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Law

Is there any value to playing up your looks as a lawyer? As a young a Latina associate, I’ve been going to work in glasses and no makeup to avoid drawing any attention to (continued)

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Hi Associate! I think the conservative dress thing is standard throughout the industry so I wouldn’t change that too much though I assume what is acceptable dress for a lawyer may differ a bit among regions. In terms of using your looks, I think that attractiveness bias will work in your favor without you even realizing it. I don’t think you should play down your looks by trying to make yourself look mousy, but keep in mind that provocative dress will backfire. There are a lot of great bloggers /influencers out there that dress femininely, and professionally that might serve as inspiration. And many express their non-white or non-gender conforming identities. In other words, try to find a way to express your identity while also looking professional. Because the goal is that you feel comfortable in your own skin and that you are taken seriously.

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I used to try to down-play but now I don’t. Being confident benefits you in the workplace. Hiding yourself and seeming insecure doesn’t. All of my dresses are cut conservatively but I let my style show with accessories, shoes, prints.

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I was cursed with this problem. Eventually I had reconstructive surgery so it is no longer an issue.

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Your clothes should be impeccable in fit. That’s rule no. 1 and there’s no getting around it. Whenever I see an attorney will clothes fitting their bodies 100% (male or female) I’m instantly aware they know their stuff. This tip is valid for all body sizes. I’m a male associate, but usually from experience female partners wear... natural makeup? It’s certainly not intrusive. You should certainly know what this means.

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What A1 said. I used to try to blend in and then I realized "eff this". I am ambiguously ethnic, petite, muscular, confident and brash. Why am I going to hide that or try to quell it? I show up to every event I go to in a statement dress and shoes. I never, ever wear a suit. At work, if icm not going to an event, some element of my outfit or makeup says "look at me". If you do it correctly, you can absolutely use your personality, looks and how you dress to your advantage and still be taken seriously. It's called branding. You just have to give some thought to how you want to be known and cultivate that reputation IRL and online. It's exhausting sometimes and it sucks men don't even think about it, but it is what it is. You gotta be in the game to change the game or whatever.

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I’m the only woman in my group and I’ve felt very uncomfortable with what I wear/how I look. Uncomfortable as in I do not want to attract any attention. I don’t want to look sloppy, but I struggle with wearing dresses that make me stand out, for example. Especially since guys wear the same thing everyday 😂. But why should I sacrifice wearing a great, professional work dress bc it makes me “stand out.” As long as it’s professional, I’ve stopped caring 🤷🏽‍♀️

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My observations after 17 years in practice: attractive women that dress professionally go far. The key is to look professional - which means looking good, but not like you’re going clubbing.

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You might enjoy dialogue re this on corporette.com. lots of experienced attorneys to give you guidance. GL!

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myself for anything other than my work. (I’ve also been wearing the most conservative clothes, since I’ve gotten a lot of attention for my body in the past). Wondering if I should stop this and if so, when.

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Dress conservatively, lest some partner put you into a super awkward scenario.

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