Do heads turn as you enter your office? Do you find people staring at you for things that have nothing to do with your performance at work? This could be because of the clothing, hair and/or make up you have on.
Business/casual attire has certain guidelines to follow. These guidelines are there for a reason, not to make you unhappy, but to keep professionalism at a certain standard and to avoid attention being drawn to the wrong things.
If you are not sure whether you are within these guidelines, take a look to see if you may be guilty of a few of these fashion no-no’s we discuss below:
Flip flops: These are meant for casual days at home, or for the beach. If you don’t like high heeled shoes, opt for a pretty sandal or a flat shoe.
Sneakers: Unless it is casual Friday, keep the sneakers for errands, shopping, walking and home time.
Tight fitting clothing: Not everyone wants to know the exact shape of your body. Make sure your clothes are tailor fitted (if you can afford them) or buy a size that fits comfortably without accentuating your figure.
Wet hair: Wet hair looks unprofessional, and shows a lack of time management. Always make sure your hair is styled or at least dry before walking into the office
Sheer tops: This reveals your bra, as well as your belly. Rather wear it with a tank top underneath, that covers your lingerie and your mid-region.
Hats: Hats are unprofessional unless you are required to wear one. Beanies can be worn in Winter, but should be removed before you go to work. No matter how much of a bad hair day you are having, avoid wearing a hat.
Visible panty lines: This is unflattering and distracting. Check your mirror before heading out to work.
Strapless clothing: Avoid clothing that requires a strapless bra such as boob tubes or strapless dresses. This is just too much skin to be showing off.
Wrinkled clothing: Spend an extra 5 minutes in the morning to ensure your clothing is not creased.
Exposed bra straps: Make sure your bra straps are not showing, wear a cardigan if necessary.
Low waist pants: Unless you wear them with a long top, people do not need to see the colour of your under garments
Bright Make-up: Do you want to look like a clown? Keep your make-up as natural as possible, highlighting your features, not drowning them with excessive make-up.
Logo T-shirts: Shirts with political/religious references and jokes should not be worn. People can get the wrong impression or take offence. Stay neutral
Revealing necklines: Do not wear garments that show your cleavage. It is distracting and unprofessional. Find clothing with a decent neckline
Jeans: Should only be worn on casual Friday. However if your office allows jeans, make sure they are dark wash, with no tears. Smarten up the look with a blazer and heels.
Cropped tops: You should never reveal your stomach at work.
Chipped/Too bright nail polish: Make sure your nail polish is neat neutral colour. If you don’t wear nail polish, make sure your nails are clean. Dirty nails are a big no-no.
There is a fine line between professional and casual wear, these tips will ensure you do not overstep that line.
Megan Mc Kinlay
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