dress correctness
n. The style of dress that is considered to be appropriate for women who wish to climb the corporate ladder.
But what about dress correctness? It's defined as the varying ideas about the appropriate style of clothing that should be adopted by women who wish to rise to positions of power and responsibility in the workplace.
—Joey Kennedy, “Her life in words,” Birmingham News, July 23, 1995
In a world fraught with controversy about PC, or political correctness, is it any surprise that dress correctness should surface as a new term of art in the arena of sticky floors and the glass ceiling?
—Anne H. Soukhanov, Word Watch, Henry Holt, June 01, 1995
1992 (earliest)
The rapid entry of the majority of women into the work world over the last 20 years, particularly the increase of women in professional and managerial positions, has changed not only women's shopping priorities, but the control — financial and stylistic — women exert over the way we look. We have entered the era of Dress Correctness, in which women's clothes are purchased less to attract male sexual attention and more to match rising professional ambitions.
—Amanda Spake, “Dressing for Power,” The Washington Post, January 05, 1992