To Wear or not to wear?
Each morning I stand in front of the mirror and wonder “what do I wear today?” Being a woman in the business world use to mean business suits only…and personally I feel most comfortable in them today. But what message does my attire send out to a potential client?
I’ve often pondered this question and I realize I’m not unique. Being in advertising sales industry for so many years I’ve walked into a wide range of diverse businesses. From tattoo parlors to fine jewelry shops! Does the clothing I wear effect how a business owner deals with me? Can wearing a suit give the impression that what I’m selling is to costly or that I can’t relate to the tattoo artist behind the counter?
I have always felt that suits are a must for me. I think it’s a mix of wanting to be appreciated as business professional and showing respect for the businesses I call on. But what if I’m wrong? As much as your wardrobe is a reflection of your personality is it good business to dress more for others than yourself?
Working in Michigan it was common place to see my fellow employees wearing suits daily. Maybe you’d see a dress or something a bit more casual on occasion, but for the most part it was a business suit workplace. Certainly personalities were reflected even with the business attire. And there were some who stretched the meaning of “business suit”. One woman who would sport a suit regularly but her skirt length or lack there-of gave little to the imagination. My manager would cringe every time she bent down to retrieve a pen from the floor! (mental image??) However, it was a business suit! Utilizing the female allure to sell…a topic for another blog.
I’ve noticed recently and certainly since my relocation to Charlottesville that business clothing is much less structured. A local business owner commented when I inquired about my outfit that I will be “out of place” by wearing heels and suits. I must admit, it seems to be true. There’s lots of articles on what to wear and what not to wear. Yet I feel most comfortable the way I dress. Should I let others influence my choices? What concerns me most is does my dress have an influence on whether a client does business with me?
Ok, more questions than answers. When writing this it comes to mind is this more of a man question than a woman. I think I have a pulse on what woman think about how to dress or do I? What do you think?
In my search for feedback on this subject, I came across 007 breasts website. Why woman wear bras, the history of the bra, are they comfortable, bras and breast cancer and the myths of this strange garment. I was to young in the 60′s to have participated in “bra burning”. Although I’ve never found them to be uncomfortable maybe the article is right? Maybe I’ve been somewhat brainwashed into believing their necessity? Maybe it’s oppression of the female sex and I’m helping to facilitate it!? I can tell you this…I wouldn’t mind burning a few of my high heel shoes!
Picture by Katelyn Vonfeldt