Jump to content


Photo

Business Dress for Women?


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#19 SPOOKIETOO

SPOOKIETOO

    Apprentice

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 237 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 21 June 2014 - 07:04 AM

My niece graduated in Architecture last year, landed THE job she wanted with an international firm - it was the only interview she bothered to do. She graduated at the top of her class. Last year was the first year that American universities graduated more women than men in Architecture.  Granted one can get away with a bit more "artsy-fartsy" dress when in architecture, but I wonder how that plays when you wind up traveling overseas. Or do you wind up not traveling overseas- doing the work at your desk - while your contemporary cohort "Jack" travels overseas in his decent attempt at an actual business suit. This should be interesting to watch it play out.

 

On the other hand a couple of things have changed - for the better. I recently had to explain sexual discrimination to her 17 year old brother who will be a senior next year at a STEM academy that is being observed by educators on a national level. He truly had no concept of what was meant by "sexual discrimination" in the workplace. He also told me that the students in his school police themselves with regards to "bullying" - the students do not allow it. Of course the school is a conglomeration of "Big Bang Theory" types of personalities so that helps.

 

As for my niece, she dated her male counterpart during her second year of university - the two of them constantly vied for top honors in their architecture classes. When I heard this, I asked my best friend, a civil engineer, how long she would give the relationship...we both chuckled "two months" at the same time. Sure enough, at the end of two months he announced that the relationship just could not work as he was not able to deal with her ability to out perform him at times.

 

So things are getting better. Thirty years ago when my friend and I were at university, he would have simply shown up at a party my niece was scheduled to be at - with another girl to announce the breakup. So there is some improvement. 

 

Now, if we can just address the clothing issue. 


  • tailleuse likes this

#20 tailleuse

tailleuse

    Master

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,059 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Tailoring and couture.

Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:03 AM

 

 

Now, if we can just address the clothing issue. 

 

That would be something, wouldn't it?  :)


Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#21 greger

greger

    Master

  • Senior Professional
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington, USA

Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:33 AM

Business clothes for men was established thousands of years ago and has been fought by younger men all the way through and, it is always changing. Business clothes for women is still being established and has ways to go.

 

Younger men could not hide behind sexism when the older men told them to dress the part.



#22 SPOOKIETOO

SPOOKIETOO

    Apprentice

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 237 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 June 2014 - 02:26 PM

Actually, Gregor, I'm not sure what country you are in, but business dress for women was actually fairly well established here in the states during the 80's and into the early 90's. It was the advent of "casual business" attire that really started screwing with things. Men can still look and be authoritative in their golf shirts and khakis or collared shirts, navy twills with no ties. Women have such massive variations in their figure shapes that business casual can be quite a dilemma - especially when Mainstreet and Magazines like Vogue and Elle are constantly touting all the latest trends. Quite frankly I'm seeing too much Walmart influence walking down designer runways these days.
  • tailleuse likes this

#23 tailleuse

tailleuse

    Master

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,059 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Tailoring and couture.

Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:30 AM

Actually, Gregor, I'm not sure what country you are in, but business dress for women was actually fairly well established here in the states during the 80's and into the early 90's. It was the advent of "casual business" attire that really started screwing with things. Men can still look and be authoritative in their golf shirts and khakis or collared shirts, navy twills with no ties. Women have such massive variations in their figure shapes that business casual can be quite a dilemma - especially when Mainstreet and Magazines like Vogue and Elle are constantly touting all the latest trends. Quite frankly I'm seeing too much Walmart influence walking down designer runways these days.

 

I'd say that women's business dress has been evolving since the 1970s, when large numbers of American women started entering the workplace.  Women were advised by authors like John T. Molloy in his 1977 Women's Dress for Success, to dress like men in form-hiding skirt suits, with little silk ties.  It was understandable, given the lack of recent models for working women.  To get respect, women thought, and were told, they had to look like men.  Gradually, styles loosened up for women; it became acceptable to wear outfits that revealed more of their femininity if they were sufficiently sophisticated.  Casual business attire is, as you say, more of a challenge for women because dressing down in the wrong clothes can make a woman look vulnerable and unauthoritative in a male-centric, sexist environment.


  • beaubrummel likes this

Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#24 beaubrummel

beaubrummel

    Umsie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Tailoring, Menswear, Womenswear, Shirtmaking, Shoes, Watches

Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:36 AM

I'm a big movie/tv series fan, for the right shows (not reality TV). One of the reasons why I love and watch the movies and shows that I do is because of the outfits the characters where. To keep the post short and address this thread, I find that the outfits worn by Gina Torres in the show Suits and Kerry Washington in Scandal are fantastic business outfits. Sometimes a little over the top, but right in line with the personalities of the characters. They're both powerful businesswomen and their style of dress is very 'walk into a room with purpose and look important' and I find it to be very refreshing compared to the terrible garb that passes for clothing in real life, and I work in Manhattan where people "allegedly" dress well (could have fooled me)


  • tailleuse likes this

#25 tailleuse

tailleuse

    Master

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,059 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Tailoring and couture.

Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:14 AM

I'm a big movie/tv series fan, for the right shows (not reality TV). One of the reasons why I love and watch the movies and shows that I do is because of the outfits the characters where. To keep the post short and address this thread, I find that the outfits worn by Gina Torres in the show Suits and Kerry Washington in Scandal are fantastic business outfits. Sometimes a little over the top, but right in line with the personalities of the characters. They're both powerful businesswomen and their style of dress is very 'walk into a room with purpose and look important' and I find it to be very refreshing compared to the terrible garb that passes for clothing in real life, and I work in Manhattan where people "allegedly" dress well (could have fooled me)

 

Torres and Washington look good, but a lot of the time the outfits are way over the top.  Same thing with Robin Wright's outfits in "House of Cards."


Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#26 beaubrummel

beaubrummel

    Umsie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Tailoring, Menswear, Womenswear, Shirtmaking, Shoes, Watches

Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:09 PM

 

Torres and Washington look good, but a lot of the time the outfits are way over the top.  Same thing with Robin Wright's outfits in "House of Cards."

 

Agreed, but they look great in them! Very stylish, very fahionable, a bit over the top but they all fit the characters. I just think that a plain business suit is, well, plain. 


  • tailleuse likes this

#27 tailleuse

tailleuse

    Master

  • Senior Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,059 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Tailoring and couture.

Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:30 AM

 

Agreed, but they look great in them! Very stylish, very fahionable, a bit over the top but they all fit the characters. I just think that a plain business suit is, well, plain. 

 

As someone who has had to wear fairly conservative business dress in the past, I always focus on wearability. I'm not interested in the fantasy.


Edited by tailleuse, 15 July 2014 - 09:31 AM.

Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#28 cperry

cperry

    Apprentice

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Minnesota USA
  • Interests:Fine sewing for children, English smocking, tailoring for women and men

Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:16 AM

I agree with Tailleuse.  I love to look at the old vintage photos and appreciate their beauty.  Sometimes there's a bit of wisdom in the clothing, too.

 

Yesterday, my husband needed to update his Linked In picture (employers are looking at these things!).  I suppose the process along with discussions here caused us to talk through some of the old adages regarding business dress that he/or we have learned while working around people who are getting where they want to go.  Maybe they are useful here.

 

1.  Wear clothing appropriate to the job (ie. task, duty, position).

 

2.  Make sure the focus is on your face (ie. what's going on in your head intellectually).  (You do a disservice to yourself otherwise, man or woman.)

 

3.  Pay attention to the overall silhouette of clothing.  (Again don't draw attention away from your face.)

 

4.  Wear clothing that is comfortable in any temperature in the work environment (natural fibers do help).

 

***I'm editing here to add something my husband emailed to me.  He had a few thoughts on how the tailor can encourage others with his art, and his words are better than mine:

 

"a.  A beauty contestant once noted that the swimsuit competition is won with the eyes.  A good couturier or tailor will be able to frame your eyes and face so that people see what's really in you.

 

b.  Along the same lines, there are not very many people who do themselves any favors by drawing attention away from their face.  A good tailor or couturier will, again, frame your face to look your best.

 

c.  To the extent that the condition and shape of one's body is important in one's personal garments to make your silhouette look as good as the underlying body.

 

d.  What help does the tailor need?  Good posture, a smile, and basic physical fitness--and of course, appropriate undergarments for the outfit you want.  And your business, of course."

 

Finally, there was an article in "The Bent," the Engineering Honor Society's magazine, Summer 2007, that might be of interest to women in business.  It's the story of retired Ford Motor Company senior executive Martha Hicks, who spoke at the Michigan Gamma banquet and told her story, including the extra challenges present to women engineers 50 years ago.  She had a unique opportunity to work with Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Ph.D., (a well-known, beloved consultant of quality) and she tells her story.  You can bring it up here:

 

http://www.tbp.org/p...s/Su14Hicks.pdf

 

I appreciate her quote there:

 

"The most important lesson I learned was to treat people with dignity and respect--whether you work for them, work with them, or manage their work--as your colleagues' happiness and success are ultimately vital to your own career achievements."


Edited by cperry, 16 July 2014 - 02:28 AM.

  • tailleuse and Schneiderfrei like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users