5 Fashion faux pas in the Modern Office

It can be hard, figuring out how best to dress if you want to get ahead in the work place. While you want to aim for a professional image that your colleagues and superiors can take seriously, that doesn’t mean you need to look dour. Still, there are a few fashion faux pas you should avoid.

Too much skin

No one is saying you have to dress like a Victorian governess, but having a little too much cleavage or leg on show isn’t going to go down too well with some in the office and will send out the wrong signals.

You don’t need to cover up head-to-toe, but having a skirt that skims the bum is way too short. You can find professional looking short skirts, which have a classic air about them; simply wear with a pair of dark tights or fishnets.

For your top, fashion expert Lauren Conrad advises no more than an inch of cleavage. It’s a view that’s supported by a survey taken by entrepreneur Peter Jones. According to the survey (of 3,000 managers), it was found that almost half passed up women for promotion if she had regularly turned up to work in low-cut tops and, in their opinion, tried to attract attention that way.


While a complete lack of makeup can make it seem as if you don’t care, too much can isn’t a good idea either. It’s about capturing the essence of classic over sexy. Make up should make you look well, alert and ready to work, much like your clothing.

Shoes and heels

In most establishments, a pair of stilettos isn’t the best idea. You don’t want to be towering over everyone in the office. Get an idea of the height most of the others wear and aim for something similar.

However, you don’t want to be too casual in your shoes. In a traditional office setting, sneakers or trainers aren’t going to impress many people, nor is anything too garish and loud. Gauge the atmosphere before going for anything too drastic.


It’s best to ensure your panty line remains under the waist line of your skirt or trousers – and avoid thongs at all costs.

It’s going to be even worse if the pants on show are over-elaborate or lacy, and the same goes with your bra. If people can tell you’re wearing something a little ‘special’ under there, then you’re probably going a little wrong.


If you’re looking to progress, you want your work clothes to show that you take your job seriously. You want your colleagues to know that you are dedicated, professional and command authority – and your clothes can go a long way to displaying that.

The first thing people see when they meet you is your clothes, so unfortunately they will make a first judgement based on that. After you impress them initially, then you can make another lasting impression with your character.

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