Women often face barriers and difficulties in the corporate world due to the proverbial glass ceiling and the challenges of balancing a career and family life. In the face of these problems, we rarely think about the fact that even when it comes to fashion, many workplaces have a different set of expectations for women than they do for men.
Of course, women's inherent tendency to enjoy dressing up more than men is a factor, but it doesn't make it any less disconcerting that they are often judged more harshly on their looks than on their performance and abilities.
In most corporate cultures men wear shirts, jackets and dress pants, sometimes substituting the jacket with a sweater, the shirt with a polo and the dress pants with a pair of chinos. They are expected to look neat and smart.
Creating an office look for women, however, is a lot more complicated. They need to look professional, elegant and smart, but are else expected to keep up with fashion and accessorize to make their look interesting. Their outfit should never be too revealing, but they still need to make an effort to look attractive. But not overly so.
Rules or not, dressing up is fun. Let's see some ways that will allow you to be yourself and spice up your outfit while also adhering to your company dress code.
Bright colors might not be part of your standard corporate look, but that doesn't mean they are inappropriate. Your best bet is to stick to one or two colored items or use bright shades as accents.
Let your personality shine!
Accessorize to your heart's content! Do they expect you to wear pearl earrings and a tiny pendant every day? Surprise them with statement jewelry! Oversize beads, large crystals, pendant earrings - everything goes, as long as the rest of your look is pared-down.
Break the rules!
Rules are made up by people just like you. Don't risk your job to break them, but don't be afraid to experiment with your style, either!
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