You don't have to look boring to be professional
How did women go from strong, feminine, chique to wearing black and white suits that originally have been designed for men decades ago?
To me it's still a mystery! Having worked in a corporate environment I've seen it all. Boring black suits, not even flattering one’s body type, Don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge black and white outfits per se. However, what I don’t understand is the new trend of low maintenance being cool. Quiet frankly, this trend seems to be very popular for women. Masculine looks, not showing any kind of feminine silhouette. What happened? Meaning feminine is not cool anymore?
I’ve met with a lot of women across all kind of industries over the last years. I often heard the same shocking sentence: I am expected to wear a black suit to look professional. Ouch. For me, this is frustrating. Yet, it is the ugly truth.
Today women are by evidence great leaders. Emotional intelligence is a game changer that puts us in the front seat compared to men. Personally I don't see how the black conservative suit fits into this picture of women being role models. Especially if the argument for wearing a black men’s suit is that women don’t want to stand out. They don’t want to get the attention, being distracted by their look, or even reduced to their look. You see the gap? Women are supposed to perform at their best but at the same time aren’t supposed to dress feminine. I don’t think so.
Over the years I have learned that it's okay to not look boring to be professional. I worked in Finance for many years. I might have started with a black suit when I first interviewed for a job but soon switched to a more feminine look. This is me. I even get to the point that I think it actually helped me progress in my career. I showed attitude. Something that a lot of women miss nowadays. Low maintenance - no thank you. We’ve been there but time is up to dedicate the same amount of effort to our look as we do for our job.
A boring look can also have a negative effect. Do you want your business partner to think that you put the same minimal effort in your job as you do with your appearance? Have you ever thought about this? Time is up, ladies!
I even believe that smart women take advantage of being a woman and create a look around themselves that boosts their confidence. For myself I have found this to be very true.
It was in 2016 when I realized that this was the beginning to start my own company - a brand dedicated to create feminine business looks that let women live up to their full potential. This is my journey and a tribute to all women who still believe in the power of confident feminine business looks!
Martina F (founder MaximFaro)