Let’s get real here. It isn’t 1950 anymore. I can’t just shack up with a suave financier with a comb-over that I met during my first year of post-grad life. Instead, I, and you too, must dress appropriately for work so that people actually take us seriously. Now there are a few fine points to this – on the one hand, we have to make our mothers proud as we hop out the door in the morning (it’s post grad life, people, I still live at home), but on the other hand, nowadays we have so little to live for so we want our outfits to be a little bit fun, plus it’s 2013 so there aren’t really any rules anymore. To make your life a little easier, here is a list of five things to never ever never wear to work, but feel free to save them for the bar.
1. Tennis shoes. It actually makes me a little sad that this even has to be on the list… let alone number one, but bad things can happen to good people. Provided that you don’t work at a gym, I don’t care if it’s Casual Friday, the last day you’ll ever be employed, or even if it’s your birthday. Please just don’t wear those clunky white tennis shoes. PLEASE. They are unflattering on everyone, they have that horrible blinding white color, and they are very reminiscent of moms and Working Girl. Save them for the commute.
2. Cleavage. Go ahead, argue with me that you can’t “wear” cleavage to work. Well, you can, even though you shouldn’t… ever. There is nothing sadder or more unprofessional in the world than having to give an important presentation or being in a meeting and being concerned that someone is going to be looking at your chest rather than listening to what you have to say. Is it fair? Maybe not. Is it reality? Yes. Sorry. Don’t give someone a reason to wonder why you’re wearing the same shirt that girls in college wear to the bar.
3. Platform heels. There’s a reason why Forever 21 sells these heels in mass in piles by the cash register – because they’re junky. They’re uncomfortable. And they’re kind of slutty. They’re not going to make you look older, more mature, or in-control – they’re going to make you look like you got lost on the way to the downtown club. Strap on an appropriate height heel – anything under two inches for work – in a classic and basic color and you’ll never go out of style.
4. Flip Flops. Look in your closet. Look at all of those beautiful heels, boots, even sandals. So why are you wearing FLIP FLOPS! Please no. Just like heels produce that reassuring clack clack clack that lets everyone know you’re on your way, flip flops do the exact opposite by letting everyone know that you’re wearing the same shoes that people wear to public pools. Think about that. Sandals can work (but I would save them for more casual workplaces or Casual Friday) but just stay away from the flip flops.
5. Mini Skirts. Once again, anything you would wear to a bar, just don’t wear to work. Tugging on your skirt from nine to five won’t make it longer and it ain’t cute. Save yourself the trouble and choose a comfortable and appropriate length skirt by taking a walk around your room or the dressing room before deciding if it can really work for the office.
See a pattern here people? I know work is boring and you want to liven it up. But just save the crazy outfits for Friday 5:00 pm onward. Remember, if you have to ask yourself if it’s OK for work, it probably isn’t. Put on something ladylike and go climb that corporate ladder.