Manic Monday: Dressing As A Woman in the Workplace

Sorry that I have been away from the blog for awhile.  I think I needed a mental break, plus even though I have lots of outfits to post, I haven’t had much opportunity to take pictures.  I hope to get back on track with my favorite season for fashion and everything else – fall!  I have lots of fall fashion posts planned, but this week, I’m saying goodbye to summer with some warm weather looks.

Skirt:  Eloquii (Available here)

Today, I’m talking a little about dressing for work as a woman.  Growing up, I saw bulky shoulder pads come and go.  I witnessed the power suit and the concept that women should dress more like men at work if they wanted to be taken seriously.  These days have really gone by the wayside, and while it’s still important to dress somewhat conservatively for the office, women today are freer than ever to express their femininity and flair for fashion while at work.

Camisole:  H&M+

Femininity and fashion certainly mean different things to different people, but the idea that women can dress how they see fit is refreshing and liberating.  As women in society, the bottom line is that we are always going to be judged no matter what we wear, so I am a big proponent of wearing whatever you want as long as it doesn’t violate workplace dress codes (and even those can and should be challenged at times).

Cardigan:  Old Navy (Available here)

During my first year of college, I took my first feminism class.  I remember a discussion about clothing and the differences in expectations for women and men.  At the time, I actually felt a little sorry for men.  Women have sooo many fashion options available to them, that I really felt like we really had the better deal when it came to fashion.  We were free to choose our own style and pick from pants, skirts, dresses, and more.  Men were pretty much relegated to chinos or slacks and button-down shirts (and typically a very limited color palette) for work.

Booties:  Target
Necklace:  Eloquii

Even though I was definitely an unwilling victim of such standards, I didn’t fully grasp the difference in beauty/appearance ideals for men and women and the unrealistic expectations placed on women at that time.  I also didn’t understand that so many choices available to women also meant that women had more chances to “get it wrong.”  I didn’t understand fully that as a woman in the workplace there weren’t necessarily many “right” fashion choices.

While I now have a much deeper understanding of the differences for men and women in appearance expectations and understand that workplace dress codes can often be extremely sexist and racist, I still can’t help but feel that when it comes to fashion, women get to have a lot more fun.  For women who aren’t into fashion, there are plenty of easy office options.  Simple slacks or skirts with a cardigan or blazer are comfortable, coordinated, and very acceptable workplace attire.

Glasses:  Valentino

Again, women are judged in the workplace (and elsewhere) no matter what we wear, so if so inclined, women should feel free to express their individuality and personal style in the workplace as much as possible.  If you work in a business casual environment like I do, then you have a little bit more freedom to experiment than if you work in a more formal setting.

While I wouldn’t wear a tulle skirt to work everyday, I had fun wearing this colorful look to work recently.

Tote:  Target

I paired the aqua tulle skirt with a silky tangerine camisole for a pretty color contrast, then added in a softer aqua cardigan and tote.  To give the look more of a daytime feel, I added in nude shooties.  A simple pump would also have worked well.

I loved the look with my tan and felt l was bringing a little summertime to the office.  🙂

Do you feel any pressure to dress a certain way for work?

Author: Cassie

I'm the owner/publisher of Style Cassentials, a curvy and petite gal OBSESSED with fashion and strong believer in making clothes work for YOU! I love sharing advice on all things fashion, especially shopping and fit tips!

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