What to Wear: Fashion in a Male-Dominated Field
Dear Classy Career Girl,
I was wondering what to wear if you want to work in a male-dominated profession? Specifically, I am trying to get a job in the sports industry and I’m worried that with so many men I won’t fit in if I am too feminine. Also that I won’t be able to obtain a position, keep it and advance in the industry if I look a certain way. What level of professionalism should I aim for? And how feminine is too feminine – is there such a thing?
Thank you!
Surrounded By Men

Fashion in a Male-Dominated Field

Dear Surrounded By Men,
Thanks for your question! I think the answer depends a lot on what the men are wearing.  You want to be able to match it in women’s clothes.  So, I would ask myself these questions:
  • Are the other men in the office wearing suits? Then I would wear a suit.
  • Are the other men in the office wearing jeans and collared shirts?  Then I would wear jeans, a professional blouse or collared shirts with closed toed shoes.
  • Are the other men wearing dress pants and ties?  Then I wouldn’t wear a suit but I would wear more professional outfits like black pants, blouses, cardigans and collared shirts.

What about skirts?

The one thing you might want to think about is that if you are constantly wearing skirts, you might get attention for the wrong thing.  I work with a lot of men too and I always prefer to wear pants (although I do wear skirts in the Summer) because I don’t want to be known for my legs or my body but I would rather be known for my brains and what I bring to the table.

What colors should I wear?

I would also probably stay away from a lot of pinks and bright colors. Instead, aim for darker colors and don’t wear too much jewelry and makeup either. Try to keep it as simple as possible.
If I were you I would ask for meetings with other successful women in the sports industry.  Ask them how they navigated the male-dominated industry and watch what they wear. If you ask them for an informational interview, I am sure they would be happy to help!
Finally, I wouldn’t worry too much about what to wear and I would focus more on working hard and being known for what you bring to the table. Just wear what you are comfortable in and try to match what the men wear as much as possible. If you wear something one day and notice that you get a lot of looks or comments, make a note not to wear it again.
Also, it’s always a safe bet to aim for more professional rather than less professional. I don’t think you can go wrong with that. Don’t be ashamed that you are a female. Instead, think of how much you stand out from all the other men and use it to your advantage. Be confident and proud of who you are and great things will happen!

Readers, what is your fashion advice for Surrounded by Men?


Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

Learn More

You might also like…

Should I Quit My Job Quiz

Should I Quit My Job Quiz

  Many years ago I really needed this "Should I Quit My Job Quiz" because I almost quit way before I was ready. I had my resignation letter written and I was just going to make the leap. But, I was in debt. I wasn't ready. It's not something I am proud of but...

Entrepreneurs! Do You Know What Social Media Platform To Focus On?

Entrepreneurs! Do You Know What Social Media Platform To Focus On?

  If you are struggling trying to figure out what social media platform to focus on, you are going to love this blog post! I am going to help you get focused and clear on where you should be spending your time. You do not need to be everywhere! That is a big...

Career Quiz: The Best First Steps To Take NOW!

Career Quiz: The Best First Steps To Take NOW!

  Wondering what the best first steps are to launch your dream career or business? Take our quick career quiz to guide you into the best first steps within your career journey. Once you have taken this quick quiz, you will be guided through the path that best...

90 Day Planner