Women Dressing Sexy At Work – Can Provocative Clothes Help Or Hinder Your Career Climb?

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By Mechele Pellebon

Are you a sassy and seductive femme fatale looking for a promotion? Or are you a conservatively clad careerist looking for feminine clothes with a little sexual flavor? Depending on the career, dressing sexy at work can give you a competitive edge or ruin your chance to rise to the top.

A sexy woman can be viewed as a symbol of power or an agent of seduction.

If you work at Hooters, are an exotic dancer or even perform certain unmentionable sexual acts behind closed doors, dressing super sexy is a fundamental requirement of your work. Imagine a dominatrix or a well-endowed wing-server in a Brooks Brothers blouse, conservative leather round-toe pumps and a Herringbone skirted suit. Could these ladies perform their jobs well? Absolutely. However, it would be a little more difficult to gain those enormous tips and serve their clients without the proper tantalizing attire.

For women who don’t work in a sexually charged environment, there are definite dress expectations and a mandatory strict adherence to office clothing customs. If you are a uniformed professional: a medical employee, work in law enforcement or armed services, your standard issued uniform represents credibility, safety and protection. Modifying your uniform with racy black fishnets or unbuttoning your blouse to reveal lacy intimate apparel will not only compromise your credibility but send a message that you are incapable, incompetent and not a viable candidate for promotion.

Would you expect a female entertainment executive to wear a poncho at a black tie event?

Women who work in the creative fields, advertising, fitness, music, movies, beauty and fashion, the sexy clothing lines at work are often blurred. Figure hugging suits, body enhancing workout wear and lingerie inspired dresses and blouses are the norm in these industries. Would you patronize a fitness trainer who wore baggy clothes, old workout wear and didn’t look fit? When in doubt the sexy clothes question always lies in appropriateness and behavior. Just because you are wearing low cut dresses or a sexy outfit, doesn’t mean you have something to sell. In this corporate rat race dignity, competence and results will trump sexy clothing choices every time.

To determine if you are dressing too seductively at your job, look no further than the highest ranking female in your organization or field.

Many long days at the office and mandatory after-hour work events make the transition from professional corporate citizen to party-hopping social diva a necessary evil. Can you wear the latest body hugging fashion at work? It depends on your job, career aspirations and the occasion. Copy the fashion choices of the top performer at your company or the leading professional in your field. If she dresses sexy at work and still continues to have the respect of her male and female peers and superiors, follow her lead. If this superstar woman throws a little sex appeal into the fashion mix and is successful, you might be on the right track to career success.

With casual clothes becoming the norm in most 9 to 5 work environments dressing sexy at work in the 21st century can be difficult to define. Too often what women wear to work now mirrors the sexy form-fitting fashions of today. A woman can be one bare midriff, too tight shirt and mini-skirt away from career clothing suicide. If conservative office attire is the way to the top at work, keep that push up bra, lacy thong and midriff top well hidden under your suit…where it belongs.

Mechele Pellebon is a freelance Career and Fashion Writer. Read more of her free career advice at Career Vanity.com At Career Vanity she provides employees, managers and job seekers credible and fact-based career advice, sprinkled with a few dashes of magical entertainment pixie dust.

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