7 Things You Shouldn’t Wear to Work

There are some jobs out there that come without a real dress code. If you work from home, for instance, you are likely in a position to wear pajamas as long into the day as you’d like. And, if you’re a shrimper on a big boat in the Gulf of Mexico, you likely don’t have to worry about anything other than protecting your hands and feet. Most people who work in a professional setting, however, must give consideration to their daily attire.
Have you ever heard that you need to dress for the job you want? This old cliché simply means placing emphasis on your appearance if you want to be taken seriously…especially if you want to further your professional growth. So, with this goal in mind, here are seven fashion faux pas:
  1. Cleavage–baring tops—Some cleavage is okay, but be careful not to show too much. Choosing a well-fitting bra and a shirt that fits and isn’t too small will help ensure you’re not showing more than you should.
  2. Bottom-baring bottoms—Skirts should always be worn with a bit of caution—cautiously choosing styles that won’t flash your behind every time you bend over and caution in how and when you cross your legs.
  3. Treating every day like casual Friday—Even on casual Fridays, there are some things you simply shouldn’t wear. These include flip-flops and tennis shoes, t-shirts, shorts (unless your company specifically approves), and jeans or pants with holes or ragged edges.
  4. Anything that looks like lingerie—This is self-explanatory.
  5. Panty or underoo-flashing pants—Outside the office, it’s a rather hot trend for guys to wear pants that are low-rise enough to see the top of the underwear band, while girls are revealing more than just the color of their panties with pants that show a considerable amount of T-back. This is definitely a trend to be kept outside the office.
  6. Extremely loud colors—The color of clothes you choose says a lot about your personality, but it they can be misread by those around you. It’s important to know which colors are appropriate for primary clothing pieces and which should simply be worn as accessories or accents. Find out more about the personality of colors in Dressing for Success: What do Your Clothes Say About You?
  7. What doesn’t fit—You don’t ever want to look like you don’t know your size (or that you’re unrealistic about it) by wearing clothes that are too big or too small. Get fitted so you know your exact size, and then take any clothes that bunch or gape to a tailor so they can be mended to fit you like a well-fitting glove.
If you’re concerned about your taste when it comes to dressing for the job, a good rule of thumb is to look around you, especially at those professionals whom you want to emulate. In other words, if you want to become the next VP, consider his or her appearance and take a couple of pointers.
This doesn’t mean losing your individuality. You can still let your personality shine through by adding punches of color to suits and by using accessories that express your personal style. Remember that it’s all about being sensible in your choices and ensuring those choices are in line with how you want others to see you.

About Author

Amy Day

Amy Day is the Associate Publisher and a contributing writer for Strategy Magazine. She has an MBA in Marketing Communications and Strategic Leadership from Southern Methodist University and has been on staff with Strategy for nearly a decade. She is an award-winning business executive with customer service credentials from the Disney Institute. In addition to editorial oversight, her regular beat includes business, customer service, publishing, and family/child wellness.

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