Dress code for female bankers?

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For guys, how to dress up in banking seems straight forward – a pair of black pants, a pair of black shoes, black suit, matching a shirt, blue or white. On casual Friday, they alternate their blue or white shirts to pink – light pink only.

But for ladies, it can go full range – tricky. So tricky that when I started banking during induction week, the HR assigned us a 2 hour session to tell the girls what to wear and more importantly, what NOT to wear.

In 2010, UBS published a guidance of banker dress code of 44-page long! The presentation starts with, “An impeccable appearance can procure interior peace and a feeling of security”


For women:

  • Do’s

    • Wear your jacket buttoned
    • When sitting, the buttons should be unfastened
    • Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair
    • Only when it is very hot, and after confirmation of your supervisor, can you wear the shirt without a jacket
    • Skirts should descend to mid-knee and no more than 5cm below the knee
    • Flesh-tinted bras are de rigueur to remain invisible under the blouse
  • Dont’s
    • Eating garlic and onion
    • Smoking or spending time in smoke-filled places
    • Wearing short-sleeved shirts
    • Allowing underwear to be seen
    • While blazers are equipped with pockets, they were not designed to contain a large number of personal effects or accessories. Leave these empty, so they do not deform

It has got a lot of criticism from the industry and the bank later took the publication off their site. Maybe the UBS 44-page guidance is an extreme, but some rule of thumbs is good to follow. Below is a collection of rule of thumbs for advice.

  1. Do not get nuts with colors
  2. Blouse speaks for itself
  3. Black blazer is a must have
  4. Heels? Flats are more comfortable, but heels are our best friend especially when we attend meetings
  5. Simplicity or fashionable? Go for quality and avoid high street trends
  6. Do not wear things that are too tight
  7. Do not wear a coloured bra beneath a white shirt
  8. Don’t wear poor fitting clothes
  9. Do not wear “clubbing” outfits
  10. Do not wear skirts too short


Original article by City Sail blog contributor. All rights reserved.


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