An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

What NOT to Wear to Work

While there are a lucky few whose office is home to casual/street-clothes appropriate attire, most of us are subject to more rigorous prerequisites when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. If you’re workplace adheres to a business or business casual dress code (and you don’t work in industries like fashion, music or TV/Film where more creative fashion is expected and accepted) there are some very basic Don’ts to keep in mind when you’re considering what to wear.

(1) No tennis shoes – Unless you have an injury, there’s no excuse for wearing running shoes in the workplace. Walking to work in comfort is 100% acceptable, but remember to change once you’re at your desk. And if heels are not your thing, there are plenty of other cute options that will keep you stylish AND appropriate.

ShoeCollage

{Left – Lucky Brand Ballet Flats $60 @ Victoria’s Secret, Center – DV by Dolce Vita Loafers $25 @ Amazon & Right – Charles Philip Smoking Slippers $60 {on sale} @ Saks}

Ballet flats, loafers, Oxford’s, flat boots and smoking slip-ons are all great alternatives to consider.

(2) No shorts! Yes, there are very cute examples of summer shorts/romper outfits out there right now, but those are for your much-deserved downtime, not for the office. Even “dressed up” with tights or heels, shorts are not appropriate for the office. Dying for something cool to wear other than a dress or skirt? Try a pair of capris a la Jackie O, just remember to avoid pairs that fit like a second skin.

Capri

{Wool Capri – $35-$50 {on sale} @ J.Crew}

(3)  No. Open. Toed. Shoes. Sandals, no matter how cute, are not appropriate for the office. Peep-toed pumps can be acceptable depending on the height and style, but flip-flops and sandals should be left in your closet until its time to hit the beach. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to the office. Cute, summery totes excepted of course.

Lacoste

{Lacoste Shopper – $95 @ Zappos}

(4) Be cognizant of hemlines and necklines. Nothing too short, nothing too low-cut. Put your hands down at your sides – At no time should your hemline rise above where your fingers are. For necklines I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast rule. Everyone has a different style that looks best on them and I believe that you should be true to that {boatneck, sweetheart, scoop etc}. As a v-neck girl I do two checks when I wear sweaters or wrap dresses: first, look straight-on in the mirror to be certain that your bra doesn’t show and second, lean forward and make sure that you between your top/dress and undergarments you’re not exposing anything unexpected.

PencilSkirt

{AGB Pencil Skirt – $25 @ Macys}

(5) T-Shirts – While I’m hesitant to issue a blatant ban on t-shirts, I will say that graphic, logo or burn-out shirts are a no-no. A well-made shirt with a basic or conservative cut is fine (tuck one into a high-waisted pencil skirt and add booties for a fun high-low look). Before giving a T the go-ahead for office usage be sure that it’s not see-through, the fit & cut are suitable (no midriff baring tops!) and that it’s thick enough to hang where it should.

Top

{Ann Taylor Wrap Top – $30}

As for my male readers, let me pass along my number one workwear related pet peeve for men. I work in a predominately male office where slacks and a button-down are the worn by one and all. Please note, khakis are not slacks. Yes, khaki/tan colored slacks are a great option to beat the heat, but Dockers or khaki cargo pants ARE NOT SLACKS. Sorry for the caps, I just needed to get that off of my chest. I know that for many people “rules of fashion” is something of an oxymoron, as the goal of the industry and those that love it is artistic expression, but work is one of the places where you need to adhere to someone else’s rules. So take a look at your company’s dress code and keep that in mind when you’re shopping for work clothes.

A great tip is to separate your closet into work and play clothes, hang the dresses, slacks, sweaters and blouses appropriate for work in one section so you and can get in and out in a hurry each morning!

Bonjour for now, I’ll be back to show you some great looks to try out at the office soon.

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6 responses

  1. Every post of yours is soo insightful, teaches me new ways to pair my stuffs.

    xx
    Chaicy
    http://www.style-a-pastiche.blogspot.in

    February 21, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    • You’re the sweetest Chaicy, that just made my morning! ❤

      February 22, 2013 at 5:44 AM

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