NEVER Wear These to Work

John Krautzel
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Whether your workplace dress code is ultra-professional or more business casual, office fashion is a complicated subject to broach. Regardless of whether you’re headed to a meeting with clients in a posh downtown restaurant or dressing down for casual Friday, there are a few things you should never wear to the office. Consider this list of 10 workplace fashion no-nos.

1. Ill-Fitting Garments

Any outfit you wear to work should fit properly. If your tops are too tight, shorts are too skirt or pants are too baggy, save them for the weekend.

2. Gym Wear

Never wear your workout clothes to the office, even if it is a casual atmosphere. The same rule applies to yoga pants. They’re not appropriate for any work environment unless you’re a fitness coach.

3. Ripped Jeans

If jeans are okay for casual Fridays or even every day of the week, opt for dark wash denims that are in good shape. Never wear jeans that are ripped or light-wash denim.

4. Open-Toed Shoes

Unless you're a lifeguard, closed-toed shoes are a must for many work environments, especially for safety reasons. To keep it professional, avoid wearing flip-flops or open-toed sandals to the office. If it is acceptable where you work, be sure your feet are freshly pedicured.

5. Costume Clothing

Unless you’re dressing for the office Halloween party, keep those distracting pieces in the closet. The same rule applies to flashy costume jewelry.

6. Revealing Outfits

Never wear clothes that show off your cleavage, stomach or back, and make sure your undergarments aren’t exposed either. If you bought the outfit for clubbing, save it for Saturdays.

7. Cold-Shoulder Tops

Off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder tops that cover part of the arm and leave the shoulders exposed are not okay for the office. While they’re totally on trend, you should limit wear to off-duty hours.

8. Crocs

While you can get away with more on casual Fridays, you should never wear Crocs to the office.

9. Stained Pieces

Before you put anything on for work, make sure it’s clean and free of wrinkles. Clothing that is stained or ripped is never appropriate for the office, and you should repair pieces with missing buttons or broken zippers before wearing them again.

10. Sequined Attire

You may be dying to wear that sparkly little number you just bought, but if it’s covered in sequins, save the piece for a cocktail party.

While office fashion may vary from employer to employer, there’s a certain professional etiquette that’s best to follow. Never wear the 10 items on this list to make sure you don’t commit a fashion faux pas. If you’re questioning whether a certain outfit is acceptable, check your company's dress code or pay attention to what managers in your office wear.

Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Tosi at



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