Author Topic: As a woman, have you found dressing femininely has any downside professionally?  (Read 1989 times)

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Offline ChrissyRyan

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I appreciate all these helpful thoughts.

Chrissy
Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that your speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Danielle nailed it. Look around and synchronize. 

Offline Rachel

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Hi, I am a Senior Director at a Hospital and report to the COO. We use to have team meetings every 2 weeks until March and now the team meetings are on-line. Funny how people relax their dress when on-line and at home.

I wear a top and slacks and flats. I wear sweaters in the winter mostly. Most woman that report to Senior VP's or to the COO wear a blazer or pants suit. I do not and it is a conscious decision and I may be a bit under dressed. Ok, I am underdressed. It is just incredibly difficult for me to wear a pants suit or blazer. On virtual meetings I am at work but those off site mostly dress down. The one female VP that reports to the COO wears a pants suit and the other female Senior Director wears a blazer.

 When it is not cold I wear a top. I always have my deltoids covered (it is required), it is just not allowed to have exposed deltoids. Bras must not show. Bras must be worn. Cleavage is not allowed. Nail polish is not allowed when working on a patient unit. Perfume is not allowed. If wearing a N95 or PAPR makeup is not allowed. 

We use to have a monthly in person leadership meeting (now it is virtual). I always sit near the entrance door to the auditorium. I look at the female leadership (90% of leadership) and take note to what they wear and their position.

I have worn dresses to work and it is black or dark in color and it must be below the knee to meet the dress code. I have worn a skirt but again below the knee and I choose darker colors. I really like wearing dresses but it is not practicle in the plants or on patient units. Dresses feel so free but unfortunately, just are not praticle where I work.

I hope this helps,
Rachel

Offline Gertrude

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Surprised they have such strict dress codes at a hospital vis a vis hem length/color/shoulers. Not sure what your job entails either to make pants more practical. Do you do a lot of hands on work?

Offline Battle Goddess

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This is such a great question, and I'm gratefully reading everyone's experiences as a person who has not yet transitioned professionally.

I find myself presenting different personae in my work. It's all theater. Sometimes I have to be the confident, smooth Salesperson who wears a suit. Sometimes I have to be a somewhat tweedy academic type who offers simple explanations and is maybe a little underdressed because that's how Professors do. Sometimes I get to be the Mad Scientist and go nerdy. Among my own kind of people, you lose cred without jeans and a t-shirt. Dunno what I'll do with all these.
Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline RandyL

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I've always worked in IT software, and dress has always been casual since the 70's. However as a male I usually wore collared shirts and khakis -- the one step better approach.

I'm not out professionally although some colleagues know. But in working with women I've seen every variation. All the advice above is good.

But one counterexample is also interesting. A talented female project manager who I worked with for over 5 years (probably about 45 years old) wore pretty outrageously inappropriate clothing all the time. High spike heels, low cut dresses, makeup well done but very noticeable, dangling earrings... But she was highly effective at her job, and also had an engaging, efficient and assertive personality. I would guess she also had a thick skin to ignore all the comments that went on behind her back. Just to say, you can kind of forge your own path if you want to and are willing to pay the price.

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Offline Jane.Shannon

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I love this thread!  I am an elementary school teacher, and I plan on going full time at the end of this school year.  I have been carefully watching what my female peers wear.  One nice thing about going full time somewhat slowly is that I have had more time to try outfits, and accumulate several of them.  I think the big item I am short now are shoes...but isn't ALWAYS the case.

Take Care,
Jane
 
Jun 2019: Came out to all immediate family
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline ChrissyRyan

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I love this thread!  I am an elementary school teacher, and I plan on going full time at the end of this school year.  I have been carefully watching what my female peers wear.  One nice thing about going full time somewhat slowly is that I have had more time to try outfits, and accumulate several of them.  I think the big item I am short now are shoes...but isn't ALWAYS the case.

Take Care,
Jane


Thank you Jane! 

 :)

Chrissy
Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that your speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

Offline Gertrude

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I don't have many female peers in the unit in IT I am, but I wouldn't dress like them. The guys are worse. It's a plus working at a university in that the dress code is loose, but that allows latitude both ways really.

Offline Raven19812004

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Tbh I will not dress modestly I will be a slut

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Offline Maid Marion

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If they rely on you to get stuff done you may have more flexibility regarding your clothing choices.  Something more outrageous may better fit your job description if your work involves creativity or finding answers to difficult questions.
I just bought a pair of booties from Cole Haan that should be appropriate for work.  They are having a sale and go up to size 11.   I noticed the stuff I bought went up by $15; they may have given me really good prices as an incentive to become a customer.

Offline Battle Goddess

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If they rely on you to get stuff done you may have more flexibility regarding your clothing choices.  Something more outrageous may better fit your job description if your work involves creativity or finding answers to difficult questions.
Very fair point. All the advertising Agencies I've worked, and the videogame company I was with, tolerated a great diversity of dress and body decoration for folks of all gender presentations when they worked in creative departments or engineering.

Those who worked with external Clients were expected to dress fashionably, but because we were "creative" companies, the cultures demanded we not dress conservatively.

It's all performance. Who wants a banker who doesn't look sober, conservative, and prudent? They darn well better be wearing a suit. And who wants an Agency that can't push the boundaries a little bit? Like I say, I just have to reimagine how to pull off my various professional personae in a new skin.
Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline Raven19812004

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Ok so I can understand where you are coming from so in a professional setting and place of work ethic yes I can see us being dressed modest but after work nope nope... I gotta have my d so I dress up as a slut to be treated like a slut...

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Offline Rachel

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Hi,

In response to your question. I am a Senior director and report to the COO.

 One issue I am having is that the Eastern Part of PA is locked down and I need clothes and shoes. I do not think Philly, Bucks and Montgomery Counties will reopen till August. Not to mention I need my hair and brows done.

Offline Alanna1990

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you will be judged no matter what kind of clothes you wear, I would suggest to you to learn to make men do your will, maybe yes, a more revealing or more attractive way of dressing might make them think you're less capable, well, if they think that take advantage of it, don't feel offended, there's always ways to take advantage of it, I know so much about my job that nobody thinks I'm not capable of doing stuff, but that's when I take advantage, just flirt or be playful and they will be in your hands doing whatever you want

Offline Maid Marion

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I'm small and petite, yet I rank way way up there in practical seniority.

I need clothes to that remind people of that. 

My wife realized this and opened the door to me wearing women's clothes.
She knew I was transgender but her fear of me not having a good job was
more than the fear of me exploring my feminine side.  Her parents never
had stable jobs.

Marion

Offline RandyL

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Interestingly I ran across this column published today in the New York Times. I'm not including a link, but you should be able to search it.

On Being a Trans Woman, and Giving Up Make Up

I have short hair. I don’t wear heels. Because there is no one way to be a trans woman, either.

By Meredith Talusan
Ms. Talusan is an author and journalist.

The final sentence reads:
I was a woman no matter how I looked or acted, because as long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself.

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Offline Dani lee

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       I'd give both my testicles to have an office job, but that really wouldn't be a fair trade as I don't want them anyway. Where I live there isn't much for work, waitressing, farm work, or if you're really ruff the oil field or construction, I do the last. And warring a dress while working would just end badly someone would see something that they just can't unsee.
       Sorry that I couldn't help.
     Dani

Offline Debra

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This is an interesting topic for me.

When I first transitioned at work, I was learning to dress. I tended to try to dress casual (for the software field) and I experimented with what I liked , didn't like, was appropriate, not appropriate, etc.

For a while there, I found I would 'dress down' so as to 'blend in' and not have my trans-ness questioned.

At some point, I said screw that noise and started dressing more femininely. Dresses, skirt suits, heels, etc. Mostly exclusively.

At one job I did have someone spread a rumor that I was a 'transvestite', mind you i'd never come out to my employer or coworkers at this job. That rumor was a huge hit to my ego and my style and soon after I left that job.

I started at a new place and still kept up with my outfits the way I liked them mostly. One random day I wore suit pants or jeans or something and someone commented on 'wow I dont think I've ever seen you in pants' (implying I always wore skirts/dresses). Mixed feelings about these types of comments. On one hand I felt like '<not allowed>, do they assume I'm trans?' but on the other hand I felt like 'That's right. I like dresses and style.'

Over the years I've come to OWN the fact that I like to dress nicer than most software developers. And every new job I tend to have to 'train' everyone to realize that yes 'she is always dressed nice'. At my latest job they had a fun 'fancy friday' competition and I kept winning it so I opted to become one of the judges instead lol.

As for respect, I feel like unfortunately yes, people who have not worked with me and see me for the first time often judge me like I'm some bimbo.....BUT just like training people to get used to seeing me wearing nice clothes, people who work with me come to understand very quickly that I'm not just sharp but also that I don't take <not allowed> from people. haha

What's my point? I guess live your life. I tell myself over and over, I didn't transition to dress down in jeans and tees lol. But everyone has their own style and life. Find yours. <3


Offline ChrissyRyan

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Thank you ladies for the continued informative discussion.

   :)  :)


Chrissy
Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that your speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

It is not usually about how fast you transition, it is about how well you transition.  

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