By Jeanne Martinet

For decades there have been outcries about the gender pay gap. Despite the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, according to Jessica Milli, a study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the latest statistics show that women earn 80.5 cents to every dollar men earn for full-time, year-round work. But the thing that makes this discrepancy truly egregious? It also costs more to be a woman.

That’s right. If you add up the costs for what it takes to be professionally presentable in most competitive work environments, that dollar number is much higher for women. As most women know all too well, in the business world women are expected to look better than men, from the tops of their perfectly coiffed heads to the soles of their pristine pumps. The wearing of skirts and dresses is encouraged in many fields, and you know what that means: pantyhose at about $7 a pop. And that’s just the beginning. Considering the combined price of women’s clothing, haircuts, beauty products, manicures, hygiene items, handbags, jewelry and — OK, let’s face it — SHOES, women have to spend way more.

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