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Clara

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2

What to wear to the office as a woman?

Hi!

As an intern, in a hot, humid city, what do you recommend to wear to the office? I have a basically empty business wardrobe. Here are some of the questions going through my mind:

Would you stay away from using colors that aren't neutral (your typical beige, navy, black, white)?

Shirts/dresses lenght?

Shoes wise, do they have to be heels? If so, how high?

If the weather is hot, would it be okay not to wear a blazer?

Bags-wise, do you have to wear a shoulder bag that's big? (big enough to fit a computer for work?) or is a cross body bag good enough?

Please feel free to add any advice/tips outside the questions I listed above. And if you have any clothing store suggestions, please let me know!!

Thank youu!!

Hi!

As an intern, in a hot, humid city, what do you recommend to wear to the office? I have a basically empty business wardrobe. Here are some of the questions going through my mind:

Would you stay away from using colors that aren't neutral (your typical beige, navy, black, white)?

Shirts/dresses lenght?

Shoes wise, do they have to be heels? If so, how high?

If the weather is hot, would it be okay not to wear a blazer?

Bags-wise, do you have to wear a shoulder bag that's big? (big enough to fit a computer for work?) or is a cross body bag good enough?

Please feel free to add any advice/tips outside the questions I listed above. And if you have any clothing store suggestions, please let me know!!

Thank youu!!

2 answers

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Hello!

Congrats on the offer!

I laughed seeing your question, since I had a call with a friend in McKinsey just before joining for the same topic, I needed urgently to go shopping since my business waredrobe was non-existant!

Don´t worry, it´s something you will also see in the first weeks as you meet your colleagues and see how they dress. The good thing is that for women posibilities are very wide, the downside is that we need to think a lot more than the suit and tie!

To your points:

  • Don´t worry about the colors, we used to wear very vivid ones, as long as the outfit is formal
  • Skit and dress is super common, and lenght is the classical business -so no short!-
  • No jeans or anything related
  • No need for heels, at all! Many people wear them, tall or not to tall, but it´s totally up to you

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Congrats on the offer!

I laughed seeing your question, since I had a call with a friend in McKinsey just before joining for the same topic, I needed urgently to go shopping since my business waredrobe was non-existant!

Don´t worry, it´s something you will also see in the first weeks as you meet your colleagues and see how they dress. The good thing is that for women posibilities are very wide, the downside is that we need to think a lot more than the suit and tie!

To your points:

  • Don´t worry about the colors, we used to wear very vivid ones, as long as the outfit is formal
  • Skit and dress is super common, and lenght is the classical business -so no short!-
  • No jeans or anything related
  • No need for heels, at all! Many people wear them, tall or not to tall, but it´s totally up to you

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Last time someone asked this question, only men tried to answer, so thank you Clara! — Allen on Apr 22, 2021

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Here's an answer I gave to a similar question recently, but make sure you get a woman to answer for you!

Tough and important question.

  1. Depends on local office / region
  2. Depends on client
  3. Depends on your personal style

It's true that the trend is less and less formal, but this means different things in America vs. Europe and in Financial Services vs. Pharmaceuticals vs. Tech.

When I was at McKinsey, I typically asked my engagement director what the client "dress code" is before I started. When I was the EM, I made sure to tell each new consultant what people typically wore, and let them make their own decisions. You never want to assume. I once showed up to a manufacturing client in Montreal in jeans and work boots only to find that everybody from middle management upward was wearing formal dress clothes, some including ties, and I felt very self-concious in my scuffed work boots, which I had specifically intended would indicate that I wasn't new at this!

In the Toronto office, I noticed that people seemed to dress "nicer" on Fridays when more people were in the office.

You can always ask a female office manager, if there is one. She will undoubtedly appreciate where you are coming from and help you out!

One more point, it's ok to be yourself. One of the best and most surprising things I found at McKinsey is the culture of being yourself. Be professional, of course, but be yourself!

Hope this helps.

Allen

Here's an answer I gave to a similar question recently, but make sure you get a woman to answer for you!

Tough and important question.

  1. Depends on local office / region
  2. Depends on client
  3. Depends on your personal style

It's true that the trend is less and less formal, but this means different things in America vs. Europe and in Financial Services vs. Pharmaceuticals vs. Tech.

When I was at McKinsey, I typically asked my engagement director what the client "dress code" is before I started. When I was the EM, I made sure to tell each new consultant what people typically wore, and let them make their own decisions. You never want to assume. I once showed up to a manufacturing client in Montreal in jeans and work boots only to find that everybody from middle management upward was wearing formal dress clothes, some including ties, and I felt very self-concious in my scuffed work boots, which I had specifically intended would indicate that I wasn't new at this!

In the Toronto office, I noticed that people seemed to dress "nicer" on Fridays when more people were in the office.

You can always ask a female office manager, if there is one. She will undoubtedly appreciate where you are coming from and help you out!

One more point, it's ok to be yourself. One of the best and most surprising things I found at McKinsey is the culture of being yourself. Be professional, of course, but be yourself!

Hope this helps.

Allen

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