Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cosbey, Sarah

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences


Previous studies have examined power associations with women’s business dress but little work has been directed toward the study of perceptions of power in conjunction with clothing for other social contexts. This study explores the association between masculine versus feminine styling in women’s dress and perceptions of power in women for professional business, formal social, and casual social contexts. A questionnaire was administered via a PowerPoint slide presentation to 57 university students. Subjects responded to 15 color photographic images of women dressed in outfits appropriate for the three social contexts with five images representing each context. Instrument items consisted of semantic differential scales measuring perceptions of power and masculinity versus femininity for the clothed images. Pearson correlation tests indicated that one of the casual social outfits and one of the formal social outfits showed a significant negative relationship between perceived masculinity and power.


Includes bibliographical references.


20 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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Media Type