Abstract

This study investigates the communicative roll of female fashion in the workplace. More specifically, this study examined the perceptions both men and women form based on the clothing a female might wear in her place of business. This study used survey research and quantitative analysis and allowed participants to view one of eight different images of female business attire. Outfits included a tailored skirted suit with blazer, a fitted, above the knee-length skirt with a sleeved, cowl-neck shirt, a short-sleeved, collared, knee-length dress with a high wasted belt, a tailored, knee-length skirt with a long sleeved collared shirt, loose fitted trousers with a loose fitted blazer, fitted trousers with collared shirt, a fitted pantsuit with a blazer, and fitted trousers with fitted a sweater top. A total of 127 individuals from a variety of different businesses in Ohio participated in this study. Results revealed that many outfits did not differ from one another in terms of how the female would be perceived. However, findings did indicate that the fitted pantsuit with the blazer was the most powerful, confident, modern, and respected outfit of all of the outfits used in this study. Results also showed that the tailored, knee-length skirt with a long sleeved collared shirt was perceived as the most educated, most conservative, most controlling, most hardworking, and most organized. Additionally, the fitted, above the knee-length skirt with a sleeved, cowl-neck shirt was perceived as the least respected, least conservative, least appropriate, and the least professional.

Advisor

Johnson, Michelle

Department

Communication

Disciplines

Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication

Publication Date

2012

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2012 Samantha J. Sulzer