Being one of the boys
Many professions and industries are still predominantly male dominated. There was a belief for a long time that to get ahead in these male-dominated environments you had to dress like one of the boys.
Almost to protect ourselves from standing out for being the lone female in any predominantly male environment, women often feel as though they need to try to act and dress more like the men and can come across as harsh and overly bold. However, you have achieved your position on your own hard work so should be confident to be yourself in every way.
Women were and to some extent still are, leaving their personality at home and in an attempt to fit in, wear styles and colours more often seen worn by their male counterparts.
By wanting to get noticed for merit, skills and achievements which is as it should be, some women have intentionally avoided dressing in a more feminine way for fear of being noticed just for what they wore.
What more commonly occurs is that women get overlooked. They blend into the point of not standing out and so do not get noticed. They often miss out on opportunities and are not taken seriously.
However what women are now realising is that it is, in fact, their femininity that makes them as skilled talented and knowledgeable as they really are. Their female traits make them the experts in their chosen careers and bring immense value.
So although looking smart and looking professional and looking corporate may all be part of your dress code you really shouldn’t leave your femininity at home. Embrace what makes you as incredible as you are. Show some of your real personality, whether that be with a splash of colour, through vertiginous heels, a statement bag, unique jewellery or a fabulous lipstick.
In a work environment there always need to be the ‘appropriateness’ test but subject to getting that right, use the fact as women that we have so many more outfit combinations to select from than men.
It is in everyone’s interest to dress in a way that makes you look and feel fantastic. By dressing well, you feel great which means that you will perform better.
What you wear will always matter and you will always be judged on what you are wearing but by staying consistent and true to yourself you will always represent yourself in the best way possible. It is definitely not a compliment if people say that you are cleverer that you look. You need to look every bit as clever, talented and experienced as you really are. Don’t let what you wear lead to you being underestimated.