Saturday, July 3, 2010

What to wear to work? How much freedom do we really have - check out our new Washington Post "On Leadership" column

"Vanilla. Wear nothing that makes anyone think twice." That was the advice a successful man gave me as I started my career.

I bristled at this idea but grudgingly tried to apply it. Like many young women, I was happy to be free of male fashion constraints (white shirt, dark suit) and man-on-man abuse for non-conformity ("Lavender-striped tie? Where'd you get that, your mother?").

But sartorial liberty has its risks. How polished should a woman look to convey competence? The standards vary widely. In the military, male commanders sport form-fitting outfits but female generals seem to tailor their uniforms only in the movies. What about open-toed shoes? Ruffles? Bold jewelry? Necklines? The choices - and perils - are boundless.

For the full article, please go to:
On Leadership


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