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  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Question women's professional attire

    it's easy for guys to figure out what to wear when told to dress professionally... that usually seems to include a tie and a jacket, no matter WHAT the weather is!

    what women are to wear is much more confusing though- there's pants, there's dresses, there's skirts and jackets

    the girls of the office have been in a debate with the boss lately as to what consists of proper female work attire, the female argument being that his standard of what women are to wear to work is based on archaic ideas of "professional fashion" being based on men's fashions... that women can't dress professionally if dressed like women. The boss tends to want very structured attire and HATES sweater over dress combinations that always appear in women's magazines under the category of proper work attire.

    Not to mention that we are outside for a majority of the day no matter WHAT the weather is, so in the summer some outfits are just ASKING for an entire day of misery!

    should women's professional attire be based on men's professional attire, or should it be different?

    what constitutes as women's professional attire? (when you do a web search there is a HUGE variety of clothing shown!)
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  2. #2
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    I can see why someone might think women's professional attire looks like men's wear. I think this constitutes women's professional attire:


  3. #3
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    ^^ i agree completely with that.

    i don't think the sweater over dress combo looks as professional as just a structured dress or skirt/jacket suit either.
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    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Professional attire depends entirely on what your profession is. I could be wrong about this but I have a thought. Your boss sounds like he does not like anything even creeping up on flashy or that draws attention to yourself and away from whatever it is you're selling. This attitude may not be based on mens fashion per se but rather that he's just conservative about dress for both genders. Is this a possibility?

  5. #5
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    yeah true...there's conservative business wear and fashionable business wear...and casual business. it just depends on the company and image i suppose.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    there's conservative business wear and fashionable business wear...and casual business. it just depends on the company and image i suppose.
    I think the picture examples I posted are conservative business wear. Do you think so?

  7. #7
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    In some jobs, "professional attire" is stiletto heels and velveteen dresses.

    In other jobs, it's ugly polo shirts with black pants and black non-skid shoes.

    I've never had a job where I had to wear suits, and I don't ever want one. I'd wear conservative dresses before I'd wear a suit.

  8. #8
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I think we have a wider range of clothing to begin with--and we're more apt to change our wardrobes, so thus the options are out there. I think guys are more 'okay' with wearing a uniform-like thing, and changing it up with an occasional wacky tie.

    I like the casual formal business look.. Loose fitting pants with pin-stripes and a half-sleeve button down shirt that's loose and comfy-looking. Just professional enough to be seen in the front of the office while being comfortable enough to work and potentially sweat in.

    I like adding 'manly' elements to girly clothes too.. A tie when I wear a skirt, or suspenders to a plain white button down shirt.

    Also, I think anything with a blazer is considered conservative wear. Unless its 20 degrees outside, you don't need a jacket like that.
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  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my nicer dresses paired with short sleeved jackets (fitted!) are considered proper for hot weather wear, because they involve a jacket, but a lot of the girls are quite unhappy that the nice sundress with a cardigan type outfit which is touted as "work appropriate" in most places is not considered appropriate at work... which is kind of funny considering that if we dress TOO formally in the field people are suspicous that we are there to arrest them or to audit them or something
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  10. #10
    Senior Member celesul's Avatar
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    Eh in a professional setting, if the appropriate clothing for men is a suit, then I'd generally assume that a suit (pant or skirt) or something that looks close (blazer over tailored things) is most appropriate. I think the sweater plus dress combo is closest in formality to when men ditch the jackets. On the other hand, the sweater/dress combo also comes across to me as pretty in a less professional way. If it's formal but not professional, then the dress plus sweater does work when guys are in suits. I dunno. Maybe a super structured dress would make it more feasible. Professional clothing always seems to be about tailoring and structure to me, and sweaters and dresses really aren't that.
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