suit (pants, not skirt) from Ann Taylor. I wore ankle boots under the pants. I have hair down to about my shoulder blades, and I left it down (if I put it up, it tends to frizz in any rain or heat--and it seemed to be raining for every single interview I attended). No jewelry at all, did nothing with my nails or anything like that. So, I was probably as "bad" as you can get (long hair left down, black pantsuit, boots) and I had a pretty good sweep on my acceptances.

I think that, in the end, you're not going to get dinged for what you wear as you long as you look professional and don't do anything too off-putting (no heavy perfume or crazy jewelry). I saw plenty of women with their hair down, a lot of black, and I'd say the majority of women I saw wore pants. While there may be particular expectations if you're in a business where you clearly wear a suit all the time, I'd say that if you don't normally wear a suit on a day-to-day basis, don't stress. Buy a suit you're comfortable in, make sure you look reasonably professional, and you should be fine.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2008, 11:33
I would say black definitely works.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2008, 12:37
vinviper wrote:
I would say black definitely works.


so why does black definitely work for women, and it definitely does not work for men?
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2008, 18:50
interesting thread!
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2008, 17:49
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On the Matter of Skirts and Interviews
My inclination is to advise against it unless you really have a keen sense of style. Too often, I see young women at recruiting/networking business events wearing form-fitted skirts with 3+ inch heels who "think" they look good... when in fact they come across as overcompensating and ill bred. While it's true that several decades ago, the majority of skirts looked very prim and proper, that balance has unfortunately shifted to a preponderance of poorly dressed women trying to emulate Sex and the City. Be very careful that people remember you for your intelligence and aptitude, not your vanity.

But if you insist on wearing a skirt anyway...
DON'T make it a pencil skirt. Admittedly, they can look great and I'm prone to wearing them at the office myself, but we're talking about how to dress BEFORE you've got the job. Pencil skirts can be borderline too sexy and inappropriate for an interview. I'd go with A-line skirts which are knee length, and though this sounds like a minor detail, opt for ones made of thicker or heavier material. If the skirt's material is too thin or flimsy, it will cling to your thighs as you walk or when you're sitting down (wholly unattractive). Worse still, problems with static cling.

I'd also wear hosiery instead of going barelegged. (But beware, this will exacerbate static cling.) Traditionalists will prefer dark pantyhose, but I think that sort of thing belongs in the 80s along with gargantuan shoulder pads. The more modern look would be either black (opaque tights) or matching your skin tone.

Footwear
Unless you're an utter tomboy or have orthopedic issues, I'd go with heels anywhere up to 3 inches in height but no higher. Pointy or almond-shaped front, that cover your toes and your heel (so no sandals, peeptoes or slingbacks). D'Orsay heels are maaaaybe okay, but pushing it a little. Boots are okay if hidden under pants, but no boot+skirt combo--same reason as why not to wear pencil skirts. You probably already know that stilettos are an obvious no, but I'll say it anyway. Metallic heels have been seen on shoe store shelves too, and those too should be avoided.

Hair
I have only one rule. If you're over the age of 25, it should not go past your boobs. Get it cut. Your high school days are long past. Also, if you have a tendency play with your hair when you're nervous, pull your hair back for an interview. Nervous ticks like that will undermine any confidence you're trying to convey.

If You Don't Want to Look Like a Complete Bore
Use one or two accessories to dress up a run-of-the-mill suit. Scarves, bracelets, necklaces, just don't overdo it. If you're not confident about how to accessorize but would nonetheless like to look more unique, one thing to try is purposely dressing starkly all in one color, but carry a high-impact handbag that will stand out.

As Women We Have No Excuse for Carrying Hideous Laptop Bags
You know the ones I'm talking about: those black stock ones that usually came free with the laptop when you bought it. There are so many other options out there... your mission should you choose to accept it: get a laptop bag that doesn't so blatantly look like a laptop bag.

And Once You've Nailed the Job Interview and Are Moving Up the Corporate Ladder
It's time to get serious about finding your own personal style. :D It'd encourage you all to browse http://www.style.com/fashionshows and get acquainted with it. My own rules for interviews lean towards the conservative side, but those go out the window once the "new" office environment becomes your office environment. Skirts, boots, high fashion, are all fair game.

Post any favorites you come across. :) I'll start.
L'Wren Scott RTW 2008: http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashion ... 00060m.jpg
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2008, 18:06
plus one, fairplay! Snarky? Yes. Informative? Certainly.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2008, 18:11
if interviewing to fight the crusades:
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2008, 15:57
Kudos, Fairplay! You're currently my favorite poster in the whole forum! :)
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2008, 20:34
^^ Thanks Bee! That's really nice of you to say. :-D

And yeah aaudetat... perhaps I should have written a disclaimer about style.com ! There is all kinds of weird stuff on there, with the Crusades thing only the tip of the iceberg. As for designers that tend to be a little more... "wearable", Luca Luca, Jil Sander, Nicole Miller are better bets.

I guess we should all just count ourselves lucky that we don't look like this guy, who lost a fight with a paper shredder:
Attachment:
Thom Brown Spring 2008.jpg
Thom Brown Spring 2008.jpg [ 33.68 KiB | Viewed 7051 times ]


Ahh, the wacky (tacky?) world of fashion. I just can't tear myself away from the madness of it.

Anyway, so that this isn't a completely useless post, another tidbit of advice: something I personally have to start working on is state of my hair over the course of the day. (I do my thing in the morning, and then that's it.) But given that many of the recruitment events happen after classes, keeping a comb/brush with you, and perhaps a small bit of gel to calm any frizzy or fly-away hair would do a world of good. You wouldn't actually have to DO your hair to be fancy or anything, but just use the gel to smooth it a bit on the surface so everything looks polished and in place. I daresay that tidy, tangle-free hair does more for one's look than a face full of makeup. If I only had a few minutes to work with, I'd go with hair maintenance.
Re: Business attire for women   [#permalink] 06 Apr 2008, 20:34
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