Our lifestyles are more casual than ever, so it’s no wonder that women sometimes have difficulty determining what they should wear to work.
Common mistakes to avoid when wearing work attire include the following:
- Not following to company dress codes.
- Wearing clothes that do not fit.
- Showing too much cleavage.
- Wearing creased clothing.
It is also important to consider what coworkers are wearing for guidance and to ask a workwear supplier for a sizing chart before buying job lots of clothing. Finally, preparing business attire the night before can help avoid creases in clothing.
To keep work attire appropriate, avoid these 6 wear-to-work mistakes.
#1 – Short Skirts
The first mistake to make when dressing for work is to wear a skirt or dress that is too short. Even if you look fabulous in short skirts, save the minis for date night or other occasions outside the workplace. Short women especially need to be mindful that a miniskirt may make them look girlish (if not sexy), and that’s a look to avoid in a business setting where women want to be taken seriously.
#2 – Cleavage Showing
Wearing cleavage to work is mistake number two. Even Hillary Clinton, who’s known more for wearing business/formal pantsuits than sexy tops, took some flack from commentators for cleavage showing during a Senate speech in 2008. This is another look that’s too sexy for the office and is best saved for non-work occasions.
#3 – Stilettos
Wearing sky-high stilettos to work is mistake number three. While high heels are fine for the workplace, and most petites enjoy the extra height, when heels are too high, they read as too sexy. Another downside is that very high stilettos are relatively comfortable to wear all day. Recently, I was at the bank, and I noticed that one of the officers was tottering around on 6-inch stilettos. She could barely walk in her beautiful shoes. The best look for business: sleek shoes with a heel height that you can live in for a day’s work.
#4 – Distracting Jewelry
Wearing distracting jewelry to work is mistake number four. Huge hoops or chandelier earrings, an armful of bangles, big statement necklaces, or rings on every finger are too distracting, as are some types of body jewelry. While jangly and dangly can be fun for casual wear, less is more for work jewelry.
#5 – Jeans
Wearing jeans to work is mistake #5. Although jeans are acceptable in certain workplaces and in others only on “casual Friday,” they’re not really up to code when it comes to business/casual attire because the workplace emphasis remains more on “business” than “casual.” If wearing jeans is acceptable in your workplace, opt for dark wash jeans because a darker color makes women look slimmer and makes us look taller. Dark jeans make for a neater look, always good to maintain for business.
#6 – Flip Flops
Wearing flip-flops to work is mistake number six. I love my flip-flops and live in them in the summer—but not at work. Flip-flops are far too casual to wear in the workplace, unless you work at the beach.
Common types of business attire include business professional, which typically involves a suit or pantsuit and button-down shirt (often with a tie) or knee-length pencil skirt and blazer; business casual, which usually includes dress pants or skirts, professional dresses, professional shirts and sweaters, nice shoes or loafers, and neckties that are usually optional; smart casual, which is more relaxed than business casual but still requires neat clothing such as collared shirts and trousers; and formal wear, which is the most formal type of business attire and typically involves suits for men and skirts or dresses for women.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.