Choosing the perfect outfit for the office can be tricky. On the one hand you want to stand out, on the other hand you don’t want to be offensive or distracting. Here are eight things to avoid when dressing for the office.
1. Don’t Be Overly Sexy
Dressing in an overly sexy way is distracting to both men and women alike. While it’s perfectly acceptable to show off your femininity, it’s not alright to flaunt your body at the office. Let your knowledge, skills, and abilities take front and center stage, not your "ass"ets.
2. Don't Disobey The Dress Code
It should go without saying that you need to familiarize yourself with the company dress code and always follow the rules. Even if your place of business appears to be pretty relaxed, you don’t want to be the person crossing the line. It’s just not worth it.
3. Don’t Wear Clothing In The Wrong Size
If you’re wearing clothes that are either too big or too small you are doing yourself an injustice. Even the best attire can look awful if it doesn’t fit right. Whether you’ve lost weight, gained weight, or recently had a baby, make sure the clothes you’re wearing fit the body you have TODAY.
If you’re unsure about the fit of your clothes, consider having an outfit made for you. It may cost a bit more than off-the-rack clothing, but your wardrobe will thank you for it.
4. Don't Be Overly Flashy
What you wear should never be distracting. You want people to notice you and hear what you have to say instead of being overwhelmed by your appearance. Neon colors, super busy patterns, and accessories that make a lot of noise are generally things to stay away from in the office and have fun with in your personal life.
5. Don’t Wear Worn Out Shoes
Make sure that your shoes are clean and in good shape. Wearing shoes that are on the verge of falling apart gives the impression that you are sloppy and lack attention to detail, whether true or not. Bad shoes will also negatively affect your gait, which can make you appear less confident.
6. Don't Pile On The Accessories
It’s fine to wear jewelry, hair accessories, decorative glasses, and other pieces to spice up your outfit, but make sure they’re not taking away from your look. You want all of your accessories to complement your outfit and not overwhelm it. Avoid things that don’t fit you well, make noise, cause you to fidget, or are overly distracting. Stick with just a couple of well placed pieces and don't overdo it.
7. Don’t Leave Your Purse In Disarray
Your purse or bag should also be in good condition and well organized. Finding a business card, a mint, or chap-stick shouldn't turn into a scavenger hunt!
8. Don't Wear Too Much Perfume
It is becoming increasingly popular for companies to ban strong scented perfume. Not only can it be distracting, some people have sensitivities to certain scents.
If it is allowed in your office and you like to wear it, choose perfume that has a milder scent and apply with a VERY light touch. Just because it smells nice to you doesn’t mean it will be enjoyed by others.
Have you ever encountered any of these faux pas at your office?
Sierra E is a Los-Angeles based trial lawyer and entrepreneur. She became partner at her law firm in 2015 and has made numerous appearances as a guest legal correspondent on CNN. In 2018, Sierra launched SuitKits, an online shopping service that allows women to custom design suits and separates to fit their exact measurements, style, color and cut. Through her career, her writings, and her company, Sierra hopes to help women from all backgrounds achieve both personal and professional success for the benefit of themselves and their families. You can find her on Twitter/Facebook/IG @SuitKits