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November 10, 2008


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Every girl knows that the prettier you are, the better you do. In my profession (chemist), we are actually not allowed to dress up, but if I know that clients are coming, I always put on extra make-up. This can backfire when, say, the owner's son decides he wants to date you, despite him knowing you are involved with someone.

To a degree, I agree. Don't overdo the makeup, though!

I haven't seen a woman in a skirt at our office in a long, long time, but managers do tend to wear (the dreaded) professional pants suit.

I think you need to look pulled-together and appropriate for your industry, whatever that may be.

This reminds me of a documentary I once saw. It was on the Japanese culture, and how the modern day Japanese women often times wore glasses as a part of their business attire at work, even if they don't need it. It's a part of their image to look serious about their work, and supposedly, they hope it will help them do better.

This is just my personal opinion, but if women really do who have look attractive in order to climb the corporate ladder, something is very, very wrong with our business here. I agree about looking clean for hygiene reasons, but beyond that? For work?

This comment isn't about women, but men at my office. My office changed from business professional (buttoned shirts and ties everyday) to business casual about 1.5 years ago and today most guys in our office wear button shirts and slacks/khakis, which is decent looking, but some guys always seem to wear polos. I don't have a big problem with this, but I think wearing a polo everyday is a little unprofessional. I'll admit that I've worn a polo a few times to work, but on those days I either had a dentist appointment or it was wicked hot and humid outside. I always try to think that a person should be evaluated by their work and not how they dress, but if you can't put in a little effort and wear a nice shirt once in a while then I think that's a little lazy.

it depends on the job, I doubt if this makes a difference with facebook or google employees.

Some just want brains and talent, that's it.

My profession which is IT most women are not flamboyant, just neatly dress little makeup

For women, looking neat and professional includes wearing makeup - at least in our society it does. I also notice that overweight women are not promoted as quickly as normal weight women. Weight and makeup have no bearing on ability, I realize this. However, this is my observation as a woman working in the corporate world for the past 20+ years. If you are overweight, and "au natural" with a shiny, blotchy complexion with large pores, etc - you are perceived as fat and frumpy and a slob - even if you are clean.

I'm in youth ministry so I could get away with wearing jeans everyday if I wanted. But I noticed that after I started to dress up most days that I was treated with more respect. Plus, I feel more professional and carry myself with more confidence. I have to toe a fine-line though of appearing professional to adults and cool/relatable with teens. I always suggest to new ministers to dress a little more professionally and put together when in the office and dealing with adults.

I don't usually wear make-up, but maybe I should...

I think Suze and moneymonk hit the key point: "appropriate for your industry." If you work in a field where makeup and skirts are considered important, then (sadly) wearing them may get you a raise. It could also depend on your boss' personal aesthetics. The definition will vary from place to place as to what is considered attractive, fashionable, etc. In some companies, dressing up too much will mark you as a stiff who is totally out of it.

Sad, but true.

But we all knew this didn't we?

Though if you're a woman in IT you don't want to look "too feminine" or weak, especially in highly technical roles. I've always worn the "dreaded" pant suit (wtf is wrong with a suit that's not a skirt suit anyway?) for interviews, but again, if you appear too feminine for a highly technical job, it may hinder your chances.

Men don't have to put up with this much BS

Unfortunately society judges people based on appearances. Dress and makeup are a personal choice that is easily changed. But I think the worse problem is how peoples physical appearances are treated. Overweight people, balding men, short men, tall women and small chested women all probably face some unfair discrimination on the way their bodies are made.


I worked in the IT industry for years before I went freelance. I wore makeup, khakis and a button-down shirt and my long hair in a french braid every day. A professional look for the industry in which I was working. In the same way a male executive's ability to do his job isn't affected by whether he's in a suit or jeans, projecting a professional image is part of the job. Now that I work from home I can wear what I want (pjs if that's what I feel like!) but I still dress professionally when I meet a new client. That's just how it is.

Sadly, it matters.
My friend is in hospital admin and it matters a lot - the bigwigs are men and they talk about the ladies' fashion choices more than women ever could. They pick who goes and gives talks based on looks above knowledge.

You've got to be careful of this one in some cases - I'm a woman working in the construction industry, and though we're mostly in the office occasionally are out on site at short notice. The skirts and too much makeup are a definite handicap at that point, although the tradesmen are extremely helpful :) It can also be somewhat impractical if you're running from meeting to meeting on subways all day.

I'd disagree with Lo above - the guy in the pressed shirt and tie will stand out in a room full of wrinkled trousers and polo shirts. Definitely cheaper to dress well for work if you're a man though.

When we evaluate a person's work this is a concious activity. When we evaluate physical appearance it is a subconcious activity. This idea is imprinted in us at very early age. Studies have been done with children in school that consistently show that the "better" teachers are the pretty ones.
When we think about someone's performance there is a natural subconcious activity that determines whether this person makes me feel good. When evaluating females, looks are pleasing to men, thus when evaluating a women's value to the organization she might get just a little more $$ if she is pleasing to the eye.

I think it's completely understandable. There's a reason I wear a polo to work instead of camo and "work boots." ::shrug:: You try to look your best; for women, that includes makeup.

The information on the skirts is from Mary Kay's seminar two years ago. I don't remember what outside source they got it from.

Guess I'm not getting a very good raise this year! I rarely wear skirts, mainly cause you then have to wear hose and I dread pantyhose. They are itchy and uncomfortable and tear in 2 seconds. I usually wear slacks and a dressy shirt or sweater. I work in the design office of a large construction project, occasionally I'll be called to the site. Skirts and heels don't go with back hoes and shovels. But I know that a woman's power lies partly in her beauty, so I try to present a decent package even in a hard hat!

Sadly, our society is classist and lookist.

Boob jobs have been popular with the good-looking women in our office. I can't say they make more money or get more promotions, but it's clear from their recent behavior that they're up to something (in the career area, of course).


Whatever the sport, you wear the team uniform. For women in the corporate world, that means business attire, including well groomed hair, nails & face.

Badly applied or overdone make-up can be worse than none. For many women, some eyeliner, mascara and a little lip color are enough.

Best career advice I ever received was when I worked for a City Councilman years ago and his secretary marched me down to J.C. Penney's and ordered me to buy dress shirts, ties and a suit. (I'm a guy and the dress code was polo shirts.) She said first impressions count for everything and I needed to dress better than my boss. I consider myself an "average Joe" in talent but her advice has gotten me many, many promotions and a current very nice governmental post. Though I'm not "the boss," my wearing a pressed dress shirt and tie every day to work has gotten me very nice compliments from my supervisors and their supervisors and I'm tipped to new job promotions by them.

Who does a skirt and makeup appeal to? Men. Why? Because it makes women sexier.

You people hadn't questioned the fundamental causes behind the advantage of wearing a skirt or makeup, namely that women are making themselves more sexually appealing to men and therefore the men in power will give them promotions. It's not different than in the past it seems. Actually, if you sleep with the boss you can also get promoted but that's passe now - now, you only need to imply sex to get the promotion. You've come a long way baby.

Dress for the occasion. It is expected for a woman to dress professional as well as men wearing suits and ties. I have worked in two of the biggest company's in the Delaware County area in Pennsylvania and I looked forward to going to work every day wearing a dress or a skirt along with heels. It helped me set the mood for
presenting myself as the professional that I was.

I did a double take looking at the URL. "Two ways women can make more money---wear shirts and make up."

Don't know if it's fixable several years after the fact, but I'm pretty sure it suggests another topic entirely.

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