The Wall Street Journal’s fashion and culture columnist, Christina Binkley, wants you to know Sex and the City’s iconic fashion is leading women to sabotage their careers. In the style-guru’s article “The ‘Sex’ Effect: Empowering To Some, Trashy to Others,” Binkley explains that although person style and freedom of expression can be used in a positive way, businesswomen who get their fashion inspiration from the characters of the influential series are setting themselves up for failure in the workplace.
Binkley published this harrowing opinion piece in 2008, intimating that still, four years after Sex and the City‘s final episode aired, the show’s negative influence is relevant and critical. Since then, society has experienced a social media revolution like never before. Sites like Pinterest and Wanelo are dedicated to providing fashion and lifestyle inspo to their most popular demographic – young women. If turning on the TV and watching Sex and the City can profoundly influence the fashion industry’s consumers, how can the non-stop flux of fashion related content from applications that are always just a finger swipe away be effecting not only businesswomen, but all professionals?
From interviews to the 9-5 grind, dressing appropriately is necessary and Binkley points out it can be done without sacrificing personal style. Although accessibility to fashion resources has exponentially grown, what’s deemed appropriate hasn’t changed much. Then, Miranda, Charlotte, Carrie and Samantha redefined fashion by wearing stunning, incredibly priced, high-end haute couture that adversely impacted a generation of businesswomen. Now, A-list celebrities and your best friend alike have the power to mesmerize you via social media with the latest trends, and may be giving you a false appearance of what is acceptable in the workplace.
It seems our technologically dynamic society and static standards will continue to clash, which raises the question every businessperson must answer: will you tone down your style and submit or continue to freely express yourself and suffer the consequences?
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Source: Christina Binkley, “The ‘Sex’ Effect: Empowering To Some, Trashy to Others,” Wall Street Journal, 29 May 2008