"Engineering is the practice of safe and economic application of the scientific laws governing the forces and materials of nature by means of organization, design and construction, for the general benefit of mankind."   S. E. Lindsay, 1920

Engineering Fashion

Submitted by Marie Laplante, GIFTE CFO

Engineering FashionSome women engineers work in office environments and many others work in hands-on manufacturing positions.

In the office, it is generally a good idea to dress conservatively. You want to be known for your good work, not your sexy clothing. Just remember, that one sexy outfit you wear will be the only one some of the men will remember.

Some good tips:

  1. Clothing should not be tight.
  2. Tops should not be low-cut. You want your coworkers to look at your face not your chest.
  3. Dresses and skirts should not be too high above the knee. They get shorter when you sit down!
  4. Stilettos and flip flops are not work shoes. In fact, your work site may require enclosed toe flat shoes.
  5. No cleavage! This means breasts and toes.
  6. Pantyhose has become less common in the office, but the more covered you are, the better.
  7. If you are presenting, do not wear dangling flashy earrings – they will distract your audience!

You can still be stylish and dressy in the workplace, but this means toning down your wardrobe a bit. Evening and weekend clothes are not always a good fit for the work environment. Personally, I like suits, blazers, and sweaters. I find the office temperature to be too cold.

If you work in manufacturing or on an oil rig, your employer will provide a lot of your work attire. I worked in chemical plants for over 10 years. In one of those jobs, every morning I put on my bra, socks, and underwear, then Nomex (for chemical and flash fire protection) shirt and pants or coveralls. I braided my hair to go under my hardhat. I wore safety glasses (prescription) and steel-toed work boots. Some women and men wear t-shirts and shorts under their coveralls so they can pull the top down while inside the office. Some women are concerned about the gaps on the side at the hips – that’s why they wear shorts instead of underwear.