If an alien who knew nothing about this world landed here today and leafed through a few papers, that alien would conclude most women learned everything they know about getting dressed from Sex and the City. Yes, it seems every fashion article references Sex and the City these days. Even Christina Binkley writes in The Wall Street Journal that the show propelled women to wear work attire that’s more liberal, in both the fashion-forward and flesh-exposing senses. You’d think women, especially young job seekers, would understand the real corporate world is not the fashion Candy Land portrayed in the show; women don’t really wear white suits to work with no blouses underneath like Samantha. But alas, perhaps not, Binkley writes:
Nancyjane Goldston, founder and CEO of the UXB, an advertising and branding agency in Los Angeles, told me recently that she sees too many job applicants who arrive in overexposing clothes. To these young people, “I think it’s freedom of expression – ‘Take me for what I am or it’s your loss,’” she said. She doesn’t hire them: She says she doesn’t have time to teach employees what to wear. “It subliminally says that you’re not serious,” Ms. Goldston says.
Binkley acknowledges the double standard at play for men and women in the workplace when it comes to getting dressed. Men don’t have all the options women do and are less likely to wear something inappropriate to the office. Also, as Binkley noted in a previous article, men can’t help but ogle and gossip about female colleagues who wear a flesh-bearing garment for a special occasion. It’s not our fault that men can’t keep their eyes on women’s faces in these situations, but it couldn’t hurt if we gave them less and less to talk about in the break room.
The ‘Sex’ Effect: Empowering to Some, Trashy to Others [WSJ]