Provocative or Professional: who closes the deal?

Compared to men, women tend to put a lot more thought behind what they wear, especially when it comes to work clothes. Though times are changing and women enjoy more freedom of expression, the idea of what constitutes appropriate dress within a work environment has not shifted. As much as women should be able to wear what they please without repercussion, it still stands that provocative clothing in the workplace is unacceptable. Women in a professional environment need to abide by this sentiment for a number of reasons. 

You Won’t Be Taken Seriously 

Stereotypes continue to abound and the idea that a provocatively dressed woman needs to rely on her looks to get ahead still remains. As sexist as it may seem, your colleagues and superiors will undoubtedly notice your clothing and create their own perceptions of you based entirely on dress alone, which places you at a severe disadvantage. You may be the most intelligent and capable worker there is, but people will tend to judge you negatively if you expose too much skin or squeeze into tight form-fitting clothes. You should choose clothing that is both sensible and professional for your field, always keeping in mind that your clothing impacts others’ perception of your qualifications. 

You Will Draw Unwanted Attention 

‘I should be able to wear what I like and others shouldn’t feel the need to stare!’ 

In an ideal world, this would be the truth. As much as we would like to embody both sexiness and professionalism, the two are mutually exclusive in the workplace. Chances are, if you bare excess cleavage or accentuate your womanly assets, people are going to look. If you work in a male-dominated industry, this is almost always true. So if you’re not comfortable with having eyes roaming your body when you walk through the office, it’s best to keep your sexy clothes in the closet for a night out. 

Conservative Dress Lets Your Merits Shine 

Provocative clothing detracts attention from what matters most- your talent, passion, hard work, and much more! These are all things taken into consideration when the time comes for a promotion and dressing provocatively may conceal your professional achievements and hurt you in the long run. Your boss may acknowledge these traits but may also weigh your lack of professionalism heavily against you. Let your merits and capabilities attest to your talent instead of the clothes you wear.


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