"What is your definition of business attire?"
Er...I guess it's what I'm wearing right? No, no, no!
In my career, it wasn't a good quarter unless I'd been subjected to the words "Can I borrow you?", followed by a rhetorical question regarding my threads. I could never get my head around it. Does a skirt-suit and shirt demonstrate the amount of effort I've put in? Are heels and a french pleat indicative of my ability and sincerity to deliver?
I'm fortunate to work in digital where people are encouraged to be creative and my clients are often as innovative with their appearance as they are with their companies. I have the privilege of working for a business that believes our gravitas and talent transcend through our ripped jeans and occasional top-knot.
Many companies deploy a ‘dress down’ policy on a Friday. Does that mean that they expect 20% less productivity in a working week?
Granted, there are sectors that will remain corporate (law, finance etc), for the foreseeable future and I won't judge. But to advise women to "keep it classy" is regressive and further exacerbates discrimination in the work place.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should all be rocking up to the office in onesies, but if I feel like wearing a pencil skirt and some heels, it's not because I'm a woman in a man's world. It's because I goddamn feel like it.
Remember that you’re judged on your appearance so be professional at all times as a woman in a man’s world. This doesn’t mean you have to wear masculine dress shirts and pant suits (wink, wink Hilary) every day, just keep it classy.