Monday, September 8, 2008

Is your short skirt affecting your bottom line?

Wearing nylons during warm weather months can be uncomfortable, and that’s the naked truth! Some employers try to accommodate their female employees by allowing them to come to work without hosiery. Usually, this is considered a perk. As we shall see, however, the facts of the matter leave us with barely a leg to stand on!

For several reasons, the image presented by a woman with no hosiery can be inappropriate for the workplace and may lead to problems there. For instance, when “given an inch”, sometimes the unfortunate tendency among workers is to “take a mile”. Once an employer permits a relaxation of the company’s dress code in one area, employees may assume that they have their boss’s tacit approval to make comparable adjustments throughout their wardrobe. Soon, the company’s dress code will have faded into the mists of memory, a relic of bygone days.

During warmer weather, women may elect not only to leave their hosiery at home, but also to arrive at the office in short skirts, sundresses, and other types of casual clothing that generally reveal more skin. This casual, more revealing clothing can make a woman appear less-than-serious about her career, or frivolous about her professional goals within the company. Studies have shown that women who dress in this manner at work earn less money and are taken less seriously than their male counterparts who dress more traditionally. The woman who dresses too casually at the office relinquishes her business power to her male colleagues who are clad in polo shirts, slacks, and loafers with socks. While their attire may be equally casual, the men’s clothing reveals less skin, allowing them to retain some level of personal comfort while maintaining their professional image.

Additionally, the more revealing attire may make an unwanted “provocative” impression on male managers, particularly those who are older and may have more conservative tastes. Leaving a male manager with this type of impression may be the last thing that a female employee intends to do. Nevertheless, she must remain mindful of the potential for misinterpretation.

Many women find it quite a challenge to present attractive legs and feet without benefit of hosiery. If you decide to report to work without hosiery, please take the time to properly prepare for it! Ensure that your legs are carefully waxed, thoroughly moisturized, and evenly tanned. Apply fresh polish to toenails. Smooth out rough heels and soles (using a pumice stone, if necessary). Always wear sandals that fit your feet perfectly.

Short skirts and navel-revealing midriff tops are perfect for social outings or weekend activities. But, they seldom work at work! At the office, the female employee is more likely to enhance her career by paying attention to the company’s figures rather than her own. The only statement that her clothes should be making is, “I’m here to work.” Simply put, the more skin a woman reveals in the workplace, the fewer promotions, salary increases, and other benefits she reasonably can expect.

The Hosiery Dilemma

Not Wearing Hosiery

Wearing Hosiery

Sends a casual message in the workplace.

Makes a professional impression at work.

Requires time-consuming and expensive preparation.

Provides a quick, inexpensive solution.

Legs MUST have a deep, even suntan.

Instantly provides a “tanned” appearance.

Skin tone MUST appear perfectly smooth ~ free of ANY blotches or blemishes.

Helps to “smooth out” the appearance of pale, blotchy, or uneven skin tones.

Legs and feet MUST be moisturized.

Makes dry skin less noticeable.

Legs must be waxed WEEKLY or shaved DAILY. (Shaving leaves an appearance of “stubble” after only 24 hours!)

Slight “stubble” is camouflaged.

Provides NO support for legs with varicose or “spider” veins.

Support hose will protect legs and prevent additional damage from broken veins.

Pedicure MUST be kept current.
Nails MUST be freshly polished.

Toes are invisible in pumps or sling-backs.

Heels and soles MUST be kept moisturized and smooth. If necessary, a pumice stone should be used on feet to prevent a cracked, crusty, rough appearance.

Pumps keep heels and soles invisible.

Bare feet with bunions, damaged toenails, corns, hammertoes, extra long toes, blue veins, or injuries are frequently distracting.

Unsightly feet are hidden and therefore create no distractions.

Unnecessarily emphasizes the legs and feet, minimizing the effect of “continuity”.

Creates a streamlined appearance.

Requires the wearing of open-toe sandals or back-less mules to prevent damage from body heat and perspiration*.

Hose absorb moisture from body heat and perspiration (which naturally gravitate to our shoes) … slowing damage to footwear.

* Sandals should fit the feet perfectly. Toes should neither extend over the edges nor should they touch the ground. Heels should not spill over the back of the sandals. There must be no pudginess between straps ~ either at the toe or along the straps of the sandals.

Elaine M. Simmons, AICI FLC provides educational programs to help men and women learn how to dress appropriately for professional environments. For the training your employees need ~ to ensure that their image at work will reflect their own self-confidence, inspire the respect of other professionals, and reassure clients and co-workers that they are committed to the goals of your company ~ contact Elaine today at