1st Saturday Style Small Business Info

5 Fashion Don’ts for the Office

Does your office have a dress code? If you’re a one-person shop, maybe not. Although I’m sure you might dress differently on days you’ll be interacting with customers and the public verses non-customer work days. I mean seriously, do you want to hand out your crisp, professional business card in a rumpled shirt and baggy shorts? Probably not.

Different office environments have varying guidelines about office-wear. If you’re working in a law firm, chic suits or pencil skirts and blouses might be the name of the game; if you’re at a creative agency, jeans and funky tops might be your staples. Regardless of where you work, however, there are still some fashion faux pas that you definitely want to avoid, unless you’re looking to be the talk of the water-cooler gang and risk being reprimanded by the HR department or your boss. This advice goes for everyone, no matter if you are a intern or senior management.

Looking put-together and dressing savvy for the workplace has its definite bonuses. Your coworkers, subordinates and bosses will view you as more professional, which gains you respect and can only lead to good things for your career. Looking sloppy or not “in the know” on how to handle yourself, on the other hand, can seriously hurt your chances of being the one picked to represent the company on that coveted work conference, for example. Or worse, get in the way of you and the big promotion that you’ve been working so hard for.

Let your work be what makes you stand out at the office, not your attire, but do maintain a clothing motto of “dress to impress.” Here are five major fashion no-no’s to avoid in the workplace.

Too revealing for work

Photo credit: [email protected].

1. Do not get your sexy back.
Perhaps the most important tip them all, whatever you do, don’t wear clothing to the office that is too sexy or revealing. That goes for you, too, gentlemen. If you have to ask yourself in the morning, “is this too tight to wear to the office?” it most likely is. Never show more than an inch of cleavage — for men, no chest hair should be exposed! And ladies, don’t wear a skirt that’s more than three inches above the knee. You don’t want people to look at you and expect a body part to pop out … For both men and women, all body parts from shoulder to just above the knee shall be contained! Also, stay away from anything you would wear at the club (aka tube tops and backless shirts), and always pair a tank top or strappy dress with a cardigan or something to cover your shoulders. This isn’t the weekend and you’re not about to head to the park.

2. Do not get too casual about casual Fridays.
We’re not saying that you can’t put on a pair of jeans if your office has a casual Friday policy. What we are saying is to not take “casual Fridays” too literal and show up in the jean shorts and t-shirt you’d wear on the weekends. Stick to the pretty blouse you’d normally wear to work with black pants and pair it with a nice pair of dark, well-tailored jeans. Guys, take off the blazer and keep the nice button down on in lieu of your favorite golf shirt (or, gasp, Jimmy Buffet-style Hawaiian shirt). Switch out high heels for some cool and comfy wedge espadrilles. Read: no flip-flops or mandals, mmkay? Basically, don’t be the reason that casual Fridays were all of a sudden deemed inappropriate by HR.

3. Do not always mimic the fashion pages.
Even if it’s totally in style, says your issue of Glamour or GQ, avoid any ripped, torn or otherwise sloppy clothing. You are not to channel Drew Barrymore in her ‘90s grunge phase nor are you to wear Justin Bieber’s hoodies and bottom-drooping pants. Absolutely MUST rock the trend of the moment? Try to do so through your accessories, a bright belt is still fun, but it’s the slightly more watered-down version of that neon-yellow suit you were eyeing.

4. Do not be uncomfortable.
You look ah-mazing. But you are uh-ncomfortable. And that’s no good. If you’re constantly pulling up your pants, pulling down a shirt, walking at a snail’s pace in those sky-high platforms, you’re not coming across as confident. Plus, being distracted by your itchy new sweater (as cute as it may be) means you’re not focusing on the work in front of you.

Don Draper-like Hat5. Do not cap it off.
Don Draper does it, so why can’t you? Well, watch an episode of Mad Men again and you’ll notice that even Don doesn’t wear his hats while at work — to and from the office is fine. When you’re at work, you’re most likely not trying to shield yourself from sun and you’re not at the baseball stadium (if you are, we’d like your job, please). And the fact that you’re having a bad hair day doesn’t make it okay, either. It is not a professional look. Period.

Are you and your coworkers the epitome of professional dressing in the office? Do share! Post a photo on our 123Print Facebook page, tweet us @123Print or write a note below.

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