Women Dress for Women
You could say the corporate office where I work isn’t your typical Fortune 500 environment. Now well-known for its recent fashionista ad campaigns, TJX is one of the nation’s largest retailers. We have three buildings, or “towers," labeled “T," “J," “X”. Clever, huh? Tower T is home and essentially Grand Central Station for all of the buyers at HQ. Naturally, we take fashion very seriously, and it is evidenced by theconstant flow of fashionistas who walk the company halls every day. It’s fun to just watch and observe sometimes; I mean, it’s like a fashion show every day. I constantly overhear girls in the hallways excited about their “Maxx Moment” from the weekend.
All this watching and learning has taught me a thing or two along the way. It’s also made me ponder why we girls dress the way we do. First of all, I would never be caught dead wearing bright, royal blue tights to work (or anywhere!) like the blonde in tower J. Secondly, I can dress up almost any pair of jeans to make them look business casual. (It's a skill well worth learning). And lastly, I don’t care what you say, leggings are not pants.
I wasn’t always so self-aware about fashion. In fact, I am still constantly learning what works well on my body and what doesn’t, especially given how quickly trends come and go. But I can vividly remember wearing a certain boxy forest green plaid flannel shirt one too many days in middle school. I think I even had a cow print skirt in high school. I suppose I took animal prints too far ! Now, I’d love to tell you that I grew out of this stage completely in college. But too many times, I rolled out of bed in the most mismatched sweatshirt and sweatpants you’d ever seen! I suspect every girl has her own fashion fauxpas to painfully recount.
I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking back then, and I’d like to believe my judgment has drastically improved since. One thing I’ve learned is that, when it comes to what-to-wear, most women value the opinion of women more than men. Sure, we want that cute boy from Finance to think we look good – but we love it when another female wants to know where we got those killer heels or those adorable bangles.
I can honestly say I check out way more women at work than men (I am a married woman now!) I’m constantly looking to my fellow ladies for what’s trending in the fashion industry - be it bold tribal prints, bright color-blocking or peplum dresses. What’s the hot color for summer? What’s the nail polish shade of the week? I can learn all of this on my morning Starbucks run down to the cafe!
Think about this: How many times have you dragged a man shopping with you and out of those, how many times was it fun? I can count on one hand the number of times I was able to keep his attention for about an hour to get some useful feedback. Rather, we choose to shop with our girls because, well, it’s fun, strangely satisfying, and above all, we want to know that they approve. A man’s approval on an outfit can be pretty simple – sexy. A women’s approval is much more detailed and useful. She might love that necklace, but really think nude pumps would elongate your legs more.
So take it from me, ladies: Women dress for women. More importantly, they want to hear your opinion. So share the love. Next time you spot a fellow female rockin’ an outfit that looks like it jumped out of a magazine spread, tell her she looks fabulous! After all, she’s wearing it for you.