You’re Being Judged For Your Work Outfit Every Day

Everyone likes to look good at work, right?

A sharp skirt can make us feel professional, a new blouse can give us confidence and a pair of heels can totally help us nail power chic.

But it isn’t just us who play close attention to our office outfits. In fact, it seems our work attire can actually influence other people’s opinions of us.


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According to a study in the journal Sex Roles, a woman in management who looks even a little bit sexy will have her competence doubted by other women.

However, this ‘competence’ won’t be affected if she doesn’t hold a leadership position. Um. What happened to sisterhood, people?



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The academics worked this out by getting women to look at several images of other women whose faces had been blurred out.


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When a woman in a black suit and a white blouse was described as a receptionist, the subjects gave her similar ratings of competence.

This means it didn’t matter whether her skirt was a teeny bit above or below the knee or whether her blouse had one or two buttons undone.

But when she was said to be a senior manager, marginally more revealing clothes caused her to be judged way more harshly.


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While previous studies have found that women are generally seen as less competent in overly saucy outfits (which is silly in itself), this new research proves that it can only take a couple of inches of leg for us to not be taken seriously.



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This is a little disappointing, to say the least. Shouldn’t we be judging each other on our performances rather than our looks?

And why aren’t we be bigging up our fellow females when they look great *and* are doing well in their professional lives? It’s something to be proud of.


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What do you think about the results of the survey? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.