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Business attire for women

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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 07:08
Wow.. really, now I'm starting to wonder too..

But I'm pretty sure that this girl strictly only wears black.. she worked for a bulge bracket firm in NY, and now moved to a firm like KKR, Carlyle, etc.. so she's a reliable source I must say..
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 07:45
For those who have had school interviews, what would you recommend?

Suit w/ pants or a skirt? and what color?
Button down shirt w/ color outside the suit or a nice sweater underneath the suit top?
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 08:24
prospective mba wrote:
For those who have had school interviews, what would you recommend?

Suit w/ pants or a skirt? and what color?
Button down shirt w/ color outside the suit or a nice sweater underneath the suit top?


you mean b-school admission interview? I don't think it matters what you wear at these interviews all that much. Don't buy a new suit. I think anything deacent looking is fine for b-school interviews
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 11:13
What is the rule on pantyhose/stockings? If you wear a skirt do you have to wear icky grandma pantyhose? Haha yuck
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 20:20
The guys seemed to be buying new suits & ties for their b-school interviews.

Yes, I would really love to know about stockings.. what color? And should we even wear them?
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 22:40
I've stuck to pants for my bschool interviews precisely due to the hosiery quandary. I hate hosiery, but not sure what's appropriate for bschool. In my work, I go bare. Hell, I'm young and my legs look good...and I work in tech.

My suits are all from BCBG. Young, stylish, but still a suit.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 08:13
katgirl82 wrote:
What is the rule on pantyhose/stockings? If you wear a skirt do you have to wear icky grandma pantyhose? Haha yuck


I am afraid yes you have to wear them :(
and they have to be skin color, the less visible they are the better
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 08:34
Darden2010 wrote:
katgirl82 wrote:
What is the rule on pantyhose/stockings? If you wear a skirt do you have to wear icky grandma pantyhose? Haha yuck


I am afraid yes you have to wear them :(
and they have to be skin color, the less visible they are the better


Wait Im confused about this. I thought it needs to be darker. I thought I read somewhere that lighter colors are more "sexy" and less professional. Although I would stick to pants too just as mba2010, for the same reason.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 14:44
Looks like pants it is! darn. I have a really cute skirt suit. But this whole stockings thing is just too confusing.
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Re: Business attire for women [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 14:48
I wore pants to both my interviews. It gets cold in NE and i like it warm

However am debating if we shud leave or hair open or tie it back as tight as possible.
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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.
Re: Business attire for women   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2008, 07:45

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