Dressing appropriately for work does not mean that you need to spend a lot of money. You just need to make sure that you find the right clothes, stay comfortable and feel confident at the same time. However, it is easier said than done, especially in the case of women’s workwear.
Finding the balance can be tricky but not impossible. We have covered everything you need to know before you choose workwear for your office. So, keep reading to find out everything about women’s workwear:
Evolution of Women’s Workwear
It might be surprising to digest at first, but women’s workwear was not the way it is at the moment years ago. It was different, and it is safe to say that it has gone through years of evolution to become the workwear we now know as the normal attire working women wear. So, believe it or not, after so many changes workwear for women has become quite fashionable and trendy now. If you look up women’s workwear on the internet you will be able to see a flood of pictures and models sporting silk dresses or construction boots that are absolutely perfect for business casual looks.
Even though women’s workwear is very comfortable now, in the old ages it was anything but comfortable and stylish. We have a common misconception that in older centuries women only worked at home and did only domestic tasks when in reality they were a major part of the labour and workforce spread in factories, offices, industries and other places of work before the commencement of the 20th century. However, even then women’s office attire kept evolving throughout the years. And during that time they frequently opted for skirts and heels and paired their outfits with office shoes, pearl necklaces and earrings to achieve a corporate look laced with elegance.
Female workers started participating and consequently became a big part of workplaces teeming with men from the 1930s to 1940s and their office attire during that time was inspired by men, of course. They wore dark suits, modelled after what the men wore to work normally. There was one difference in their uniforms, however. Men wore suits with pants while for women, their suits consisted of knee-length skirts.
Fast forward a decade and women’s clothes changed again. They started wearing smart dresses to work which also evolved and starting coming with practical options. For instance, the smart dresses were made using fabrics that could be washed and dyed several times. In other words, they were capable of handling the wear and tear. In the 1960s, the clothes women wore started inclining towards femininity, and they started to wear feminine dresses with high necklines. And with the evolution of women’s workwear to above-the-knee elegant dresses and modest shell tanks, more and more women started joining offices and going to work in different sectors.
The 1970s came with a bang of confidence in women as they started wearing more form-fitting work clothes to work. Older women and those working at senior positions at offices chose to stop wearing blouses because they thought that blouses looked too youthful and fashion-forward for them. They, on the other hand, opted to wear more structural jackets that showed authority and seriousness, instead. Young women, on the contrary, started weathering casual separates such as jeans and t-shirts.
The 80s was the era of women gaining their voice and power and wearing power suits to work. But the conservative suits were also worn by women and separates also remained. The attire came with a big plus for women who liked to socialise as it allowed them to dress professionally for work and then joining their friends for cocktails later in the evening. Moreover, with the introduction of padded shouldered jackets, the power look was completed fashionably.
Moving on, then came the 90s, women prioritised their comfort and wore comfortable tops with oversized jackets. High heeled shoes became less popular as shoes with low heels became a major choice for women. It was obvious to see that more and more were selected to wear the everyday attire for a daily look.
Let’s talk about today now. What is women’s workwear like at the moment? Women now have numerous styles to choose from that lets them dress however they want to while looking effortlessly professional. With the start of 2000, about 60 per cent of women became part of the workforce today. Numerous style choices are available, allowing women to dress how they want while staying professional that includes anything even pants and denim.
The last decade has shown a total overhaul of women workwear in Australia and several major countries all over the world. There is still a restriction on workwear for women in some places, but they exist for a company’s safety reasons and branding.
But How Do Men’s and Women’s Workwear Differ from Each Other?
Companies usually have different dress codes for men and women, and they are often quite strict on that. The uniforms often differ with the rank or the type of job. The uniforms also carry various degrees of formality. The difference between men and women uniform is easily discernible:
Men’s casual wear usually consists of sandals, athletic wear, casual jeans or pants while women’s includes casual skirts, pants, or jeans. Lightweight pants are a better option especially with a flat front fit because they look flattering along with blouses and sweatshirts. Casual workwear is best for people who like to stay active as it has a dry and cool fabric with moisture-wicking properties.
Men’s smart casual involves them wearing a sports jacket with dress pants and a tie. Some prefer to wear a traditional business shirt, while others go for a turtleneck shirt. Women’s smart casual consists of dress pants or a skirt with a top or turtleneck. Other than that accessories, dressy sweaters, poplin shirts, and dress shoes are some great choices.
Men’s traditional business attire is a suit and a business shirt. Sports jackets, ties, accessories like watches, and dress shoe are all considered a part of that ensemble Women’s formal business attire, on the other hand, comprises skirt suits or pantsuits with blouses or tops. Women often wear closed-toe shoes and stocking with minimal jewellery and makeup.
Business casual attire for men consists of dress pants, dockers-type pants, khakis and a shirt. They also wear a golf-type shirt instead of a traditional shirt, and they wear sweaters or vests on top of the shirt. Women’s choose to wear pants or skirts with a top or blouses paired with a sweater.
How to Pick the Right Women’s Workwear
The way you look when you go to work can influence your performance and your success. So, it is important to choose the right clothes in order to fit in. You can choose the appropriate workwear by taking care of the following tips:
Understand Your Industry’s Workwear
It is important to know what is permitted in a company before you choose the attire you want to wear. For instance, some companies allow their employees to wear skirts but those that are not above the knee.
Wear Tailored Clothing
Well-fitted clothes look good even if you may have to spend a bit more money on them. If you do not want to spend your money getting your clothes tailored then make sure to get them in the right size.
Also Read: Work Pants: How To Select the Right One?
Be Wary of Colours and Patterns
Although some offices allow their employees to wear colourful clothes, most of them usually want their workers to wear conservative fabrics and colours. So, just to stay on the safe side, it is better to stick with dark grey, black, and navy pants and suits. Stay away from extreme patterns and colours as offices are not the best place to express yourself.
Opt for Modest Necklines
Avoid revealing clothes and choose long hemlines, simple clothes and modest necklines to look professional. Yoga pants and leggings are a big no. You can wear work pants or elegant trousers if you do not want to wear a skirt.
The Final Word
In today’s world, you can wear whatever you want when going to work, but that doesn’t mean that you do not consider your workplace and its rules. It is extremely crucial to dress appropriately for work. And we understand that it can stressful to dress for a formal event, job, or internship. However, if you follow our proven-to-be-effective tips above, you will sure dress good and perform great.
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