Is that suit too sexy for work?

Does a woman’s wardrobe influence how she is perceived at work? How sexy is to sexy or should we keep our bodies under wraps?

Clothes are no longer an asset for simply covering our bodies. They represent who we are and our seriousness in the game. Our bosses take notice to our wardrobe at first glance and more often than not this boss is a male.

Relationships with the boss are very common. An article about sex in the workplace by Kenya McCullum gives examples of different women who have slept with their boss.

Attraction is an uncontrollable feeling. Do we need to cover up our bodies to be taken seriously at work? Are women that are sleeping with the boss to climb their career ladder hindering women’s reputation and ability in the workplace?



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10 responses to “Is that suit too sexy for work?

  1. Thanks for the mention πŸ™‚

    As for your questions: (1) I think that many workplace experts would say that it’s best for women to show the least amount of skin at work as possible in order to be taken seriously. The last thing that smart, capable women need is to be held back in their careers for showing too much leg. That said, keep in mind I am speaking as a self-employed person who works from home and wears a hockey sweatshirt and sweats to work πŸ™‚

    (2) Most of the women who have told me about their sexual relationships with their bosses say that it wasn’t worth it and they regret it. Some actually did start long-term relationships, but based on the relatively small sample of women that I spoke to, this seems to be the exception, not the rule.

  2. I think it depends on where you work. But no matter where you work you have to realize that you are going to be judged based on what you wear/how you are present yourself.

    so women should probably cover their BOOBS.
    and guys should keep it in their pants! cuz thats sexual harassment! woot woot.

  3. Anthony

    I’m sad that people think in such an outdated way. I think that women should dress however they want to. Office appropriate shouldn’t have to mean covered up. It’s your own prerogative to feel sexy or not. If more women were to dress in their own way and still succeed and prove the naysayers wrong, I think it’ll say a lot about her and maybe even change the way some people perceive strong women. Strong does not equal conservative. Some of the most powerful women I know wear towering heels and pencil skirts well above their knees (oh the horror!).

  4. Steve-o!

    Short skirts long jackets of course.

  5. Alyssa

    It definitely depends on where you work. For a business type work place I would say no skirts above the knee (slacks are okay too, but not jeans unless there is a casual day), don’t show too much cleavage, nice blouses are good (not necessary to have long sleeves). I don’t think a jacket/coat/sweater needs to be worn over the blouse depending on the situation. Just my opinion on remaining professional. Probably doesn’t help that I’m influenced by watching my mother get dressed for work everyday. She’s a director at a hospital, so I’ve seen her and her co-workers outfits. Oh, also, not too-flashy colors. Subdued can be better. Definitely don’t do neons.

  6. shannonkemp

    Good point Anthony. But these days I don’t think women have the luxury of dressing provocative/ sexy at work if they want to be taken seriously. Sure they can be dressing that way because it is who they are and it is their own fashion sense. But other people look at it as she is trying to get attention. Attention isn’t a bad thing. But can you honestly say that when a man or the boss catches a glimpse of a woman’s cleavage that he is honestly thinking about her intelligence?

  7. @Anthony: In an ideal world, you’re right, how someone dresses wouldn’t matter. But Corporate America is far from an ideal world. Women are at a disadvantage in the workplace from the get go, and sexy clothing is not going to help to shatter the glass ceiling.

    It’s not just men who take notice to women who dress too sexy at work–other women do as well. A woman with an MBA who is wearing a suit to work is not going to take a woman seriously when she comes to the office wearing clear stripper heels and has her boobs on display.

  8. Anthony

    Don’t get me wrong! There’s a clear difference between a shirt that is cut so low it can be deemed as being vulgar and a form fitting sheath dress that accentuates a woman’s natural curves. There’s clearly a difference between dressing like a tramp and dressing like a strong confident woman who is in tune with the trends of the day!

  9. shannonkemp

    I agree. Men and women have an uncontrollable force working against them (hormones) that makes it impossible for us to dress in a way that accentuates our figure. Women need to look like a professional if they expect to be treated and respected as such.

  10. Cari Crabtree

    I love the points being made in the comments here. I just want to know why women need to show lots of skin to feel sexy.

    Also, why do you need to feel ‘sexy’ at work? Being self-confident and secure are much more important than sexy. Being secure and confident is sexy. But being “sexy” by wearing revealing clothing does not mean you are secure or confident. I believe that women think that showing skin makes them seem strong, confident and desirable.

    Your personality and the way you carry yourself can be very sexy while also being efficient and professional. Wearing tight, low cut, short suits is just a short-cut to being ogled. Which has to do with being seen as sexy, but I think that’s just because people are going to look if you put it out there.

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