Do Revealing Outfits Lead To Career Advancements? We Say No!

Illustration for article titled Do Revealing Outfits Lead To Career Advancements? We Say No!

A "new survey" says that more than 27 percent of women said they'd wear skimpier clothing to the office if they thought it would help them get a promotion.

So, take this for what it's worth but, a survey conducted by, based on 3,000 workers, finds that, according to the New York Post, "one in four women think the secret of success is how they dress and are willing to show a little more skin to get ahead," while one in 20 women admitted to dressing in a deliberately provocative way on a regular basis.

This is depressing and lame enough to hardly require further analysis, but it also strains credulity. In my own experience, at one of my jobs someone had to take one woman aside to ask her to dress less provocatively, which was humiliating for everyone and seriously uncomfortable. Or, take Katie on Stylista: her cleavage hardly served to advance her career. Sure, these were women-heavy industries, but in what world does showing skin equal "getting ahead?" I'm not questioning that it gets some male attention, maybe some admiration, but executive material? These seem like some seriously misguided dames.


The rest of the findings were less than revelatory: 78 per cent of women believe the way they dress affects their day at work, feel and perform better when they look "smart," and, presumably, feel at a disadvantage when they're ill-kempt and shleppy. "Even when working from home, it's incredible how clothing can influence your productivity." (Anyone who's had to strategically position cardigans to conceal stains can vouch for this.) In terms of industries, marketing and advertising were found to be the most sartorially competitive, followed, allegedly, by "media workers," presumably of the Devil Wears Prada varietal.

Oh, then there were the humiliations, like the more than a quarter of women who, says the Telegraph, "had to face the embarrassment of someone else in the office wearing the same outfit as them," plus the 63% of workers who deal with "wardrobe malfunctions" like runs in tights and open flies - horrors that make massive worlwide unemployment a palliative indeed! "Fourteen per cent have even split their trousers while in the office."

Women Prepared To Dress Provocatively To Climb Career Ladder [Telegraph]
Third Of Women Happy To Wear Skimpy Clothing At Work To Win Bonuses And Promotion [Daily Mail]
Poll: Skimpy Dress Gets You Ahead At Work [New York Post]

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I'm glad that the majority of survey answerers managed to learn what everybody's mama hopefully teaches them: no way anyone's gonna take you seriously if you're dressed provocatively.

That said, sometimes it's hard to figure out what to wear to work. I'm 24 and working as an admin in a college academic department, and I don't want to look like a student (everyone always thinks I'm a work study kid), but I also don't want to be the overdressed dork, especially since I'm in studio art, and it's kind of messy around here, especially in the painting faculty's offices. Also, the department head seems to wear the same jeans and corduroy blazer every single day.... Today I'm sporting "dressy" jeans, boots, a cashmere cardigan, and a pashmina. And I still agonized about the jeans.