Steering clear of inappropriate business attire for females will help you out in the workplace. Not only will you be taken seriously as a professional, wearing the right clothing can help your image as well.
While most women seem to have an understanding of what's suitable to wear to the office, or at least read over their company's dress code, some women have a harder time choosing appropriate attire. Wearing the wrong clothing can mark you as unprofessional and lead to unwanted remarks from coworkers. It can also hinder your prospects for promotion.
Examples of Inappropriate Business Attire for Females
If you're ever in doubt about what to wear to your job, you should first consult the dress code. Most companies provide them for their employees. You should also pay attention to what higher-ups in your work environment wear, even if you're not interested in advancement. Here are some examples of what not to wear in a business setting:
- Mini skirts: Skirts that hit at your knee are fine. They're great for women of all heights, but favor petite women especially. However, skirts that come well above the knees aren't good options for the office. Micro mini or just a little mini, it doesn't matter; the super short skirts are best saved for the weekend. If in doubt, you don't want any of your thighs exposed, whether you're standing or sitting.
- Plunging necklines: Too much cleavage is a no-no for work. Even if V-necks are your favorite tops to wear, there's a right way and a wrong way to wear a deep neckline. Camisoles are the perfect accessory to wear under a low-cut shirt. There are plenty of camisoles in all colors and with feminine, lacy details that are made to peek out a little. If your push-up bra exposes any cleavage at all, then you need a different shirt.
- Skin-baring tops: Along with exposing too much on top, you can also expose too much on the bottom by wearing a midriff shirt, which will bare your belly. It doesn't matter if you wear a jacket over it; midriff tops aren't appropriate for the workplace.
- Tight clothing: Tight skirts, slacks and tops send the wrong message in a business environment and should be avoided. It makes you look unprofessional. Even if you're the best employee in the world, appearances do count and you should dress according to your setting and position. Tight clothing can give coworkers the wrong impression and can be linked to harassment.
- Stilettos: High heels are wonderful shoe choices for women. They make you stand taller, which can be important if you're on the shorter side, and as a result, they can help you feel more confident. Shoes that have two- or three-inch heels are fine, but you don't want to go any higher than that. Shoes with four-inch or higher heels look out of place in the office.
- Denim: Jeans have come a long way in recent years. You can find dark washed denim jeans that look almost like slacks, but no matter how expensive or fancy your jeans are, they're still considered more suitable for a casual occasion. The excpetion to this rule is if your workplace has a 'casul Friday policy.' Even then, however, choose dark denim and tailored jean styles that still look professional.
Other examples of inappropriate business attire for females include:
- Athletic apparel
- Tee shirts
- Spaghetti straps
- Halter tops
Even if your place of business regularly has casual Fridays, it's still a good idea to avoid these office wardrobe blunders.
Make the Right Professional Attire Choices
You really can't go wrong with classic, professional clothing choices. By making sure you have key wardrobe work pieces in your closet, you'll have a better chance of wearing the right outfit for the job. By dressing in accordance with your company's dress code and always keeping your setting in mind, you'll project a confident, competent image. Your coworkers and superiors will take you seriously and believe that you're the right type for advancement opportunities.