Inappropriate Work Outfits To Avoid!

Oh No, You Didn’t!

A working woman doesn’t necessarily need to be too fashion forward, but a certain poise and elegance are expected of her, to elevate her status and standard. Simple things like the kind of clothes you wear, the amount of perfume you use and so on can become deal breakers and make your employers pass you up for that promotion you badly wanted. An unpleasing personality can make your customers choose another employee to help them out. Your work outfits form an important part of your etiquette, as it determines your co-workers’ attitude towards you.

A woman’s workwear speaks a lot about her personality, whether you like it or not. Women clad professionally and appropriate become the epitome of power and work ethic, while fashion faux pas can make her seem inconsequential, and also give her colleagues a very wrong impression about her.

Look into our guide of rules you must never break while dressing for your workplace. Choose your outfits for work wisely!


Work Outfits To Avoid

1. Cleavage

work outfits

This is a major no-no, regardless of whether you have a size ‘A’ or ‘DD’. Baring unnecessary cleavage in your work outfits gives the impression of an easy woman, and her other assets are ignored. You might be a very productive and intelligent woman, but you shall be always known as the cleavage-baring lady at work if you adopt a strategy like this.

There’s no law against wearing V-necks as a business attire for women, but there’s a certain norm to it. Camisoles are your saving grace here. If your neckline is too plunging, invest in a sturdy camisole. Today, camisoles come in pretty shades and much detailing, that you can gracefully pull off under your blouse. Remember that this doesn’t mean you can wear neon camisoles to work – look into our article to find the perfect work attire for you.

Plunging necklines without something underneath are a fashion disaster! Push-up bras are also okay, but remember that your cleavage shouldn’t be your main focus at work; you’re more than that.

2. Peeking Underwear

work outfits
Image: Ramshackle Glam

Oh, the horror! Nobody wants to come to work and see your bra or panty line peeking through. Buy a pair of thongs so that your panty-line doesn’t peak through. But make sure your pants are high-waisted enough, and your blouse is properly tucked into your pants, or fall gracefully over your hips.

The best way to make sure that your bra doesn’t peek through is to have proper camisoles or appropriately high-necked blouses or have a shoulder clasp for your bra. NEVER go commando with your work outfits!


3. Sheer and Lace

work outfits
Image: Ali Express

Avoid sheer and lace fabric as much possible. This doesn’t include pantyhose. In terms of fabric for your blouse, shirt, pants or skirt, avoid sheer and lace material. You must be clad in decent apparel, which doesn’t show off more skin than necessary.

However, if the work outfits provide decent coverage with lining, you can adorn it like a princess!

4. Tight Clothing

work outfits
Image: Fox News

Body hugging clothing is a strict no-no at work, as it draws attention away from you as a person. You tend to be labeled for it, and all your redeeming qualities are ignored. No one takes you seriously if you are clad in too-tight clothes.

Form-fitting apparel is always welcome, but do not cross the line. Go for clothes that complement and accentuate your figure, but don’t make it the center of attraction of your workplace persona.

5. Sweats and Athletic Apparel

work outfits
Image: Seventeen

Never, ever wear sweats to work. Period. There is nothing more unprofessional than wearing casual sweats or athletic apparel to a serious workplace, and this shows the amount of seriousness you give to the job.

Also, remember that how you dress does have a way of setting your mood for the day. There is a reason why sweats are worn at home and not at work!


6. Sleeves

work outfits
Image: Shopola

When it comes to shirts and tops, stay away from overly sleeveless tops. Spaghetti straps are never a safe bet. Off shoulder, skin-baring and backless clothes must be avoided. Halter tops are also not a good idea.

7. Pants and Skirts

work outfits
Image: Brook Taverner Corporate

Invest in a pair of sleek, tailored pants. They will do wonders for the shape of your legs, and first impressions. Stay away from denim, unless your workplace is that casual. Ripped jeans are a no-no here.

In the case of skirts or dresses, your skirt must always be at knee-level; anything above that is considered raunchy and inappropriate. Minis and ultra minis must stay at home. Even thigh-baring skirts and dresses are not advised, as they tend to give off the wrong impression.

8. Sequins and Embellishments

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Image: Ali Express

Your office is a place of professionalism and good etiquette. Sequins and other embellishments like frills, stones, and crystals are too quirky and whimsical for a serious work atmosphere. You can experiment with small, minimalistic variations, but don’t wear something very bold as your work outfits as that tends to dispel the sanctity of the atmosphere unless it’s party night!

9. Footwear

work outfits
Image: Ali Express

Perfect formal footwear would be leather shoes, with small heels not exceeding three inches. Any footwear more than four inches is considered inappropriate. You can wear ballet flats or wedges but stay away from stilettoes and gladiators. Never wear flip-flops or sneakers to work; they make you seem silly and immature.

Invest in a pair of professional, classy footwear that goes with any shade. Neutral footwear in shades of black, brown and navy are in. Keep your toes in good shape too. Uncomfortable footwear will be very unfavorable to the natural balance of your feet.

10. Makeup

work outfits

Minimalism is always best. Stay away from dark, flashy makeup. One dark highlight is allowed, but don’t overdo it. Give more attention to your lips and let your eyes shine by keeping it light and bright. Simple mascara and eyeliner will do.

Matte eyeshadow does wonders to your eyes. Use concealer and foundation to hide flaws and remain natural at the same time. Bold colors on your lips look good, with matte being favored more than glossy.


11. Personal Hygiene

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Image: Reader’s Digest

Personal hygiene is extremely important for the workplace. Shower every day, and keep your hair fresh and clean. Wax or shave regularly; excessive body hair will do you no good. Body odor is a deal breaker at the workplace. Invest in good quality perfume, but don’t overdo it. No one wants to smell your perfume from a mile away. Keep your nails clean and trimmed.

When in doubt, always overdress. It’s always better for your work outfits to be something tame rather than be pompously boisterous. Do not confuse tame with demure. There is fashion and elegance in being professional. You can still be considered fashion forward if you dress appropriately and keep the occasion in mind. Win over your office today, ladies!

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Nivedha is a caffeine addict who worships chocolate, George R. R. Martin and J. K. Rowling alike. If you can't find her immersed in a pair of headphones, you'll see her nose-deep in a nondescript novel or a slice of cake. And by a slice, she means an entire cake. Find her on Instagram at @the_higher_iyer.