I have just published an article with Beth Cutts and Julia Yates called Graduate Dress Code. The article explores the relationship between students’ identities, their ideas about professional appearance and their anticipated transition to the world of work.
We interviewed 13 students about their careers and ideas about the world of work. We found that they viewed clothing and appearance as an important aspect of their transition to the workplace. They believed that, if carefully handled, their appearance could help them to fit in and satisfy the expectations of employers. However some of our participants anticipated that this process of fitting in might compromise their identity and values.
The article looks at how students’ handle the tension between adapting to a new environment and ‘being themselves’. We argue that this process of transition is intertwined with wider facets of identity – most notably those associated with gender.
I’d be really interested to hear what people think of what we’ve written.
Cutts, B., Hooley, T. and Yates, J. (2015). Graduate dress code: How undergraduates are planning to use hair, clothes and make-up to smooth their transition to the workplace. Industry and Higher Education, 29 (4):271-282.