Female dress shirts + colors + more

Tried to do some digging but could not find much - I'm about to start an SA stint and was wondering what is considered OK for female dress shirt colours-wise. I'm aware white and light blue is what the gents go for but as a woman, beyond these, what else is ok? Navy? Black? Lighter but not so in-your-face like neon would be? 

As for blazers I'm assuming anything not black/navy/grey is unacceptable. Is nail polish allowed and if so which shades?

Also how would I fit dresses into the question? Should I consider getting any at all or stick to the usual clothing. How would I pair dresses with a blazer and what colors could I wear? TIA x

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (3)

Jun 3, 2021 - 4:34pm

Keep in mind my stint was remote, so my dress code was looser. Rule of thumb would be wear your basics (navy, cream, etc.) and accent with pops of color. Think I wore a dress shirt like once--blouses are way better and comfier, too. For example, if you wear a black suit, maybe a pastel shell underneath or a nice necklace. 

Personally, I love pastels and neutrals. Blazers, I've seen women rock pastel ones but I wouldn't make a point of buying those. Dresses are your standard sheath dresses with a blazer--wear only after observing other in your office. Sleeves are preferable. I will say there's more room to be flexible with dresses (I have a seafoam green sheath with ruffles that I am very excited to wear) but always seek a balance. 

Jun 5, 2021 - 12:30am

For blouses and dress shirts, I'd stick to neutral colors like light blue, cream, grey, soft pink, etc. Baby pink dress shirt or blouse and navy blue suit (blazer and pants) are one of my favorite combos to wear. Would also recommend checking out places like Aritzia, Theory, Zara, or BR for affordable office or WFH attire. Personally speaking, I prefer wearing lighter shirts with dark navy or grey blazers. I'd avoid anything too bright or trendy for the office. Pastels are great because they add color to your outfit but aren't too noticeable. For dresses, I would suggest ones with sleeves and avoid any too distracting patterns (I have a light blue dress that I wore with a dark navy blue blazer).

I feel like every firm and team has a different stance when it comes to nail polish colors but the rule of thumb is to stick with light pinks, french manicure, or taupe for nails. Also, don't recommend long fake nails especially since you'll be typing a lot.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (203) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82