This article about Disney’s portrayal of women stoked a fire inside me. From a very early age we are fed these stories of how our beauty (read: f*ckable factor) determines our worth. I mean, look what we’re up against, Ladies! You can have a brilliant mind, be a highly skilled professional, a valiant leader, and STILL have your worth whittled down to your attractiveness and ability to seduce a man who will “save”you. Argh! It’s quite apparent this fairy tale attitude is alive and well in our society, and especially noticeable in the workforce.
I wish I could tell you that clothes are just a vain pursuit. I wish I could tell you to wear whatever the heck you want because it’s your skills that matter most in the professional world. Sadly, we live in a culture where image and appearance matter.
In male dominated industries especially, women have to work twice as hard to prove we are as good as men AND we are expected to look beautiful doing it. (Not sexy, mind you. You can’t have your sexuality be a distraction to others. Goodness knows, you mustn’t have people think you are sexually active, Dearie!)
Hillary Clinton, while running for top political office of one of the most powerful countries in the world, was mocked for her pantsuit uniform. Despite the practical reasons for its use, her signature look proved to be a controversial fashion choice for many Americans. That’s right. In 2016, a woman wearing pants was considered controversial.
In other political fashion news, Michelle Obama recently tweeted that Barack got away with wearing the same tuxedo for 8 years while every detail of her every outfit was carefully scrutinized. Despite the outstanding professional and personal achievements of these highly capable and influential women, and despite their contributions to society, what they wore was always up for debate.
Mara and I adore fashion as a means of self-expression and self-care. However, we are well aware there are far more important issues affecting women than sporting nice clothes and looking pretty. (How about equal pay and affordable daycare, for starters?)
We know not everyone shares our passion for fashion. It’s a myth that ALL women delight in a trip to the mall. It is also important to note a large number of women prefer to focus their energy on their careers than on their closets. Shopping is downright torture for some.
As a change-making, upwardly mobile, forward thinking, influential go-getter, you have a billion more pressing things to do than worry about your wardrobe. But dang it, I’ll say it again…image matters. The right first impression can help gain the trust of an employer or client. This can give you a significant advantage over the competition. With all of your education and qualifications, don’t let your wardrobe be an obstacle to your success.
More Than Ever, The World Needs More Women in Positions of Leadership and Authority
Dressing well won’t solve the world’s problems, but the women who dress to inspire confidence in themselves and in others will.
Can you learn this stuff on the Internet? For sure. Are there a few million YouTube videos to help you upgrade your look? Absolutely. Do you have the energy, patience and desire to sift through them? Maybe, but you’ve got only 24 hours in the day. You also have bigger goals than perfectly accessorizing your pencil skirt. Your time is better spent smashing glass ceilings and enjoying precious downtime with family and friends.
Let US focus on your closet so YOU can focus on your career. The Joy of Style can transform your work wardrobe into one that makes dressing for success a no-brainer, and brings your professional dreams a step closer to reality. Book your appointment today.