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Starting a Work Wardrobe: Olympian Maya DiRado Gears Up for Her First Office Job

March 10, 2017 | Filed in: Woman of the Week

It’s not every day we get to dress an Olympic gold (and silver, and bronze) medalist. But earlier this year, swimmer Maya DiRado reached out with a particularly thrilling request. Having won four medals in Rio this past summer, she is hanging up her goggles to start her next career—as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Maya’s ask: Could we help build her work wardrobe?

After we briefly fainted, it took us about a nanosecond to say yes. Not only is Maya one of the most accomplished athletes of her generation (if you haven’t seen her triumphant 200-meter backstroke swim, do yourself a favor and spend the next two minutes and 5.99 seconds watching it here); she’s also a brilliant scholar with a degree in management science and engineering from Stanford. In other words, she’s the ultimate “ampersand woman.”

You can read our full conversation (and find out why she’s the Most Even-keeled Woman in the Worldhere. But below, it’s all about the Bento Box. See what Maya received in hers, and learn why she dresses for her Myers-Briggs type.

Maya DiRado

Maya wears the Keene top in black and the Greenpoint skirt in black.

I’M AN INTJ on Myers-Briggs, and when I read about how INTJ types tend to dress, I thought, “Oh, yes. I totally identify with that.” My style is really basic, and built around what’s useful and makes sense. I’m not trendy or frilly. My closet is full of blues, grays, blacks, and neutrals. I gravitate towards simple silhouettes that are comfortable and flattering. Nothing super crazy.

Maya DiRado

Maya wears the Keene top in black and the Greenpoint skirt in black.

AS A SWIMMER, my shoulders have always been the toughest part of me to dress. You know that weird trend right now of cut-out shoulders? Absolutely not. I can’t do off-the-shoulder. I have a long torso, so anything too boxy or short is tough. I like long sheaths that are a bit form-fitting. It took me a while to learn that fit is super important.

Maya DiRado

Maya wears the Etsuko dress in deep indigo.

WHEN I START MY JOB at McKinsey, I want to look classy and professional, but also my age. I don’t want to look too formal or too mature. I’ll definitely need travel-friendly garb. Most weeks, we’ll fly in Monday morning and go straight to the client’s office, so I’ll have to be ready to go straight from the plane. I was talking to one of my colleagues who recently started, and she’s already presenting in meetings with the CEO of the company she’s working at. That’s intimidating, but if you’re in the habit of dressing well every day, then you don’t have to worry too much about it. I’ll probably err on the formal side. It also sounds like consultants go to a lot of client dinners after work, so being able to throw on jewelry to dress up an outfit is important.

Maya DiRado

Maya’s Bento Box.

MY CLOSET is pretty minimalist. Once I find things that fit and look good, then I’ll just wear them a lot, rather than buy a lot of trendy stuff. The Etsuko is the perfect work dress: no-nonsense, flattering, comfortable, makes you look like a boss. I also love the Deneuve top and the Keene top.

MY GOAL for my work wardrobe is to look good, and not distract from what I’m trying to say. I think your outfit should enhance your voice, not overpower it.

Maya Dirado

1) Square belt; 2) Deneuve top; 3) Bezel earrings; 4) Etsuko dress; 5) Noho skirt in crackle; 6) Lydia dress; 7) Silk scarf; 8) Sant Ambroeus jardigan; 9) Wear to Work

Ready to start (or refresh) your own work wardrobe? Click here to have an MM stylist send you a personalized Bento of office-ready looks.

Photos by Lindsay Brown.

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Tory Hoen is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. She spent five years as the Creative Director of Brand at MM.LaFleur (where she founded The M Dash!) and has written for New York Magazine, Fortune, Bon Appétit, and Condé Nast Traveler. She loves doughnuts and inter-species friendships. Read more of Tory's posts.

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