You wouldn’t normally think that how you dress contributes to your personal business strategy, but it was brought to my attention that it does.
Recently, while discussing upcoming trade shows and events that Simply Hired, Inc. could set up a booth at, we ended up touching on what to wear. An executive level colleague shared, “the more femininely dressed the better, unfortunately. It’s true.”
At first I wasn’t very surprised. Yet, when I reflected on what I wore to the #SimplySocial2014 event the week before, I had worn a black suit. Nothing is more professional to me, than a woman wearing a suit. That perspective was now in question.
It’s not to say that I think suits are not a good choice, but instead, it’s about how you are treated by others at the event or in the workplace. During the event, amongst recruiting professionals, I didn’t seem to make any waves. That being said, it could have been because I was on Guest List patrol and overseeing the arrival of guests.
I don’t disagree with her statement, and I’m no hard hitting feminist either. When it comes to branding yourself in a professional way, and the clothes you choose to do this, I’m not sure which argument wins.
Pencil skirts have always been a professional staple in any woman’s wardrobe. I have a few hanging in my closet as we speak. However, I do think it is important to highlight your gender at professional events because (sadly) it does seem to make a difference in how you’re perceived.
Moving forward, I’m definitely not going to discard what my colleague said. I will also continue to believe that a classic suit just does the trick sometimes. Especially, with an added pop of colour underneath.
Maybe, just maybe, it all comes down to the shoes?