Student at Baltimore Design School mourned after shooting

Melanie Griffith

Do clothes make the woman? [Commentary]

Do clothes make the woman? [Commentary]

In talking about women and business, it is inevitable that we address questions of appearance in the workplace. While men may believe they have issues with the move to more casual dress codes — tie or no tie, blazer or suit — I doubt they consider these "dilemmas." But many women stand before the mirror in the morning wondering if their outfit hits the right notes.

I do. Most of the women I work with do too. But how often do we think about what it really means?

Women traditionally have taken any mention of clothes and hair at the office as demeaning, a way to diminish our importance, to take the focus off the substance of our work. We worry that, unlike men, we...