What Not to Wear to Workby Robin Hewitt
You've landed your first job, and once the excitement wears off a bit you realize you haven't a clue what to wear on your first day at work. While dress codes may vary depending on the type of job you have, there are a few tried and true rules on what not to wear. Take a cruise through your wardrobe, setting aside any items that are a fashion faux pas for on-the-job attire.
Start from the top and work your way down. Unless you've been specifically told otherwise, t-shirts and tank tops are a definite no-no in the work place. The same thing goes for a blouse that shows your cleavage or your midriff: bust and belly buttons are boo-boos.
Keep your skirts at a reasonable length. While you don't have to cover your ankles or knees, don't go any higher than two or three inches above the middle of your kneecap. Make sure the style is businesslike rather than flamboyant. The idea is to be taken seriously as an employee, not to win a fashion contest.
Bounce the blue jeans, unless the boss says everyone wears them. Wear slacks that aren't skin tight. Give yourself room to move and bend if you have to. If you do wear jeans, make sure they are clean and have no holes or embellishments.
Wear a minimal amount of jewelry, and shy away from anything "over the top." This means no dangling earrings and no armful of bangles. Instead, keep it simple. If you have more than one piercing in your ears, wear small posts, and limit yourself to two per ear.
Cover your feet in an appropriate style. Sandals and flip flops are a no-no, as well as heels over two inches. Stick to shoes that hide your toes, no matter what your pedicure cost. Only wear sneakers if you get a direct okay. Always choose shoes that understate rather than scream to be noticed.
- Unless you work in the fashion industry, resist wearing trendy fad clothing. Like it or not, you tend to make first impressions by the clothes you wear. Flamboyance in the workplace can cost you a promotion or raise.
- While hair isn't really something we wear, it's included here because pink hair or a Mohawk will give the same impression as a tube top and hip hugging shorts. Keep it professional!