Consulting in Style

Working at McKinsey in the fall, what’s the dress code in office for women and men? (I’m non-binary so I wear a mix of both). Is dress code different at client sites?

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Can someone who “laugh” reacts explain what’s funny about this post?

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M5- I appreciate some of your advice. But people laughing or saying things that are blatantly offensive or gross are certainly not coming from a positive place. They’re not interested in collaborating and respecting me. I’ve been queer long enough to tell the difference between people who genuinely don’t understand and want to learn, and people who don’t understand and don’t care to, and want to make you feel small or bad. I don’t argue or assume negativity with the former.

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Can someone who “laugh” reacts explain what’s funny about this post?

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M5- I appreciate some of your advice. But people laughing or saying things that are blatantly offensive or gross are certainly not coming from a positive place. They’re not interested in collaborating and respecting me. I’ve been queer long enough to tell the difference between people who genuinely don’t understand and want to learn, and people who don’t understand and don’t care to, and want to make you feel small or bad. I don’t argue or assume negativity with the former.

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I came here for dress code advice and I’m getting shamed by straight/cis people 🤦🏻‍♂️ can y’all stick to the task at hand? 😭

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BAH 1 - I asked what people wear in general to get a sense of the formality level in office vs client site etc. I didn’t ask if expressing my gender was “appropriate”. Of course I care what people think, but don’t we all? Existing and being myself shouldn’t be a “breaking barriers” kind of thing, but this is the world we live in.

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OP. Why would you seek advice from consultants working in a straight old white male dominated industry? Which ever side of the gender spectrum you are at, don’t shove your identity down others throats and you should be fine. PS. I’m gay. I don’t carry my sexual preference on my sleeve, I dress well but I really just mean to get the job done

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Sorry to say. General dress code in management consulting has not place for nonconventional attire - drag, fluidic, cross etc. And that’s where it gets pseudo political. Sorry I did not mean in a disparaging way! If you are confident and strong, which you seem you are, why seek validation from folks who can never wrap their heads around it. Start with good hair, heals and attitude and work your way up;)

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Mirror the client. Always be dressed one level more professionally than the client

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No answer here will be as important as the answer your client team gives you in the fall. It’s client, team, and office specific (fun I know). But I’m assuming your curious because you’re wanting to buy some new items.

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Yea I totally get it. If I were in your shoes I’d explain the situation to my parents (with immense gratitude), and ask that they help by giving you the cash(or wait) to make the right decision later down the line.

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For men a suit is very uncommon, unless you’re at a very formal client. Much more common is a dress shirt and blazer (or zip up vest if casual). Women I work with tend to rock the dress and blazer combo more, so just a question of which you prefer

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Dress high end of the client standard.

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OP, I’m sorry people are giving you grief. It’s completely uncalled for! If you want to prep for a new job, get a well fitting suit (or two), some non jean pants and button down shirts for business casual occasions. Don’t get a black suit (if that somehow crosses your mind).

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I’ve always been taught black suits are for funerals or a black tie event

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Op, I’m very curious about how being non-binary impacts your professional dressing preferences. I had a buddy who was non-binary and had the dopest gucci sleds and Versace shirts, but never saw him in a professional attire - assuming professional attire starts to look more binary than non-binary?

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A thought unrelated to the non-binary piece: many clients are more casual and you’ll find that at some clients you have more flexibility! I know I overindexed on jackets and dresses, and found that I would be over dressed to an awkward extent if I was wearing a jacket (even over jeans) working in the headquarters of businesses in the agriculture sector. I also go for the Steve Jobs look all the time- black turtleneck and jeans is a go-to for more casual client sites and Fridays

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There is an LGBT bowl that will be helpful here. You should join. Actually think this question was asked a little while ago

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Identifying as a woman but in office I’ll wear anything that I feel like wearing as long as it’s ~ business casual.. you can see me in a suit with high heels, silk top grey jeans and chelsea boots and dresses (although personally not the biggest fan of dresses)! At client I’ll match their style! 😊

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Dress to the client

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Agree with above. And if you’re actually in a McKinsey office, it’s pretty casual. Mostly just personal preference unless you have a really formal client.

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Haven't worn a suit to office ever except my first week. Mostly just a formal shirt/dress pants/jeans. To client site, formal shirt and dress pants

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Second BCG, my only time wearing a suit was for a BB Bank in Manhattan and if we have a big readout or workshop.

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In general, I would say suit on client site & business casual in office on Fridays. But, really depends on the client, team. A midwestern financial services client asked us to dress down to business casual to make their employees less uncomfortable with the “outside consultants.”

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I have not worn a suit in last 3 years and I’m a partner. Highly dependent on client and industry. Most of my clients I wear jeans and a sport coat.

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It depends ;) .. whatever you think of as “smart” should be fine. You’ll adopt to the client and your team

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I will ask there as well, but in general would like to hear what people (of all genders) are wearing in the work place. Is a suit necessary, in office or at client site?

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At client site I always match (if suit and tie or suit and no tie) if they are a bit more casual I try to always be one notch above them (Jeans and Polos, I wear khaki and Polos or Jeans and dress shirts)

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Oh my god...

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Try to match clients a bit but stick with what suits you. I wear a suit every day (but have pretty formal clients and only do strategy / corporate work 90% of the time), and a tie when I can get away with it. I have a friend who has the greatest hat collection on the planet and wears a hat every day with a skirt and blouse. Make clients feel comfortable by connecting with them and dressing conservatively, but don’t be afraid to be yourself.

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There’s reasonable leeway so first thing is to make sure it works for you. Balance is between what makes clients comfortable and what you would wear by default. Many clients are increasingly casual and there jeans plus sweater / coat gives a lot of flexibility

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