Figuring out what not to wear to work is never easy. There are no hard and fast rules for work wear since fashion is always changing, and different jobs call for different wardrobes. However, the most important thing to consider is: does the outfit make you look professional? The perfect office wardrobe has pieces that balance professional and polished with stylish and edgy. Yes, it’s possible! And it all starts with knowing what not to wear to work.
What Not To Wear To Work: 10 Outfits To Avoid At The Office
Steer Clear Of These Workwear Don’ts
I know how frustrating and sexist some work dress codes or workwear tips can be. It’s 2016, “don’t wear it because men will get distracted,” just isn’t a legitimate reason anymore. We women dress for ourselves! However, there are still rules of general propriety you need to follow when you dress up for work. You still need to look polished and chic when you’re at the office, but it’s not like you can’t show your personality and rock a few trendy pieces! To help you fix your office wardrobe, here’s what not to wear to work simply because they don’t belong in a formal setting. And I’ll also give you some stylish alternatives you can introduce into your work wardrobe!
This should go without saying: don’t wear shorts to work, no matter what your job is! There’s a time and place for all your cute pairs, and it’s definitely not the office. If you’re looking for cool office bottoms, why not try culottes?
2. Crop Tops
Crop tops are here to stay, but not for the office. Showing too much skin at the office can be tacky if not styled right, and most work dress codes don’t allow it. Save them for a night out or a cute weekend outfit!
3. Statement or School Hoodies
Hoodies were our saviors in college, but it’s time to move on! It’s great that you want to show your school spirit, but hoodies are awfully casual and are more suited for lazy weekends or athleisure looks. Instead, invest in a cardigan or cashmere sweater you can layer over a plain polo if it gets chilly in the office.
4. Sheer Tops
Hilary Kerr, co-founder of Who What Wear, absolutely hates seeing sheer clothes at the office. File this under: what not to wear to work tips straight from the fashion industry. If you love the flowing fabrics, wear a silk shirt instead.
This celeb-favorite outfit is definitely included in my own what not to wear to work list. It’s great to reminisce your childhood overalls during the weekends, but not when it comes to the office. For workwear, go for chic jumpsuits instead!
6. Baseball Caps
Wearing hats and caps for fashion purposes is a big no-no at work. Hats mean you’re out in the sun, and they’re generally more casual. So if you’re in the office, there’s simply no reason why you’d need them. Accessorize with a cute handbag instead!
— Cute Outfits (@cuteoutfitssite) August 8, 2016
7. Ripped Jeans
If the goal of work outfits is to make you look polished, ripped jeans are the complete opposite. Like many other casual clothes, save them for the weekend. Trade your rugged jeans for sharp cigarette pants. They’ll make your legs look so much longer, too!
8. Slide Sandals
Slide sandals are considered summer footwear for a reason: they don’t belong with your office wardrobe! And while they’re one of summer’s biggest trends, you should always go for closed or semi-closed shoes when dressing for work. There’s nothing like a classic pair of nude pumps to make you feel like a #GirlBoss.
Athleisure may be the go-to outfit for models and celebrities like Kendal Jenner, but the trend is called “athleisure” for a reason. Sure, work outfits won’t be as comfy as leggings and a bomber jacket. But culottes and silk shirts sure come close!
10. Denim on Denim
Denim on denim is another casual trend that shouldn’t reach the office. Generally, anything that looks rugged or wrinkled isn’t a good idea for work. Instead of denim, try silk, cotton blend, and other sharper fabrics.
Watch this video from Time for more ideas on what not to wear to work:
When dressing for work, stay away from anything too casual and too trendy. Specific trends like athleisure aren’t really meant for the office, they’re meant for the gym! It’s really a matter of wearing the right clothes for the right occasion.
Want more work outfits? Check these out!