Is Office Fashion Important?

If you work in the corporate world, there is (in my opinion) an expectation that you will dress a certain way and have yourself presentable at all times. This is something that is particularly true for women, who seem to be judged far more critically than men if they do not fit a certain mold.

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It’s interesting, but as a casual observer, it’s easy to see that people who do take the time and effort to ensure they are dressed appropriately and their appearance is pleasing, seem to progress more readily through an organization than those who do not. I guess that is where the saying “dress for success” comes from.

Still, there is the odd person who sits at the upper echelons of management, or in a senior position who not only has no fashion sense at all, but also seems to be dangerously incompetent. I’m sure almost all workplaces has at least one or two of these – I can only assume it is promoting incompetence rather than a merit based appointment.

I have recently found myself wondering if as a woman I actually have an advantage when it comes to progressing my career. Many male dominated industries are keen on changing their image, yet most times applicants for roles are far more likely to be men. I feel as if the problem lies in the intimidation factor, but if you get over that, I feel there are many opportunities for women looking to take the plunge. Ensuring you are both fashionable and well presented can have a huge impact on whether you will land the job or not – particularly in these industries.

I do hope that one day we can get to a point where men and women are treated equally for what they do and there is no additional scrutiny on how a woman is presented compared to men. The biggest challenge though isn’t actually the men, but the other women who are the loudest and meanest critics.