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Dress for Success – What Not to Wear at Work By: Veronica Lopez Work is an important part of life for most people, and many of us spend more time at work than anywhere else. With so much time spent at the office or the factory it is important to be comfortable with what you wear. It is just as important, however, that the clothes you choose be appropriate for the workplace. Whether your workplace requires a formal dress code or allows a more relaxed approach to attire, it is important to dress like a professional. Like it or not, the way you dress affects the way others view you, and that could have a profound impact on the future of your career. If your clothes portray you as unprofessional or sloppy your coworkers and superiors will see you in that light as well. Avoiding these workplace faux pas will help you put your best foot forward and portray yourself in a more professional light. Sweatshirts – Great for the Gym, Not the Office Sweatshirts, sweatpants and other athletic wear is perfect for the gym, but not for the office. A good rule of thumb is – if you are comfortable working out in it, then don’t wear it to work. Even on designated casual days sweatpants and sweatshirts are unprofessional and unacceptable for the office. Minishirts – Keep Them Covered The 60’s are over, and miniskirts have run their course – at least in the workplace. Miniskirts have no place in the modern workplace, and they are a definite fashion faux pas. Make sure skirts are office appropriate – and long enough to look professional. Body Piercings Body piercings are becoming more acceptable in society, but they are still not appropriate for the office. Facial piercings, belly button rings and pierced tongues are a definite no-no, so leave that body jewelry at home. Bare Midriffs They may look great at the beach, but they are not appropriate for the office. Short tops and other midriff baring apparel looks unprofessional and has no place in the office environment. And let’s face it – few of us have the bodies to pull off this kind of outfit, even at the beach. Flip Flops and Sandals Even the most professional outfit can be ruined by the wrong shoes, and when it comes to the workplace flip flops and sandals are definitely the wrong shoes. Like midriff baring tops and shorts they look great at the beach, but they are a definite don’t at the workplace. Excessive Bling While a few understated accessories can really enhance a work ensemble, excessive bling can have the opposite effect. Avoid ostentatious or showy jewelry and other accessories and go for a more subdued look instead. Low Hanging Pants The hip hop look is definitely not in vogue at the office, so leave those low hanging pants at home. If your boss can see your underwear it’s time to go home and change. Visible Bras and Bra Lines The visible bra is the female equivalent of the aforementioned low hanging pants and underwear combo. If you plan to wear a sleeveless dress or similar item be sure your underwear is appropriate – and invisible. Avoiding these fashion blunders can help you stand out for your talent and hard work – not your inappropriate attire. If you find yourself wondering what is and is not appropriate at your workplace, it is a good idea to look at those around you – and at those above you on the corporate ladder. It is often a good idea to look at what your boss – and your boss’s boss – wears to the office. Even if you can’t afford the same designer labels you can mimic the basic taste and style. Overdressing is always better than underdressing – so be sure your clothing is appropriate for the workplace before you head out in the morning. To-Do List: Go through your wardrobe one piece at a time. Create a “work” and a “no work” pile. Take a good look in the mirror before you leave for work. If you wonder whether or not you should wear it to work – you shouldn’t. Keep the sexy slinky clothes out of the office. If you would wear it on a date it is probably not right for the workplace.
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