With so many clothing options available to women in the workplace today, and the definitions of what is appropriate and inappropriate so easily misconstrued, it can be difficult for a woman to assess what exactly to wear to work. What may be appropriate and fitting for one office environment may not be for another one, and that is what is important to remember. Workplaces have their own unique culture and along with it an expected dress from their employees, both men and women.
Learning what is appropriate and inappropriate in the workplace is something many women must learn from trial and error. Women’s attire in the workplace can have an effect on whether they are taken seriously or not. If a woman dresses too provocatively, she is not taken seriously. If she dresses in baggy, ill-fitting clothes, she is seen as sloppy. Thankfully there is a happy medium. When dressing for the workplace, make sure to take note of your surroundings. How are other women dressed? Do power suits rule the land, or is it a mixture of skirts and slacks? Whatever the majority, make sure to coordinate your dress and add some color to your wardrobe to stand out from everyone else.
Make sure to avoid dressing too casually and pay attention to your fit. Do not wear jackets and blouses that are too tight to be revealing, but also make sure to not have your clothes hanging off of you. You will want to look professional so that if you are up for a promotion or have an idea, you will be heard and not dismissed for what you are wearing. Wardrobe should not have an effect on promotions and the like but unfortunately it does.
Women’s attire in the workplace is also many times a cause for discrimination. A woman who is viewed as dressing inappropriately for the workplace will sometimes be thought of as someone with no boundaries. This can lead to inappropriate jokes and advancements that otherwise would not have occurred. Inappropriate attire could also cause a woman to be disqualified from running a project or receiving a promotion. Others may view her inappropriate or revealing attire negatively and not take her as seriously as a more modestly dressed female employee.
Though it may sometimes be difficult to decipher what is appropriate and inappropriate attire for the workplace, use your best judgment and remember that unfortunately people will judge you based on what you wear in the workplace.
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