Clothes for Working Women–or Working Girls?

Wall Street Journal, October 27, 1997.


On Oct. 8, The Wall Street Journal ran an article with the headline, “Will Working Women Wear This Stuff?” The “stuff” in question — “vixenish clothing” — may be appropriate in the boudoir or cocktail lounge, but not in the workplace, and most women know this. But what is true of most women may not be true of all; a few may very well choose to wear it because they want to attract men. Why else? No woman wears “4 1/2-inch stiletto heels” because they are comfortable, or because wearing them is a good way to prevent what the ads would have us believe is that most dreadful modern disease, toenail fungus.

What is true of the heels is also true of the other items mentioned in the article: “skirts with thigh-high slits, blouses with plunging necklines, tight pants, sheer camisoles, leather dresses (actually, leather anything) and reptile prints.” Some women will wear them in the workplace, not because they are comfortable but, to paraphrase the legendary Willy Sutton, because that’s where the men are.

American Enterprise Institute