Female Attire for IB Summer Analyst

I just accepted an offer for IB summer analyst at a bank in the coming summer and would like some advice on female attire that would be suitable for the position. Have tried to search for "female attire" on the forum but nothing came up.

Just some background information:

  • I'm 1.6m, barely entering the healthy BMI
  • Some relatively casual-formal top/white long-sleeve button-shirt and jeans/work pants for internships. I have a dark-blue blazer and flats as well.
  • I'm not used to wearing dresses/skirts as my friend suggested, but I am willing to try for the next few months just to get used to it.
  • Do not have a work bag/hand bag
  • Don't use make-up or perfume

The main problem is that I can't really tell what is formal/suitable for the role and probably have to start from scratch (if make-up is advised, shirts/dresses, pants/skirts, watch, bag, shoes).

I'm not very well-to-do but would like to at least dress-up minimally well and spend directly on necessary attire. Would really appreciate if there are any advice/ what your colleagues have been wearing!

Thank you!

Comments (18)

Dec 4, 2021 - 11:12pm
WASPOfOxbridge, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You need a Birkin or you'll be looked down upon by the rich women in your bank.

High heels are a must as clients don't want to see a 1.6m child-person working on their deals. 

You need a man's sized watch (46mm) or you risk offending the watch purists/hardos who think women-sized watches are a monstrosity.

A black (not charcoal) blazer signifies you're as serious as an undertaker, which is necessary since the sexist men in your office thinks you're there to fool around.

That's all for now, I'll reply with more advice once I consult my (numerous) female friends (who are very attractive) who also work in IBD (top BB/EB).

Dec 5, 2021 - 4:36am
convolutedmetamorphosis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Birkin might be a little hard. I'm just a SA and I have a female MD who I got the impression would be alright even if I am not flashy. Looking more on the type of bag to get.

I did actually like man's sized watch for the weight, but my partner told me it wouldn't look as good. Would going without a watch be fine or is that a huge no?

Thanks for the advice though!

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Dec 16, 2021 - 6:17pm

Check out Cuyana for bags- high quality, very reasonably priced and all office appropriate 

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Dec 25, 2021 - 11:56pm

Do not bring a birkin lol

Most Helpful
Dec 5, 2021 - 11:12pm
WorkInBanking123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look at places like Ann Taylor, Banana, Nordstrom Rack, even Marshalls / TJ Maxx usually has staples. I'd say you. need 10 shirts, and a couple skirts/pants to rotate them with. One or two blazers  and you'll be good. If you want to wear heels go for it but I don't think its necessary. Get black and nude flats and loafers to switch it up. People like to talk about how fancy they dress but as long as you are put together and get the work done you should be ok. And in terms of bags- I like using a backpack, easier for commuting, but you can't go wrong with a longchamp tote 

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:22am
convolutedmetamorphosis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey there! Thanks for the advice. Will definitely try to get those for my internship! Was a little apprehensive about bringing backpacks to work in the past haha.

Dec 6, 2021 - 12:02am
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I myself largely stuck to suits during my internship since that's what people wore where I worked. 

For tops, I went to Ann Taylor and Nordstrom. For blazers and pants/skirts, I went with Theory and Ann Taylor. Hugo Boss and Ted Baker are classics but a bit more expensive, with Banana Republic and J. Crew being of high quality but a quite a bit less expensive too. Express is also great if you're looking for something fairly cheap but decent. Beware about Theory tho, since some of their clothing size-wise is a bit funky if you are a bit curvy. I used the classic Longchamp tote as well as mentioned above. 

I currently wear jeans and a sweater to work and use a Herschel Supply Co. backpack, but going back to suits again in January.

Edit: For shoes, I stuck to flats since I'm fairly tall, but most people I worked with wore heels around office and flats into and out of office.

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:27am
convolutedmetamorphosis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the really detailed advice! Will take a look at those brands and keep in mind of the clothing sizes. Actually, I am quite curious as to why you wore jeans and a sweater to work currently but have to change back to suits again?

Apr 22, 2022 - 11:52am
convolutedmetamorphosis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Got it through the standard application cycle. Went online to apply to majority of the IB firms and went for numerous technical interviews till final rounds. Had about 5 months of related internship experience at a local firm by the time of interview. Hope you have secured an internship for the coming summer as well!

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Dec 26, 2021 - 1:07am

The good news is most (male) senior bankers have zero clue what constitutes female business attire. So you have quite a bit of latitude.

In general, no one really cares what you wear as an analyst, anyways. Shoot for the ~25th percentile of presentability, and the ~75th percentile of comfort - whatever that looks like as an analyst at your bank - and you'll be good.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 26, 2021 - 10:39am

This right here is the best advice. I wear black dress pants everyday with a sweater and black flats because the office is so cold. Super comfy and look presentable on zoom. The other analysts on my team shop solely at aritzia and wear some crazy blazers with some fun pants. Guys can't judge and no woman is going to say anything unless you wear jeans with holes or something ridiculous.

I'd recommend reaching out to someone on the team (a woman) and ask them the dress code. The other trick is to see what the guys are wearing. Polo shirt -> casual office. Button down -> slightly more formal. Ties and jacket -> formal. 

Apr 5, 2022 - 6:47am
fredbrown, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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