Chapter 7: ‘She’s got the look’: examining feminine and provocative dress in the workplace
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Using Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, this chapter discusses how women utilize dress to present themselves in the workplace and how their dress impacts upon self-perceptions, others’ perceptions and, ultimately, their ability to effectively execute their organizational roles. In determining appropriate workplace attire, women are often caught in a double bind in that they may wish to dress with a certain level of femininity in order to be consistent with gender norm expectations, but at the same time, to dress masculine enough to appear credible. This chapter outlines research on the effects of feminine or provocative dress on perceptions and outcomes for women in the workplace. Since dress is defined as including both body adornments and modifications, the authors discuss what is known from research on aspects of clothing and accessories, as well as cosmetics, fragrance and hair color. They conclude the chapter with a discussion of unaddressed issues in workplace dress research.

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