This series of blogs specifically focuses on women and womens workwear - what are our challenges and how we can overcome them.
Women globally struggle with workwear and the more I researched the challenges faced by women in India for example the more I realised that we have it pretty easy in Britain & the US it just doesn't feel like it. The incredible amount of choice we have as consumers in womens retail stores is overwhelming but that is a pleasant challenge to face.
But the challnge is deeper than that. The staple suit is on the decline as dress codes have diminished and more women find themselves unsure of what to wear to work compared to what they wear 'out'.
'Many are confused about what’s appropriate in different office environments. The increasing freedom to choose one’s clothes may actually be making it more complicated for many women to decide what’s appropriate for work' says Marc Bain*
Around 80% of my female clients state that 'there is nothing in the shops' and that they struggle to find nice things to wear to work. But, here's the thing - there is plenty, you just haven't got the right sight. The average woman will go shopping but actually go BROWSING. Ladies, we need to take a leaf from our male shoppers here and follow their example - BE SPECIFIIC!
See my previous blog of April 6 2017 - 'Do you skip to the shops?' - for tips to succesful shopping but having key objectives of what you want for your workwear will make your 'shopping' life so much easier. This is where a good stylist comes in because those who have invested in my services or other good stylists will KNOW what to put on that list. They will KNOW what dress shape to look for, which kind of suit, jacket, trousers, skirt. And they will KNOW which materials to focus on as well as the very big deciding factor - COLOUR.
By focusing on colour first it immediately narrows down your options tenfold. And once you have found your colour THEN you look at the style, shape, fit etc.
But back to the global picture and for example Arab women who follow tradition. They have incredible challenges to dress without 'adornment' whilst remaining covered which designer Anna Hariri is trying to address. You could argue that these women could baulk tradition and step into a more modern dress but it isn't that simple, the repurcussions are immense as explained by Robin Givhan in the Washington Post.
In India there is so little choice for womens' work wear that designers like Dipti Tolani have created new brands such as SALT to offer choice and freedom. Tolani believes we should all be able to express ourselves as strong women including in an Indian culture and wear clothes which have simplicity and sophistication. Read her full story here. Interestingly Dipti is also focused on creating a communiity. A place for women to express their views, struggles and success. A global plight for so many women.
My next blog will delve deeper into the real concerns women have with their workwear - the findings are frightening.
Have a great week!
x Jo x
*Quartz, 11 June 17 - www.qz.com