Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What NOT to Wear to Work in an Office

The fact that I have to write this article says a lot about America as a whole. We've become a very relaxed casual society.

Which is a good thing when we want to kick back and relax. Not so great if you're going to work at an office.

As a court reporter, I see all different professionals in all different states of dress. (or undress)

As a result, I have put together sort of a professional fashion guide for the office.

For a man in the office setting, wear a suit or dress pants and a button down shirt. A pullover shirt such as a Polo shirt, can be acceptable depending on your type of job. If you will be seeing clients, please, please PLEASE dress nicely.

Now, on to the ladies in the office. Sorry, but these are going to be a little more complex than the guys' guide.

Please leave the short skirt at home

Short skirts

 Anything shorter than right above the knee is too short. Period. If you have to tug every time you sit down, it's too short. If you have to be careful when you bend over or squat, it's too short.

You want clients and coworkers to respect you, not make you the butt of jokes. You can say it's sexist, they should respect you for your achievements and your brain. Dress like a lady, and they will respect you. I'm sorry, it might sound old fashioned to you, but less skin is a must at work.

Let me give you an example. I'm a court reporter. While waiting outside a judge's chambers for a hearing, a female attorney came and sat down across from me waiting for the hearing after mine.

Her skirt was so short, she had to constantly tug at it to keep it down. It didn't really help, because I had a direct line of sight to her underwear from where I was sitting. It was just gross. She was tacky and inappropriately dressed.

Low cut blouses

This goes along with my prior point. Your assets are not something you want to be showing off in a meeting. I'll stick this hint under this heading. Make sure your blouse fits. I have seen more than my share of bra and boobs because women are wearing a shirt that is way too small for them and they gap open.

I don't want to see your chest. I have one of my own. Thank you.

Also, unless you have really defined guns, don't wear sleeveless tops.


Flip flops

 Listen up, people, I don't care how fancy your flip flops are, how many jewels or decorations there are on them, or how much you paid for them, they're still flip flops. Wear them to the beach or to the mall, not to the office.


You wouldn't think I'd have to put this in there, but I've seen a trend to pair little dress shorts with a nice blouse and call it office wear. Well, you can get away with it if you're 15. But if you're over the age of 21, just say no. For the benefit of all who have to work with you, just say no.

So what should you wear to the office? You really have a pretty broad selection even if you eliminate the above faux pas.

Do wear dress pants or a dressy skirt. A blouse that is not too low cut or see through looks great and professional.

Wear dressy shoes. They can be open or closed toe, high heels or flats. Leave anything that resembles a flip flop along though.

See, those are the only rules you need to follow! They're easy, simple, and painless.

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