9 Things you Should Never Wear in the Office

"You only have 5 seconds to make a first impression, so you have to make it count"

While it is essential to do a good job at work, how you dress at work is equally important as everyone gets judged based on first impressions. What we wear shouldn’t affect how we feel or perform at work. But the reality is that our appearance and image not only affects how others perceive us, but how we view ourselves. Whether you like it or not, the way you dress plays a role in your success at work.

These are 9 things you should never wear in the office:


1. Flipflops

Is it beachwear? Is it casual wear for “Dress-down Fridays”? Flipflops are fine for the beach, spas and pools, but never for the office. Wearing flipflops sends out lazy vibes and takes casual dressing a notch too far for the workplace. Not to forget, these shoes are noisy when you walk in them and distracts everyone from their tasks.

 2. Graphic tees

T-shirts that state “Will work for coffee”, “Play, eat, nap, repeat” or “Haters gonna hate” are usually fun and harmless but some people regard them as “rude clothes”. Graphic tees are treated as a form of self-expression and you are sending a message with what is printed on them. It is better to err on the safe side by avoiding them altogether even on Casual Fridays.

3. Yoga pants or gym attire

Sure, gym attire such as yoga pants, sweatpants and leggings are really comfortable. In fact, they are way more comfortable than work pants. But you want to look dressed for work, not a workout when you are in the office. It is okay to dress comfortably, but not to the extent of looking like you are going to a soccer game or getting out from a Zumba class.

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 4. Sequins/glitter/sparkly wear

A shiny beaded belt or a metallic jacket helps you get ready to outshine the bright lights of Clarke Quay after a day’s work rather than the board meeting on a Monday morning. Even if you are wearing your blazer or jacket over it, dressing up as a disco ball during daytime is not the way to draw attention to your work performance.  

 5. Skin revealing clothes

Think crop tops, plunging necklines and backless outfits. Anything that shows off skin is generally a no-no, unless of course, you work in a nightclub. You risk sending the wrong messages and create un-necessary distractions to others. Would you rather have your client stare at your midriff than listen to what you have to say?

 6. Ripped jeans

Holey-moley! Making a fashion statement with ripped jeans makes you look like the most popular person to hang out with, but they are definitely too cool for the corporate office look. You might get associated with punk fashion and flower power, but ripped clothing or jeans for a serious work day suggests that you do not care much about your appearance. Unless you are working in a pop rock music band, ripped jeans will not portray a professional image of you to clients or your colleagues (and of course your boss!)

 7. Too much perfume

While wearing perfume can brighten up our moods, it shouldn’t enter the room before you do. Since most of us work in close proximity with our colleagues, some of them could be sensitive to smells and fragrances and be bothered by your scent. The same perfume can smell good to you but is repulsive to others. Rather than spray yourself with the perfume directly, spray it into the air in front of you and walk through it for a lighter scent.

 8. Short shorts

That includes mini-skirts, denim shorts or anything that barely covers your derriere. If your job isn’t the same as Heidi Klum or Tyra Banks, rethink the hotpants for something more forgiving. Even if you may be in the creative industry, there is a certain dress code to follow and anything that goes a few inches up your knee projects a casual and sloppy image.

 9. The same thing you wore yesterday

Believe me, people WILL notice. You are either telling people you did not sleep last night or you are hungover. It is clear that you did not had a change of clothes. No one will want to get close enough to confirm.

We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?

Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!


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