What Not To Wear

Paging Stacey and Clinton! STAT!

We have a receptionist on my project who is whip smart, very capable and very helpful when needed. She’s youngish, I’d say early to mid twenties. She’s attractive and has a pretty decent figure.

So you know what I’m about to say right?

You got it, she is dressing very inappropriately for the office. Last week it was a couple of skirts that were short AND tight. Today, she rolled up in here in some type of city shorts/vest combo.  The pattern on the short set is a houndstooth type material but shorts haven’t been appropriate for the office since 1992. *deep long sigh* We are business casual here at work and of course as women, we have a lot more variety in our office wardrobes but club gear is ALWAYS a don’t.

I’ve had a couple of general conversations with her and she’s mentioned how she’d like to go perm with my company but she’s a young biracial women (Black/Hispanic) and as a black woman who’s been in the corporate world for a minute, I know that you have to be competent and look the part too.

I mentioned this to my co-worker (who is also a black woman) and she noticed the poor outfit choices as well but said if it was her, she would decline to mention it to the young lady because it may not  be received well at all. Her comment gave me a bit of pause, but I know when I was younger and starting off in my career a couple of folks pulled me to the side and put me up on some corporate America game, but these youngsters these days…well I really don’t know.

Please don’t think this is a case of older fluffy chick envy because it is not. If I had our receptionist’s body, I might be subject to come to work bucket nekkid, so it’s no hate on my part. But I think she’s really bright and she seems to want to go further with my company, so I thought I might help her out.

Or maybe I need to mind my bidness.

What would ya’ll do???

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20 thoughts on “What Not To Wear

  1. Leave a copy of the dress code on her desk. Haha, j/k…

    She may not be able to afford more appropriate business attire and she may be clueless as to what’s appropriate.

    Our female summer interns this year wore all kinds of innappropriate things and not a word was said – because they were “hot” and nice to look at.

    I’d say something to her. She won’t get away with her attire for too much longer, especially if she has the desire to move up in the company.

    My old Assistant looked like a model and didn’t have the most appropriate clothing. I was a mentor to her (she’s a very smart young woman) and her attire improved. She’s now an EA for one of our VP’s.

  2. I’d totally say something. Women don’t help each other enough in the business world. It’s all in the delivery.

  3. I’m in agreement with most – if you like her, then tell her. Hopefully, she’s got enough sense to realize that you speak from a place of experience and knowledge.

  4. I would say something to her. Hell I say something to those older than me.. it’s just who I am and how I roll. You can just give her the info and if she uses it cool.. if not then so be it. Hopefully she will recognize it for what it is you looking out for her not “hating” as some may think.

  5. If she’s cute and fine and if the hiring manager is a male, this will ONLY be to her advantage…she might be trying to hip y’all to some game herself. LOL But seriously, I wouldn’t say anything to her. She’ll have enough advantages in life just by being a bi-racial chick. 😉

  6. If you like her, and you have a rapport with her AND you don’t think she’ll flip out, tell her. We constantly have ridiculous violations in my office. It’s a shame to me. There’s a woman in her 40s that trips me out the most. She’s always worn really tight stuff. At first she had really tacky clothing and an even worse weave. Someone pulled her to the side. the hair got a little better and her clothes of a better quality. But they’re still skin tight. She’s overlooked for promotions because of that. The occasional form fitting skirt or whatever isn’t frowned upon but every damn thing you wear every.damn.day shouldn’t be tight. She doesn’t get that. Some people don’t care.

  7. Youngsta’s these days really don’t know whats appropriate! You MUST tell her…what she does with the information is up to her but its your responsiblity to educate our young sistas.

  8. Not everyone understands the concept of a dress code and how it applies to them. She needs to know. If it comes up in an employee review it could be more harmful to her long term career.

  9. If you like her…tell her.

  10. Whether it’s received well or not, this is clearly something that has been weighing on your mind. I say take the youngin’ and hip her to the Corporate America game. Explain to ol’ girl that as a Black woman, not only do you have to brang it, you have to brang it 110% — a 110% of the time.

    Even if she comes out of a bag on you, when her azz doesn’t get the job — she’ll remember that convo.

  11. i had a coworker like this – she exuded sex! she knew it and she didnt care. its not that she was always dressed inappropriately, she just always found a way to add some pizzazz to anything she was wearing. and she knew how to keep folks guessing. she was able to make it in corporate america – she’s a vp now. clothes are part of the package, but not the only part (skills, experience, team player, etc.)
    i say all of that to say – tell her and share your insight, but at the end of the day she may choose to ignore you.

  12. Is there not a definitive dress code? I know my company is very thorough with the one we have. I would give her a company handbook and tell her to look it over. If she felt that she could work within those restrictions she may want to start now. I know that she is young, but she ought to look at what other women are wearing. Definitely the ones in entry level positions. I don’t understand why no one in administration has spoke to her. This alone may be why she dresses as she does. Touchy subject. I probably wouldn’t say anything unless she asked for my help.

  13. It would depend on our relationship and HER temperament. Is she the type to automatically assign advice as ‘hating’? Is she pleasant? Does she care about her image?

  14. Definitely tell her, with tact and with clear indication that it’s coming from a place of wanting to help. I definitely would use the idea someone else mentioned of taking her to lunch and bringing it up then. If she doesn’t take the advice, that’s on her.

  15. When she said she wanted to stay and move up in the company I would have made a comment then about wearing suits (or whatever) cause “you know they like that.” If you like her, maybe you go to lunch one day and discuss. And tell her that you like her and you think she’s smart and that you want to see her succeed.

  16. I’d take her out to coffee and under the guise of being a resource for her as she tries to go permanent, I’d tell her about her attire. She may not take it well but then, she’s not permanent (and if she doesn’t heed your advice may not become permanent) so you won’t have to deal with her feelings for too long.

  17. I would quietly pull her to the side and ask if I could offer a word of advice since she wants as shot at staying. If she is receptive the diplomatically say what you need to say. She simply may not know…

  18. Tell her. Some people genuinely don’t know the appropriate things or what qualifies as “business casual.” If you break it down to her nicely and in an “older sister tryna help out” way, she may receive it well. And if she doesn’t receive it, shrug it off and keep moving, knowing you tried to do your part.

  19. I say tell her. If she’s serious about moving up in the corporate world, she’ll take the advice graciously & make changes. Maybe she needs someone to tactfully show her how she doesn’t look professional, & give her ideas on things to purchase that are quality yet within her budget.

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