Post # 1
Can I please have your thoughts on this?
3 months ago I started a new job. I am 24 and my role is head of the legal department in a recruitment agency in central London (as an aside, Fiance is the boss’s cousin). Being recruitment, the office is quite sales focussed and very boisterous – lots of young men with too much money! Typical office attire seems to be that the men wear shirts but the women can get away with pretty much anything so long as it is not jeans (though I think even jeans have been worn occasionally). I thought that my role meant I should dress with some professionalism so I wear pencil skirts, blouse and heels.
I went for lunch with one of the men here and he told me I dressed very conservatively. I should note at this point that there is a girl here who’s choice of work clothes can only be described as nightwear. I was kinda taken aback. I wasn’t to dress in a way that befits my position but at the same time I’m only 24 – I don’t want be to known and the prim-and-proper librarian. That night I asked his opinion and he agreed! I then asked my (male) manager and he was very quick to agree as well.
What do you Bees think? Should I dress more befitting my age? I should add that until about 2 years ago, I was quite overweight but am now a lot smaller – I was a US 12 and I am now a US 6. I am not 100% confident – especially with my stomach area – but then, who is??
Post # 3
Um, what you’re wearing sounds appropriate to me for your position. It also sounds like the men telling you to dress “less conservatively” is actually bordering on sexual harrassment. You’re not there to dress for the men, you’re there to do your job and maintain a professional image. It’s great you guys get along, but you do not need to wear “nightwear” to work.
Post # 4
This is horrible, I am sorry you are being made to feel that way. There is nothing wrong with pencil skirts and nice blouses.
Post # 5
I would not listen to these baffoons. They should not be basically asking you to wear less clothes. Who cares what they’re opinions are? Dress how you feel you should. If you’re head of any department, it sounds like your dress choices are fine.
Post # 6
It is always better to dress up then dress down. You will never be pulled into HR for dressing too conservatively!
I work as a secretary at a plumbing and welding company, and I am almost always the most professionally dressed. I’m the youngest in our office, but I am the first thing people see when they come into our building and I know I need to be a good role model for my company. In contrast, one of our office workers shows up nearly everyday in flip flops and yoga pants. She’s the owner’s daughter, so she has nothing to worry about in regards to the safety of her job, but I know if I did that, I would be in trouble. So I button up.
Post # 7
I wouldnt pay any attention to what he said. Your description of what you wear sounds appropriate to me.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy
How do YOU feel about how you dress? If you feel you want to be more young and less stuffy… That does NOT mean show more skin! Your pencil skirts and blouses sound fine (hot) to me… and to make it more fun you could add in some color or different textures of material like silky blouses or shiny colorful unexpected pumps. Or fun accessories.
But not because you are being put down as prim. I’m throwing out ideas based on you saying you don’t want to be known in that light.
Post # 9
Obviously I don’t know what you look like when you go to work, so take this with a grain of salt, but when he said “conservatively,” could he have meant frumpy? I don’t think anyone could possibly object to cute pencil skirts and blouses, so unless he was flat out sexually harrassing you, I’d imagine your clothes were too big/oversized/matronly.
Do you dress like this? https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTDhSjlFJIxrdTarkSZBRp2RA6C42CS-Ub3LWbRC914Hdxvha6ciw
Or this? https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZLdN6ANezyPlyV9sAhx25Ewf0p28sX0LK4jGH3-2QyAHqeTNt
Not that it matters- it’s really not his business, regardless, and you should dress however you feel comfortably. But I thought I’d offer a slightly different perspective. Please don’t take offense, I don’t mean it unkindly!!
Post # 10
OP: If you wear a lot of neutrals (eg black skirt and shoes, white/cream blouse, little/no accessories) it CAN come off as a bit dull/prim. Whereas wearing, say, a grey skirt with a deep purple blouse, nude shoes, and some chunky jewellery, is still appropriate for your position, but not as stuffy, and more ‘fun’/young. While I think showing flesh is inappropriate in the workplace, and that what you’re wearing sounds spot-on style wise (and is exactly what I would wear), is it possible you’re being very ‘safe’ with the colours/fabrics you choose, and that there’s perhaps room to jazz things up a bit?
If that’s not the case, or you simply wouldn’t feel comfortbale dressing in different colours, then simply ignore them. I also think that if you feel that by ‘less conservative’ they mean ‘more revealing’, I would keep an eye on them, and if it continues, have a tactful word, explaining that you are happy with how they dress and would appreciate it if they kept inappropriate personal comments to themselves.
Post # 11
Remember people are always watching (and judging). Whist other people in your department might dress more casually, think of the reputation they have external to their own group. You might end up going for a job outside of that group, and it will be helpful if the rest of the business respects you. It sounds like what you are wearing is totally appropriate (its what i wear at my office job, i’m 25) – it sounds a little like the guys you work with could be sleazeballs. Dress as you feel comfortable. If you really want to tone it down a little, maybe opt for smart casual (e.g. plainly coloured floaty dress, appropriate length and neckline, with a black patent belt and flats). You can take their advice to be more casual without compromising your dignity.
Post # 12
Why doesn’t this surprise me? guys are so visual. while at work, I like to be taken seriously, which is why I dress professionally like you. Your attire speaks volumes about your professionalism.I work with a lot of men as well and sometimes it’s hard to muffle through all the testosterone in the office. if someone said that to me, I would throw them a Victoria secret magazine, and let them know they will find plenty of cleavage amongst its pages…not in my office!
Post # 13
I worked with a bucnch of guys. I always dressed nice, but not semi precessionaly ( I was a forktruck driver at the time) so nice jeans and a nice top with some earrings. Did my hair and make up. Other girls there either wore sweatpants with no bra under a big ass t shirt or as little as they possibly could. The difference the way the guys treated us was astronmical. The girls who dessed like hoohies, well the boys were nice to their face but behindmrheir back they were just ” a peice of ass”. The ones who didn’t care, well, they were treated like a guy, or ignored.
I was treated with respect. I was a “bro” and a lady at the same time. One of the guys told me that. I cared enough about myself and it showed and it made a whole lot of difference the way I was treated.
Post # 14
This sounds really shifty to me. I would definitely be offended and a bit suspicious if a coworker said something like that to me. It is bordering on sexual harrassment and I would keep an eye/ear on it to make sure it doesn’t progress. That may sound extreme but situations like this really freak me out.
I’m 20 years old and dress ‘conservatively’, as in I don’t let my boobs/butt hang out all over the place. I still look my age though and I’m sure you do too. Pencil skirts and blouses are generic office attire anyway.
BUT your coworkers have no say in what you wear to work. Even if it’s hugely inappropriate like thongs poking out from under jeans or whatever (clearly not you) that is up to the boss/superior to decide and control. It sounds like you are dressing professionally and your coworkers just want to get a better look at whats underneath to me.
Post # 15
I think generally speaking, when asked, young males will always agree that a woman dresses “too conservatively” for their tastes. The outfits you’re wearing sound perfectly appropriate for work.
Post # 16
It sounds to me like you’re dressing appropriately. If YOU think you might like to dress a little less conservatively, I’d focus on a slightly younger style and maybe brighter colors or more funky jewelry, but I’d hesitate to suggest that you dress for the men in your office. I’m uncomfortable with them criticising your style of dress.