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What Women Wear

With all of the brilliant campaigns empowering, supporting and celebrating women in full swing at the moment, it got me thinking about women in the work place.

I have read a few articles over the past couple of years about how women should dress in the office to be taken seriously. I understand that these articles have the purpose of inspiring working women on how to dress to be accepted, mainly by forgetting about the heels and makeup to prevent sexual advances.

However, I couldn’t help thinking that this seems to promote the opposite of the current women’s movement. For a man to take us seriously we need to dress more like him? Nah ah, I don’t think so.

That’s why I wanted to express my opinion on dressing in the work place.

Wear. Whatever. The. Hell. You. Want.

Our voices should be heard and taken seriously regardless of our shoes, makeup, whether we’re wearing glasses or contacts, and the colour of our hair.

Yes, it’s true that dressing professionally and appropriately for the work environment is always a good idea. We wouldn’t rock up to an important finance meeting in our gym clothes, much as we wouldn’t attend a friends wedding in a bikini (unless they’re having a pool wedding, in which case count me in!).

However, when it comes to working at the office, I don’t think we need to be consciously trying to dress like men to make us feel credible, or anyone else for that matter. If you want to wear a pink top, go for it. Stilettos? Sure. Red lipstick? Love it! You can still dress professionally and smartly with those personal details such as a bright bag or a statement necklace. Whatever makes you feel strong, feminine, and free, do it. Just be you.

Here I’m wearing a light linen suit from Sandro* with Superga* trainers, a pink cord hat and a pink embroidered bag both from River Island*. For accessories I have worn small gold hoops from asos*, the rose gold Signature rings from Monica Vinader*, and a rose gold Olivia Burton mesh watch. And of course with a touch of the Dior Lip Glow* in 008 Ultra Pink.

Am I trying to dress like a man? No. I feel comfortable, powerful and feminine at the same time. Of course being in the creative industry I can get away with wearing current trends and can be a bit more daring, so this outfit would not be appropriate for many occupations, but my main point is that you should be able to wear what you feel most comfortable in, while feeling professional at the same time.

Let’s work towards a world where what we wear doesn’t discredit us.

Niomi Smart_Suit_3F8A0050_WEB

‘To empower women in a cliched way is to put her in men’s clothes, but we forget some very strong women who changed the world didn’t dress like men or for men – and the woman I try to show today is that.’

– Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative director of Louis Vuitton, in a recent interview with Grazia speaking about the Louis Vuitton show in Paris that closed fashion week.

Niomi Smart_Suit_3F8A0184_layout_WEB Niomi Smart_Suit_3F8A0032_WEB

niomi_grey suit__3F8A0263_layout_WEBNiomi Smart_Suit_3F8A0136_WEB

Photography by Kyle Galvin.

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*I receive a % of revenue from links with an asterisk next to them.

NS