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Current Student
Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 97

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 12

Schools: R1: Berkeley, Stanford, Yale, Michigan, Kellogg, Duke

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02 Feb 2011, 20:18

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 12

Intern
Status: Studying for my first GMAT
Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

Location: West Coast

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27 May 2011, 17:02

Suits look absolutely ridiculous on me. Always. I think the biggest problem is that I have a really young face, which creates a weird contrast (even though I'm an adult in my 20s, whenever I try on a suit, I look like a kid playing dress up). Suits just look too old for my face. The darker colors in particular, like navy and black, make me look like a 14 year old in her mom's clothes. Perhaps another part of the problem is that I'm fairly short and have a ruler shape, which makes suits look boxy and masculine on me. So whenever I try on a suit, I essentially have the problems of poor fit and looking too maturely dressed.

I do fine with business casual, but as you can imagine, I have a REALLY hard time with business formal.

So I was wondering - could I pull off a dress for business formal (assuming, of course, that it's dressy enough, made of an appropriate material, and conservatively cut)? I have a much easier time finding dresses that fit well and look appropriate. But would it be completely taboo?

I was thinking something like this: http://www.austinreed.co.uk/pws/images/catalogue/products/0370739506/large/0370739506_1.jpg (but perhaps paired with some kind of blazer).

EDIT: I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I live on the west coast - which I've always perceived to be less strict than east coast cities.

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 185

Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 68

Schools: Booth

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31 May 2011, 06:45
obsessively wrote:

Suits look absolutely ridiculous on me. Always. I think the biggest problem is that I have a really young face, which creates a weird contrast (even though I'm an adult in my 20s, whenever I try on a suit, I look like a kid playing dress up). Suits just look too old for my face. The darker colors in particular, like navy and black, make me look like a 14 year old in her mom's clothes. Perhaps another part of the problem is that I'm fairly short and have a ruler shape, which makes suits look boxy and masculine on me. So whenever I try on a suit, I essentially have the problems of poor fit and looking too maturely dressed.

I do fine with business casual, but as you can imagine, I have a REALLY hard time with business formal.

So I was wondering - could I pull off a dress for business formal (assuming, of course, that it's dressy enough, made of an appropriate material, and conservatively cut)? I have a much easier time finding dresses that fit well and look appropriate. But would it be completely taboo?

I was thinking something like this: http://www.austinreed.co.uk/pws/images/catalogue/products/0370739506/large/0370739506_1.jpg (but perhaps paired with some kind of blazer).

EDIT: I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I live on the west coast - which I've always perceived to be less strict than east coast cities.

You're going to need at least one suit, imho, for applying to and attending bschool. Depending on what you recruit for, you may need two or three suits. I don't think you will be able to get away with a dress for formal interviews.
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Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 68

Current Student
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 138

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 3

Schools: Michigan Ross Class of 2013

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31 May 2011, 08:06
I agree with runnergirl, and will also add that I'd guess 90% of the problem is fit, rather than just looking too young. Finding a good tailor who can alter a suit to fit your body will make a huge difference. Alterations are generally expensive, but if you get a good quality suit, it can last years. It's definitely worth it.
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Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 3

Intern
Status: Studying for my first GMAT
Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

Location: West Coast

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31 May 2011, 11:47
Thanks girls. I'll be sure to give a second look to some of the stores listed on here.

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

Intern
Joined: 17 Jun 2011
Posts: 2

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

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17 Jun 2011, 23:01
nice discussion...
I think pant and shirt is best for interviews....

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Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 380

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

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18 Jun 2011, 05:03
What are everyone's thoughts on a high neckline A line dress with a nice suit jacket over it for the b school interview?

I have a nice grey pin stripped suit that I plan to wear with a black button down tailored shirt. I wore this same outfit to my interviews with Citibank and Forbes magazine which worked out well.

My industry is focused on mobile technology and innovation though, which tends to be flooded with guys in t shirt and jeans.
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Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 380

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

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18 Jun 2011, 05:05
Oh by the way, I don't know if this has been discussed already, but for those who are in the US, Rue La La and Ideeli are daily flash sales sites that sometimes have great business suit sales for women. Some of the brands I remember seeing include Tahari, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ann Klein, etc.

I like Gilt and Hautelook too, but they don't seem to have as many suit sales.
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~ PickyTooth - Eat Like a Local Foodie // http://www.pickytooth.com ~
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Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 29

Manager
Status: Post application wait begins!
Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 144

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 3

Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37
GPA: 3.82
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)

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31 Oct 2011, 23:25
This thread is a great resource for women's business attire. I have a question regarding shoes. Is patent leather appropriate in a professional setting?
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Intern
Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 32

Kudos [?]: 31 [0], given: 36

Concentration: Operations, Marketing
GPA: 3.1
WE: Project Management (Non-Profit and Government)

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22 Nov 2011, 19:13
I am fortunate enough to live close enough to an outlet mall with a Kasper. Kasper is a store that sells only suits. You can find Kasper suits at Macy's too.

I bought a black pant suit and a grey one. I couldn't resist the grey one because it looks cute on. I spent \$200 total. Not too bad. I'll probably wear black to any interviews.
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Kelly

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Kudos [?]: 31 [0], given: 36

Intern
Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 1

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

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03 Jan 2012, 02:53
What should you wear? Are panthose always necessary?

How much make up for the workplace?

bpwfoundation org

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Intern
Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

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15 Jan 2012, 05:42
It just depends on what you like .Even you can go to tailor accordong to your requirement.

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Intern
Status: HBS applicant (invited for interview)
Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 26

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

Schools: HBS

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27 Jan 2012, 06:18
bschool2014 wrote:
This thread is a great resource for women's business attire. I have a question regarding shoes. Is patent leather appropriate in a professional setting?
I think patent leather is fine as long as it's a dark colour and not THAT shiny, and obviously, polished.

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

Intern
Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 9

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

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31 Jan 2012, 03:59
The phrase “business casual” indicates different things to different organizations. In some organizations it may be satisfactory for females to use Capri jeans or long tops – but prevent these for enterprise purchases. You want to venture that you are a enterprise lady, and not look like a mom returning to a getting together with from your kid's perform time frame.

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Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 19

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 1

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25 Feb 2012, 18:56
Hi there - I was wondering whether anyone had an opinion on whether wearing a nice elie tahari one-piece knee-length dress with a nice cardigan would work. not as formal as it would be with a blazer, but still a good quality outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 1

Intern
Status: HBS applicant (invited for interview)
Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 26

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

Schools: HBS

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26 Feb 2012, 07:20
jerseygal wrote:
Hi there - I was wondering whether anyone had an opinion on whether wearing a nice elie tahari one-piece knee-length dress with a nice cardigan would work. not as formal as it would be with a blazer, but still a good quality outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks

I would wear it with a blazer at least. In fact, I would probably recommend wearing a suit, especially if you're interviewing with a school like HBS. Considering that most of the men would be wearing suits, you don't want to come across as under-dressed or less than professional.

I used to think wearing a dress + blazer was professional enough, but a quick poll of the partners in my firm revealed that many of them consider that less professional / formal than a suit, and hence less appropriate for a formal business meeting. I think it's silly, but I rather err on the side of caution than worry that someone is judging me negatively because of what I'm wearing.

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Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2010
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26 Feb 2012, 08:12
ataraxia wrote:
jerseygal wrote:
Hi there - I was wondering whether anyone had an opinion on whether wearing a nice elie tahari one-piece knee-length dress with a nice cardigan would work. not as formal as it would be with a blazer, but still a good quality outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks

I would wear it with a blazer at least. In fact, I would probably recommend wearing a suit, especially if you're interviewing with a school like HBS. Considering that most of the men would be wearing suits, you don't want to come across as under-dressed or less than professional.

I used to think wearing a dress + blazer was professional enough, but a quick poll of the partners in my firm revealed that many of them consider that less professional / formal than a suit, and hence less appropriate for a formal business meeting. I think it's silly, but I rather err on the side of caution than worry that someone is judging me negatively because of what I'm wearing.

Blazer it is!

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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 30

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 9

Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Rice University (Jones) - Class of 2014
GPA: 3.5

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13 Mar 2012, 18:09
jerseygal wrote:
Hi there - I was wondering whether anyone had an opinion on whether wearing a nice elie tahari one-piece knee-length dress with a nice cardigan would work. not as formal as it would be with a blazer, but still a good quality outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks

Not trying to beat a dead horse here... and I understand why this doesn't work for interviews and formal meetings. But is there anytime when a dress like this will be ok in business school? Or is it just too dressy for class but not formal enough for a networking event?

I already own several calvin klein dresses like this that I used to wear at work all the time, so it'd be nice to use them when I can. I don't mind standing out against the guys, but I don't want to look like someone's secretary.

FYI - also, I wouldn't often want to wear them with a cardigan/blazer only because I'll be in the sweltering south. So are bare arms an absolute no-no?

Thanks.

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 9

Intern
Status: HBS applicant (invited for interview)
Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 26

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

Schools: HBS

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27 Mar 2012, 21:50
histgirl wrote:
jerseygal wrote:
Hi there - I was wondering whether anyone had an opinion on whether wearing a nice elie tahari one-piece knee-length dress with a nice cardigan would work. not as formal as it would be with a blazer, but still a good quality outfit. Thoughts?

Thanks

Not trying to beat a dead horse here... and I understand why this doesn't work for interviews and formal meetings. But is there anytime when a dress like this will be ok in business school? Or is it just too dressy for class but not formal enough for a networking event?

I already own several calvin klein dresses like this that I used to wear at work all the time, so it'd be nice to use them when I can. I don't mind standing out against the guys, but I don't want to look like someone's secretary.

FYI - also, I wouldn't often want to wear them with a cardigan/blazer only because I'll be in the sweltering south. So are bare arms an absolute no-no?

Thanks.

I'm not sure about business school, but I wear stuff like that to work all the time, just not for super-formal business meetings. For casual client meetings, I typically wear a dress and a blazer.

The weather where I am is disgustingly hot too, but we always wear a blazer indoors.

Not sure if this is representative of b-sch norms, but that's my 2 cents worth. Hope this helps!

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Intern
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
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28 Mar 2012, 04:30
What is the best dress to be worn in a b school?

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