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Senior Manager
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19 Jan 2008, 15:08
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Hello to all the women on this forum

I was able to find some business atire suggestions for men on this forum, but none for women.

So what is considered an acceptable business attire for women these days?
Where do you normaly shop?

When I lived in the US I bought a couple of suits from JC Penny's and Liz Claiborne
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20 Jan 2008, 13:09
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I've been getting my suits from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft. H&M has some good separates (skirts, blouses, etc)...Macy's/Nordstrom usually has some nice stuff as well. The problem there is that often you have to buy the same size in top/bottom in the suit - if you need different sizes, your best bet is probably Banana/Ann Taylor, etc.

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Senior Manager
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21 Jan 2008, 01:57
There is H&M in the US?
ok now I feel better

And, Banana Republic's suits are kind of not traditional. I am thinking I would like to wear a very traditional suit for b-school recruiting. And what is up with these stiches on the outside of the jackets?? I really don't like that trend in today's fashion
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21 Jan 2008, 11:18
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I think it really depends on where you are trying to go and your personal style.

Low End: Target has great suits. I wore one to a Kellogg event and everyone kept telling me how great my suit was, and I normally wear designer (Bloomingdales) but I didnt have a black, navy or grey suit for this weekend event. I wore a grey suit (dk grey) blue dress shirt, pearl earrings and necklace, and navy pumps.

Mid Price (But Designer): Marshalls, TJ Max- yeah you will have to search but you can find some really nice suits there for 1/2 price. I think Banana R. suits are non-traditional and can be too fashion forward and the fit is not perfect.

Fashion High End: Ralph Lauren, Elie Tahari, Theory
Elie Tahari is my favorite next Ralph Lauren. The suits fit right, not too big or small, they have a more modern look and young attitude. My Theory pants are great, as they do not wrinkle, stain resistant, and always look good, year after year.

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Senior Manager
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21 Jan 2008, 14:56
It really depends what you are interviewing for. If you are in banking you will need to go higher end (ie: brooks brothers, ralph lauren etc). If not you can probably do JCrew, Banana Republic etc. It'll also depend on your personal taste and tolerance. I've heard you can get lucky and find some good deals at TJ Max etc. However, I personally have zero tolerance for sorting through racks and racks of clothes and would gladly pay more to avoid this experience. It's about what works well for your body as well. I'm petitie so Banana and JCrew fit me really well. That might not be the case for someone else.

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21 Jan 2008, 15:19
Your right. It def depends on your shape too. I am 5'3 short, petite with curves so I need my suits tailored in the waist.
Suits with any decorations tend to look to sexy on me. So I stay away from decorative buttons, fancy tops. Dont decorate any areas of your body that can cause distractions. Most of the times your interviewing with men.

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21 Jan 2008, 20:59
I believe that you can find some nice suits (not expensive) from Zara.. check out the Zara Woman line if you want the better looking ones.. although you can also find nice ones in Zara Basic.

Masimmo Dutti also has a nice selection of suits. Most of my suits are black or black with pin stripes.. I used to be client-facing all the time.

For interviews do you usually wear skirts?
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Senior Manager
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22 Jan 2008, 01:43
For interviews I will always wear skirts, it is the more traditional way. Normally I am not a very traditional type, but when it comes to recruiting I think it traditional is the best way to go.
At interviews I will wear skirt, shirt and just a thin white-gold necklace.

I used to live in the US until 3 years ago, and while I was there I had not heard of Zara and H&M. Now I live in Europe, and when I moved to Europe I discovered Zara, H&M, Mango and Cotton and I like all of them a lot so I am really glad that these brands are also present in the US now.

Also, do you girls think it is appropriate to wear boots to interview?
I am applying to schools located in cold parts of the US therefore I think during the recruiting season the weather will be cold. I don't know if it is appropriate to wear boots & a skirt (I just don't like the way that combination looks). But on the other hand I don't know if it is appropriate to wear pumps when there is snow outside
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22 Jan 2008, 03:48
You can definitely find Zara in the US

I still think that pumps is the way to go for interviews, I just don't like the look of boots with formal business attire, especially if you're interviewing with an i-bank or consulting firm.

My friend's sister has worked in IB for a couple of years, now she moved to HF, when she looked at suits.. she would only choose these 3 colors:
1. black
2. black
3. black

LOL.. this is what she said about grey:.. "oh, this is pushing it!"
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22 Jan 2008, 07:43
bee186 wrote:
My friend's sister has worked in IB for a couple of years, now she moved to HF, when she looked at suits.. she would only choose these 3 colors:
1. black
2. black
3. black

LOL.. this is what she said about grey:.. "oh, this is pushing it!"

This is what I found on the guy's thread for 'what to wear'. I used to think black is the best way to go but I am starting to have doubts

Following material is from the guy's thread:
Your suit should be charcoal gray or navy blue. If you don't know what this means, charcoal gray would apply to the 2-3 darkest shades that you can find at a suit store and navy blue is the shade that looks black under dim lighting. It does not mean any lighter shade of gray, it definitely doesn't mean royal blue, it doesn't mean brown or olive or anything like that. If you want a pinstripe or pattern, make sure it is really subtle. Really really subtle. Let me say that again, extremely subtle. Do not get chalk stripes, or wide pinstripes, or some type of noticeable plaid pattern on your suits. Just don't. I'd recommend getting at least two suits. Keep it simple and get one charcoal and one navy, one with a pinstripe and one without.

Some people insist on wearing a black suit. Black is generally not considered business attire. GQ says no. I have heard from many different people that it makes you look like an undertaker or a G-man. Not everyone thinks this way, but please refer back up to the part where it says 'you should never be remembered for your clothes'. A lot of people won't care that you're wearing a black suit; a few people will. The few people that do remember may ding you. Yes, it's true. I have a friend who's been in consulting for about 9 years now. He dings people that wear black suits - they probably don't even know why.
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22 Jan 2008, 08:08
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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22 Jan 2008, 08:45
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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22 Jan 2008, 09:24
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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22 Jan 2008, 12:13
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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22 Jan 2008, 21:20
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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22 Jan 2008, 23:40
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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23 Jan 2008, 09:13
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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23 Jan 2008, 09:34
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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23 Jan 2008, 15:44
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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23 Jan 2008, 15:48
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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