In Career, Discussions, Style, Women

Do I need to dress like a man to get taken seriously?

High heels, skirts, dresses, makeup, hair – I DO IT ALL.

Here’s an example:

This is me though.

I do it to feel good about myself (yes I am that shallow /sarcasm), and it gives me a confidence and mental boost when I know I look smashing, which translates into my working like a boss – efficient and well.

If I am not worry about whether my skirt is sticking, or if this outfit looks good on me, I can concentrate on my job. It sounds completely vain and stupid to some people, but appearance for me, matters a great deal. It is why I love easy, gorgeous dresses like this one:

Or this one:

It doesn’t matter in the sense that I MUST wear a full face of makeup to leave the home or always be dressed up, but at the office, I like feeling like I look professional, which for me, translates into looking good.


Plus, women get more money if they’re attractive, but not too attractive (insert eye roll here), and EVERYONE can be attractive no matter your given looks, it is just a question of packaging (clothes, hair, makeup).

And plenty of well meaning people (women, men, and even my partner) have asked me how I get taken seriously, being dressed up like that at work.

My answer?

I don’t get taken seriously when I dress down either.

Why not dress the way I want to dress?

Why is it okay or more palatable for a woman to dress like a man – no makeup, pants and a shirt only, and to look mannish, in a “professional” environment, than it is for a woman to look the way she wants even if it is ultra feminine (but not Jessica Rabbit, you know what I mean)?

I don’t think a woman is more or less professional if she wears a pantsuit, versus a dress.

I don’t think a woman is more or less professional if she is wearing makeup or not.

I just know that I personally feel more professional if I make an effort, dress up, and slap on a bit of makeup, than if I don’t.

When I don’t wear makeup, it means I am lounging at home, relaxing, and/or running errands. I don’t want that mindset to follow me into the office, so I wear makeup to mentally distinguish between Lazy Lounge-y Home Me and Professional Work Me.

It’s the same concept that counsels freelancers to dress up even if they are working at home, rather than staying in pajamas all day.

Just that change in your outfit makes you feel different about your attitude and self.

Women in general, have to work harder to prove themselves

You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

If you can’t see past my looks that I am a damn good consultant, that has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with your outlook and attitude towards women.

My attitude, experience, professionalism and brains is what should count at the office. Stop focusing on what I am wearing. I do it for me, not for you.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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