Work outfit in male dominated environment

by Jaga
(UK)

QUESTION

I work with engineers who dress down for the job so I've adopted a comfortable casual look to blend in with them. My day to day outfit is skinny jeans with a baggy top, shirt or sweater but I'm tired of this look.


ANSWER

It can be quite a challenge to find work outfits in your kind of situation and I think you’re right to have adopted your own kind of ‘uniform’ to fit the brief in a male dominated environment. However, this is obviously the time for a re-think!

I do think a professional woman needs to be slightly more smartly dressed than her male colleagues to establish her position. Assess your style and what you’re comfortable with and then think about small but significant changes – you don’t want to look as though you’ve had a complete makeover or have tried too hard!

You need to aim for what is called a Business Casual look - the sort of look that any woman can adopt for what we call a 'dress down' day.

Keep the look unfussy but add a third item to your basics by way of a jacket, blazer (perhaps too formal) or structured cardigan. Team dark wash jeans or tailored trousers/cords with slightly more classic tops or a well-cut shirt – just aim for something slightly more formal than a simple t-shirt. As long as a jacket sits well, it will elevate your look for a meeting.

Keep to sensible shoes for this kind of environment with minimum jewelry and makeup, but allow yourself some color in your tops or scarves.

If you need to make site visits, keep a warm parka and boots available to give you sufficient weather protection.

I think you'll find that this new look will elevate your professionalism amongst your peers.

kind regards
Pamela





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