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Dear Madeleine,Dress Code Of Young Businesswoman

I am a COO in a multi-national import business. Our founding CFO has a foot out the door and we want to promote our comptroller, Bridget, into the job. She is lightning fast, ahead of the curve on international issues, articulate, and can really stand up for herself in what is—let’s face it—pretty much a man’s world. She has her MBA and she seems to be ambitious.

The problem is, Bridget has no idea how to dress. This may seem superficial, but we are all charcoal-suit- with-the-white-shirt guys. She dresses like she buys her clothes at Victoria’s Secret and she wears way too much makeup. Her unprofessional appearance totally distracts from her good qualities.

So far she has worked behind the scenes so no one has said anything. But if she were promoted we would need her to take part in client meetings—including in Asia and the Middle…

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