5 Things Not to Wear to Work

don't ask why. ask why not.

5 Things Not to Wear to Work

You would think by now, one of these articles is unnecessary. Who in their right mind would show up to work in flip flops? Or cargo pants? Oh, believe me, I see it all the time.

I’m not talking about the work environments that encourage or require people to wear flip flops. I’m talking about the average office where people typically wear shoes, skirts to the knees…you know, proper clothing. Believe it or not, I keep seeing men and women wear some questionable items in a professional work environment. These same individuals then protest with great indignation that they are not being taken seriously for their brains and that they should be free to express their individual style.

I’m not saying you should abandon your style. In fact, I’m all for individual style. If I could, I would wear yoga pants every single day (violation #3). But I don’t. And here’s why: I want to be taken seriously.

There are countless ways to flash your inner Anna Wintour or your rebellious streak without raising eyebrows. Fact remains that people judge based on appearance, and if you show up to work dressing like a tween, people are going to think your brain is like a tween. Even in hip, cool, start-up offices, where it seems everyone is lounging around in rip-off jeans and cool t-shirts sipping iced frappucino soy latte bubble drinks, it’s not necessarily a good idea to dress like you just snuck out of Computer Science class to hang out with your buddies if you want to move up in the organization or take on additional responsibilities.

Source: What Not to Wear – TLC.com

Dressing up just a bit doesn’t mean you’re selling out, but it may help you stand out from the crowd of other ueber-hipsters. Let’s play Stacey and Clinton here for a moment for five things not to wear in the professional work environment:

1. Flip flops or Tevas or Sneakers
For real, dude, these are for the beach, a hike, a run, or a camp shower.

2. Cargo pants or shorts
Unless your work requires that you have five deep pockets to hold your files and pens and paper clips, stay away from the cargo pants.

3. Yoga pants or workout gear
These might make your butt look great and your calve muscles shine, but save ’em for a lunchtime run. You’re at work to work, not work out.

4. Spaghetti strap tanks or yesterday’s t-shirt
The workplace is not the place to show off what color lace your bra is – it’s not cute or sexy. It just looks sloppy. Speaking of sloppy, try not to rewear your clothes the next day. Or if you have to, wash and iron them. It’s amazing how much odor from any environment seeps and settles onto clothing.

5. Pants that are too big or too small
Please make sure your pants are tailored or at least fitted. If I have the urge to give you a wedgie or trip you up by yanking them down, it’s probably a sign they’re too big. If I can see your butt crack or underwear being squashed up into your back or the awkward bunching at the front, it’s a probably a sign they’re too small.