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The Office: How Fancy Are Your Work Clothes

July 29, 2010

One way to describe a woman’s office attire can be a combination of conservative or conservative with a flair.  If you recall the young woman who was fired from Citigroup because she was too sexy for the office environment, this post may fall right in line with that article.  First of all, what deems a woman too sexy to perform her day-to-day daily tasks?  Is her skirt too short?  Are her heels too high?  Is her suits too tight fighting?  Does her makeup make her look too attractive?  Is her hair too finely done?  There are many factors that would make a woman’s business attire be considered “too fancy” for the office.

I attended a vendor fair the other day, and decided to have my blood pressure checked, when the young woman who was giving the tests noticed my outfit, a fuchsia sleeveless scrunched top (not sure if that’s the proper way to describe it) with ruffles, white pants, and Michael Antonio fuchsia high heel sandals to match the top (pictures of the outfit coming soon).  As I proceeded to sit down she asked me, “do you feel comfortable wearing such fancy clothes?”  I wasn’t quite sure how to respond because no one has ever asked me that before.  So I answered the only way I felt comfortable and honest way I could.  “Yes, I do.  It’s never a problem for me.” 

I guess when you think about it, women’s office fashion has evolved into a whole new era that the “sexy executive” is no longer an understatement and our male counter parts for whom we share an existing work space can only conjure up his own conclusions as to your appearance versus your ability to do your job and do it well.  Picture from TresSugar.

How you dress in the office can only be deemed in two categories — appropriate and inappropriate — meaning, there are clothes that are just not suitable for the office environment (you just don’t want to send the wrong message).  You have to separate your nightclub clothes from your office wear…the two just don’t go together sometimes.  Then again, you’d be surprised at how a simple skirt and silk top, and not-so-high high heel shoes can raise an eyebrow and get a rise out of someone.  It happens.

But it’s like I’ve been saying before, women today have stepped away from the over-conservative way of dressing.  Flavoring it up a bit more with tasteful styles that does nothing but add pizzazz to the hum-drum life of work we experience every day.  If it weren’t for the high light of fashion, and being able to pick our self esteem up with a very nice out fit every now and then, think of the psycho status we’d fall into.  Picture from Groovy Green.

And with the working class getting younger and younger, fashion trends are changing every day resulting to a more drastic change in how professional attire is looked at, and in what is considered appropriate, and fashionably educate our young workers on keeping it in good form so as not to upset their co-workers.

But as we know and have come to realize that — and I’ve said it before — fashion has evolved.  Whether or not we continue to evolve with remains to be seen.  And how it is embraced is a different story of its own.

Updated Friday, July 30, 2010

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2012 7:02 pm

    I love this post! I have to check myself every morning before I leave for work. I make my own work clothes and love keeping it funky, while still being “corporate”.
    My key is the mantra… “Tailored, not Tight”. There is a difference! Office wear has become very fashionable with places like Zara, H&M, and even forever 21 making it easy for younger women to keep it funky in the corporate world. But I have seen many women wearing too tight and too short dresses and skirts for work.
    The key is tailored…which shows off your curves while still keeping it classy.

    Tailored….not tight.

    • May 9, 2012 9:05 am

      Great comment! I love your take on it which is absolutely right. Tailored vs. tight does come with a difference which some women seem to not understand. I wear tailored clothes that shows off the curves, but maintains a corporate office appearance. Dress and skirts that are too short and too tight does not fall into my category when it comes to the office, especially when I have to work with patients, vendors, attend meetings and coordinate meetings and seminars, I leave those clothings for the night scene, and even then I am very cautious on what I wear because I don’t want to give off the wrong message. I keep it classy being the age I am.

      Thanks for reading the post…I’m thrilled you enjoyed it.


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