Dressing appropriately for the workplace is essential for projecting a professional image and gaining respect in any business environment. As a businesswoman, your attire plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions and establishing credibility. While individual workplaces may have their own specific dress codes, there are some universal no-no's that every professional woman should be mindful of.
In this blog post, we will highlight 7 things we wouldn’t wear when dressing for (almost any) workplace:
1. Revealing or Inappropriate Attire:
One of the most important guidelines for dressing in the workplace is to avoid excessively low-cut tops, mini skirts/shorts, and sheer fabrics without appropriate undergarments. Such attire can create distractions that detract from your professional image.
As much as we love a sexy outfit and wouldn’t this less of anyone confidently showing up as themselves, impressions and opinions are always being made about our professionalism, competence and credibility before we start speaking and our clothing has much to do with that (whether we like it or not).
2. Overly Casual or Sloppy Outfits:
While some workplaces have embraced more casual dress codes, it's important not to take this too far. Avoid wearing overly casual or sloppy outfits like sweatpants, ripped jeans, or graphic t-shirts with inappropriate messaging. Dressing in a polished and put-together manner demonstrates your level of professionalism and more importantly, how you view yourself.
3. Ill-Fitting or Unkempt Clothing:
Clothing that is ill-fitting or unkempt is an unspoken representation of our lives, and whether conscious or not, they never pass unnoticed.
Messy = unprepared, procrastinator.
Wrinkled = careless, imprudent.
Neat and polished = organized, reliable, punctual, professional.
Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, too loose, or wrinkled. Invest in well-tailored pieces that flatter your body shape and maintain them properly by ironing or steaming.
4. Inappropriate Footwear:
Your choice of footwear is an important aspect of your overall professional appearance. Avoid wearing open-toe sandals, flip-flops, or excessively high heels that hinder mobility or compromise your comfort. Opt for closed-toe shoes or elegant heels that are suitable for your workplace environment.
5. Athleisure Wear:
We get it! We love a good pant suit, but we also love the comfiness of a good pair of leggings! However, while athleisure wear, such as yoga pants, hoodies, or workout gear, may be comfortable for leisure activities, they are generally not acceptable for the workplace. Save these for after-work activities.
6. Revealing Undergarments:
Undergarments should remain just that—underneath your clothing. Avoid revealing bra straps, visible panty lines, or any other undergarment mishaps. Ensure that your undergarments are properly fitted to avoid any potential wardrobe malfunctions.
7. Wearing Unprofessional Attire to Important Events:
Lastly, when attending important events like meetings, conferences, or client presentations, always dress to impress. Avoid underdressing for such occasions, as it can reflect a lack of preparedness or appreciation for the occasion.)
While the spoken rules and dress codes have relaxed over the years, the general human experience involves people making judgments about others before and after getting to know them and how we dress and present ourselves influences those thoughts.
You can stay authentic to your style and personality without compromising your professionalism, just by being mindful of these few things when getting dressed for work.