The effect of clothing variation on first impressions of female job applicants: What to wear when

Margaret H. Rucker1, D. Taber1, Albert A. Harrison1
1University of California, United States
Cite this article:  Rucker, M. H., Taber, D., & Harrison, A. A. (1981). The effect of clothing variation on first impressions of female job applicants: What to wear when. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 9, 53-64.

Volume 9 Issue 1 | e314 | Published: February 1981 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1981.9.1.53

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Male and female subjects rated a standardized, professionally drawn female in each of 12 outfits as to impressions they would make in job interview situations. The 12 jobs represented combinations of high- and low-status and male-dominated and female-dominated occupations. Form-fitting outfits were rated more favorably than loose outfits, and the layered look more favorably than the nonlayered look. High necklines were seen as more appropriate than moderate or low necklines, except when seeking a low-status, male-dominated job. Regardless of outfit, the woman was seen as likely to make a more favorable impression when applying for a female-dominated rather than male-dominated job and her relative disadvantage in the latter situation was seen as particularly pronounced by male subjects.
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