Opinions are like noses, we all have one, and at one time or another we’ve really gotten picky about it.
When it comes to life in general a lot of women are quick to say that everything is sexist towards themselves. It is true in some cases, but I feel like women bring it upon themselves far too much. Especially when it comes to fashion.
So here’s my question: is work attire really sexist towards women?
In the Office:
It’s not always the work attire that’s sexist, it’s someone else’s perspective.
What you believe is an appropriate item to wear to work may not be what someone else see’s as workplace friendly. You could wear a skin-tight dark red dress that looks absolutely amazing on all of your curves, and may be a tad shorter than what you’d like it to be. Your boss might think it’s atrocious and call you into her office to slut shame you.
Or you could see a co-worker’s outfit and think “Dude, are you crazy? You can’t wear that!” when all they did was wear a hat inside the office. It’s the same thing!
Sadly women cannot just blame men or their clothing as part of this battle. Men and women’s clothing are designed differently. But men face similar issues with balancing what is appropriate for work and what is not.
Think of it this way, women can still wear a dress or blouse that shows their shoulders. As long as their bra strap is not showing, it’s work appropriate. Men can’t have any part of their shoulders showing in the business world. It’s a benefit that women can wear remain that little bit cooler than men in extreme heat.
In a Restaurant/Bar
Although by accepting the job you receive, you also sign up for whatever your “uniform” has to be. Have you ever noticed at bars that men get to walk around in a tight black shirt? (I’m not talking about the sexy kind of bars that only women and gay men like to go to if you catch my drift) And that women have to wear the tight black, low-cut tops, and the shortest of shorts or tightest pants/skirt?
I do find that extremely sexist. Women should not have to flaunt their bodies and accentuate them in order to receive male attention and gain tip money. I’ve worked at a restaurant where women wear dress pants and an oversized dress shirt and make plenty of tips within a night where they didn’t have to leave an extra button undone. I don’t get why sex still has to be the best seller in every industry. Whatever happened to having a great personality and speedy service?
When You’re Self-Employed
The best part about being self-employed is that you can make your own decisions in every way possible. If you blatantly wear something inappropriate it’s all on you because you chose to wear that. You’re trying to represent yourself, and how you choose to dress may change someone’s opinion of you. It can cause you to lose business because people won’t take you seriously. Again, it comes to perception when it comes to yourself and someone else. It would be no difference if it were a male or not.
Your own judgment may not always be the best in someone else’s world, but there is not really an international standard of workplace clothing, so every place is different. Sadly, we can’t always choose what we want to wear to work. And if it bothers you so much, remember,you did agree to the attire you must wear when you took the job. Perceptions are what makes work attire sexist towards women.
Featured image via Nine West Aus.