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More Unwritten Rules for Women on Wall Street

Corporate casual may be the fashion in companies large and small in other sectors of the economy, but it's not on Wall Street, at least not for women.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Christina Binkley observes that women must approach their style of dress cautiously and conservatively. "They often feel obliged to dress up in order to command authority," she writes. At the same time, "These women still struggle not to be defined by traditionally feminine pastimes, like dressing well." She goes on:

These women have leapt many hurdles, the least of which is getting dressed in the morning. But the old, scripted uniform of dark suits and high collars isn't quite sufficient for handling today's wide range of clients, in far-flung locales, on any given day of the week. It's tricky to adopt a varied wardrobe while still commanding the respect of hedge-fund managers and major investors. Just try shopping for a power evening gown.

Or walking the line between casual and inappropriate. "It isn't clear to me that a guy in khakis looks any more accomplished than a woman in capri pants," Binkley says. "But I understand ... the unspoken rule that a woman in finance should be more dressed up than the men she works with - especially when those men report to her."

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AUTHORAnonymous Insider Comment
  • Da
    Dan
    5 July 2007

    dean, shakespear has an 'e' on the end of it

  • An
    Angela Delgado
    22 June 2007

    Where can a woman find fine, work-appropriate suits with long jackets in London? My challenge is how to not dress too sexy in D&G or Karen Millen but cant even find appropriate suiting for women thats not old-timer or too tightly tailored. Any suggestions appreciated.

  • Cl
    Claudia
    11 April 2007

    I have joined finance recently and I am very surprised to see what some women in their 20s and 30s wear: Tight sweaters, clunky jewelry --and sleveless tops! It is obvious to me they are trying to get (the wrong type) of attention.
    I think if women want to be taken seriously they should dress accordingly.
    Men always look very professional even the very young ones.

  • Si
    Silvia Delgado
    5 April 2007

    I agree with Cindy, one should dress the part. One's appearance goes a long way.

  • Ci
    Cindy
    29 March 2007

    I believe that if you hold a certain position you should dress appropriately. And, I also agree with Dean.

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