What Should I Wear To Work? The Karma Of Being A Woman

What Should I Wear To Work? The Karma Of Being A Woman

By Barbara Farina

Women. We carry the stigma of a purported beauty or ideal of beauty. For years, we were told what was to be the length of our skirts, if we could wear pants or not and even what kind of shoes we could wear. Well, let’s face it, that has not changed much with the passage of time. Not as much as it should at least. Some countries are better than others, but it is still a problem in many places. For us women, it is very difficult sometimes to choose what clothes to wear. We always have to be thinking in terms of whether a garment is used for a party, another for Sunday dress best, casual attire, semi-casual attire and still others for work.

We all know what the clothes we wear to a party or to go out casually on a Sunday. Knowing what is appropriate in those situations isn’t very difficult. But when it comes to choosing what to wear to work, the situation is a bit complicated for us. Why? It is simple: when we have to choose what to wear to work, we have to think of a thousand variables. The clothes cannot be too tight or have too much cleavage which might misinterpreted and some outfits make some people think we are sending signals that we never sent.It’s not just about looking professional, it is also about how people perceive us in terms of femininity and let’s face it – if we look sexy, too sexy or maybe even not sexy enough.


Professional, but too frumpy? Maybe

If you have tattoos or piercings, in many cases, we are forced to cover them up. Sometimes that is appropriate, but at others it is nothing more than hogwash. We’re told “People may not like that” or “It’s so unprofessional!”, but what can they even say if they¬† do not know us? Are we less competent based on our personal style choices? If you are using very casual clothes, they may say you’re not serious enough. If you dress with very high heels and heavy makeup they may say you’re a flirt or worse. Unless you wear the blandest of attire, someone is going to have something to say about it. Even then, they might say you look too frumpy and out of date. It’s like no matter what you wear, sometimes, with some people, you can’t win.

Men do not have this problem to anywhere near the same degree. They can put whatever they want on and nobody judges them based on being too sexy or not sexy enough. The worst that might happen is they might be told they need a fashion consult, but their jobs would almost certainly never be in jeopardy over that, But when it comes to women, judgments are abundant. If you ask me, I think being comfortable and wearing something that makes you feel good is what is right to wear. Of course pajamas are not appropriate office attire no matter how comfortable and good they make you feel, but what is wrong with dressing in a professional manner that is also sexy and makes you feel good about you?


Above the knee… is it too sexy for the workplace?

Unfortunately the decision of what to wear to work isn’t always so easy and as women we do have to dress to a certain part to be taken seriously while not looking too sexy and, and, and — it can make your head explode if you think about it too much. Women today have to deal with the fact that in many workplaces, appearances tend to matter a bit too much. Not just being neat and well groomed, but being fashionable and attractive in the “right way”. Hopefully in coming generations this may not be the case and women will be able to choose with a little more freedom and a lot less judgment.



Somehow, it’s like having to disguise ourselves to go to work so we can become someone that in everyday life we would not be. I do know men have dress codes to a degree as well, but have you ever seen a man sent home from work because the cut of his suit jacket was too good or his pants made his butt pop in a way that someone felt compelled to complain about it? Are men ever sent home because someone thinks they are showing too much cleavage? I’ve never heard of anything like that happening to a professionally dressed man even if their pants were tight enough you could tell what religion they are.

I do not like giving advice, nor is it really my place to do so, but if I learned anything in my life it is to try to feel as comfortable as possible with myself. There is no reason to suffer through this fashion hypocrisy and definitely, we should not.  Certain things have to change and no one is better than us women to start the change. This is one part of how we take control of our lives. Feel comfortable, be happy and enjoy life every day.

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