The Great Debate: 6 Things to Avoid Wearing to Work
Recently, a Colorado high school senior was thrust into the national spotlight when her senior picture was deemed too racy by the editorial board for publication. With that news, combined with awards season quickly approaching, chances are you’re hearing a lot about what is or is not appropriate to wear in a certain situation.
The topic of appropriate dress often leads to discussions – sometimes quite heated – as to whether people agree or disagree (::cough::Bjork’s swan dress::cough::) with the level of appropriateness. Since there’s so much back and forth, it can be confusing for someone who recently graduated from college (whether through a traditional or an online degree program) and is about to enter the workforce.
To try to cut back on the confusion, I present you with some of the most debated outfits you can wear in a professional setting. Editor’s note – the identities of the guilty parties have been concealed for their protection. Also, dress codes vary by office – check with yours to make sure you’re within compliance.
Most Debated – Women
- Ohm… yoga pants – I understand wanting to be comfortable at work, really, I do. But if you can go straight from work to an hour of hot yoga without changing your pants, then they really don’t belong in the office. Just because they’re black and slightly flared doesn’t mean you’re fooling anyone. Not to mention that no one wants to see the underwear lines that come standard with these.
- Leggings ≠ pants – Continuing with our pants theme… leggings. Are. Not. Pants. I can’t stress this enough. Leggings are closer to tights than pants. If you must wear them in the office, do so under a dress, not with a tunic. At least a dress will ensure that you’ve got all your vital bits covered up.
- Tata to ta-tas – When it’s time to get dressed for work, ladies, we should try channeling Duchess Kate, not Carmen Electra. In other words, keep the girls covered. Not only will you distract yourself all day long if you’re constantly tugging your shirt up, but you might accidentally show off more than your business acumen, too.
Most Debated – Men
- When it rains it pours – Flood pants (i.e. – when your pants are so short that an inch or more of your socks are visible) always make me channel Revenge of the Nerds. I’m something of an 80s movie buff, but I’m almost sure that I won’t be the only person who thinks “nerd” when I see you wearing pants that are too short. Not the best sort of impression to make if you want to be taken seriously. Also, dress socks are a must. Please, please avoid wearing athletic socks to work.
- “Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck” – One area it seems some guys struggle with more than girls is their hair. Whether you’re channeling Moe from The Three Stooges or “pityin’ the fool” like Mr. T, if your hair (both on top of your head and on your face) is speaking louder than you are, it’s not a good thing.
- Rumple-stiltsken – Once you enter the workforce, your days of pulling all-nighters should (hopefully) be behind you. So why do you insist on looking like you slept in your clothes and came in to work? Gents, there is no reason to fear the iron. The iron is your friend. If you’re too lazy to iron (or you aren’t sure how), at least hang your clothes up in the bathroom while you take a steaming hot shower. Anything to avoid looking like you pulled a stop, drop and roll in your outfit.
I’ve only scratched the surface of things that shouldn’t be worn in the workplace. In fact, I’m sure some of you have horror stories of your own. Feel free to share them if you like. Whatever you do, though, please make sure you take pride in the way you dress. You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Don’t mess it up by looking like a slob.
Picture credit: themetapicture.com