Dear Jane: On Dressing Like a Lawyer

by 352admin 28. February 2013 13:21

Dear Jane,

I wore an adorable new outfit to work yesterday.  One of the women partners, in a private conversation, told me I looked like I was going on a date, not managing a multi-million dollar matter. I’m not sure I’m in the right place.

Signed,

The Outfit Was Expensive

 

Dear The Outfit Was Expensive,

First, you should thank the partner for caring enough to provide constructive feedback on such a personal topic.  She did you a real favor, and it would have been easier for her to do nothing.  Second, you shouldn’t decide on your work outfits based on how much they cost or how new they are.  The goal is to convey a professional image that enhances your credibility.  Look around at work and see what women who have standing wear to work.  You don’t have to dress just like them, but it will give you a few ideas as to the “acceptable” range in your work place.  Why hurt your credibility with the clothes you wear?

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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Dear Jane

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