Every six months or so, some dusty old fuddy duddy writes something truly idiotic about how female lawyers are too slutty or frumpy or, uh, female to be taken seriously, and how any glass ceiling that exists in the legal field is built out of trendy heels and fashionable blouses. Well, this time around, we've done it. Everyone can quit writing stupid "How Female Lawyers Should Dress" pieces, because we've found the best, most whackadoodle take possible.
I don't want to ruin this piece, published in all its out-of-touch glory by Legal Ink magazine, was written by a man named William Cane, who runs something called Manhattan Makeovers. According to Above the Law, Cane's sole experience in the legal field involves him practicing law for a short time in 1986. Expert status. Cane also claims to have conducted thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands (etc) of interviews that have led him to an inevitable conclusion: if you want to be a successful female lawyer, you have to dress like how a funeral home would dress a dead old lady they knew nothing about for an open casket funeral.
Let's get started with the hair.
The first thing to focus on is your hairstyle because it is visible every day and is a subtle indication of your integrity. Believe it or not, subliminally, your hairstyle speaks volumes about your trustworthiness and integrity to your clients, and one of the biggest mistakes female professionals make is failing to realize that their hairstyle is sending signals that cannot be shut off since their hair will always be visible, unless it's under a hat.
Your hair is just your personality growing out of your head.
But it better fucking not be too long. If it's too long, then God help you.
As far as length is concerned, you cannot sport hair that is longer than shoulder-length if you wish to be taken seriously as an attorney. In general, excessively long hair says to clients that you are inexperienced and liable to forget important details of their case. This may not be true, but that's what longer hair says on an unconscious level to clients.
Wait until these folks hear about updos.
Onto the non-head portions of your outfit. The Jacket. You must have a jacket on at all times. Never take it off, even when you shower.
The next most important thing a female professional can do for her image is make sure that she is wearing a jacket. This means that a simple blouse and pants combination is unacceptable, as is a dress. You need a jacket in order to project authority and competence.
As goes late night TV, so goes the law.
Another important piece of advice: lady lawyers, do not emulate pop stars. People don't want their interests represented by some meat dress-wearing bimbo.
In fact, it bears repeating that you don't want to follow fashion; instead, you want a conservative look that has been tested for effectiveness. This means scrupulously avoiding the latest color trends, shoe styles, and hairdos that celebrities wear. You want to look like an attorney, not Lady Gaga.
And, finally, shoe advice:
One of the reasons female attorneys run into difficulties at their workplace stems from the wild shoes they wear. Without realizing it, they're prejudicing their own case by wearing high heels or open-toe shoes. The only acceptable shoe for a female attorney is a closed-toe, closed-heel pump, with heels no more than two and a half inches. The shoe should be in a dark color: navy, black, or brown. It should notmatch the color of your outfit, but should be at least two or more shades darker.
You thought it was sexism, but it was the shoes, Scoobs! And they woulda gotten away with it too, if not for you pesky kids!