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Monday, July 3, 2017

Ladies First

On Friday, I attended a professional networking event and got into a conversation with a gentleman about fashion. I explained that I'm a "data diva" by day, but I'm also actively immersing myself in the world of fashion. He asked if I focus on men's fashion, and I admitted that I gravitate towards fashion for the ladies. I attempted to explain the rationale behind my focus on feminine style, and I’m not sure I explained myself very well. After I got a moment to organize my thoughts, I decided to outline them in this blog post.

That seems like a very basic and simplistic answer, but because of my gender, I look at the world and fashion through a female lens.

Women have soooooo many options when it comes to fashion. So many fabrics, colors, styles, patterns, etc. There is so much flexibility and creativity associated with women’s fashion. In some respects, men’s fashion can be constrained by gender “norms” and societal expectations of what men should look like/dress like. Women generally don’t have those types of limitations, and it allows for the pushing of boundaries and lots of experimentation.

Women are scrutinized a lot more closely than man when it comes to their looks and appearance. Every fashion choice, every hairstyle, every accessory, etc. is evaluated down to the most minute details. When Hillary Clinton was running for President of the United States, how many times were her wardrobe choices dissected? At her recent appearance at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, recalled the amount of attention that was paid to her every sartorial selection. However, President Obama wore the same tuxedo to every formal event for EIGHT YEARS, and nobody even noticed. Let that sink in for a minute...every formal occasion for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 YEARS! Imagine a woman doing that!

Think about the Mark Zuckerbergs or Russell Simmons’ of the world, who typically dress in very casual attire, regardless of the occasion. What high profile woman gets away with that? I’ve gotten the message loud and clear. Women play by a very different set of rules, and guess what? I'm up for the challenge. At this point in my life I choose to play the game and look my best. I would hate to be discounted or not taken seriously because my attire doesn’t match the perceived notion of what a polished and competent woman should look like.
Now, that’s not to say that men’s fashion doesn’t matter to me. I absolutely LOVE a well-dressed man. To me, a well-groomed and well-styled man sends a message that he cares about himself. I’ll continue to admire and appreciate stylish men, but for now, my goal is to help other women pull themselves together.

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Thank you for reading.

Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!