Even though all work environments have different rules as to what is and aren’t okay to wear, the following commandments cover most of the general dos and don’ts of dressing for work:
• Thou shalt never let your outfit outshine your work. (Yes, creatives and fashionistas, this applies to you as well!)
• You shall avoid all sexy and revealing clothing. Never show cleavage or wear a skirt that skims your rear-end. For most offices, skirts that hit more than 2 or 3 inches above the knee are considered inappropriate. Also, no tank tops unless you have something layered over it to cover your shoulders.
• Thou shalt not wear any ripped, torn, or sloppy clothing. This includes anything that can be worn to the gym or the beach (gym shoes and flip-flops etc.).
• You shall dress like your female boss. If you do not have a female boss, emulate the highest-ranking female in your company. This doesn’t mean steal her style. Rather, base your office attire on what she considers appropriate. Is she casual? Always dresses to the nines?
Take a cue from the people in positions you aspire to have someday.
They don’t say, “dress the part” for no reason.
• You shall always dress to impress–even on “casual Fridays.” Don’t let casual Fridays fool you. Jeans may be okay, but that old tee reserved for lazy Sundays and those hot pink flip-flops are just not going to cut it… Casual Friday attire should be based on your weekly work wear, but taken down a few notches.
• Thou shalt not don underwear as outerwear. Ever. This is pretty self-explanatory…
• You shall always use your best judgment. Consider your work environment and dress accordingly. Anything you can wear to a club should never step foot in an office. If you’re unsure about an outfit, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with something else.
1. Stick to muted colors for a more conservative look; black & gray pencil skirts are trusty closet staples.
2. Keep heel heights reasonable, under 4 inches and closed toe. Towering heels say “Lacks judgment!” to more conservative professionals.
3. Can’t splurge on a suit? Buy a good fitting blazer and take it with you to make sure the color and fabric texture match with bottoms you choose.
4. Some offices will be fine with a colorful cardigan or ballet flats but be sure to check out what your senior co-workers wear.
5. Do not wear strong fragrances. Keep hair neat and not overly fussy, nails well groomed, and if painted, a light inoffensive color. Make-up should look natural. Keep jewelry simple and minimal.