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10 Fashion Faux Pas to Avoid at the Office

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Post 10 Fashion Faux Pas to Avoid at the Office   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:53 am

Dressing for the office can be a tricky task, especially as many workplaces have relaxed their once very formal corporate clothing expectations. Whether you're an employer keen to maintain a sense of decency and professionalism or an employee keen to know where to draw the line, here are 10 fashion faux pas that should be avoided at the office.

1. Survey after survey, the number one gripe amongst employers is staff revealing a little too much at the office. Plunging necklines, mini-skirts and underwear on show are all unpopular choices when trying to maintain a professional appearance to visiting customers and clients, so should always be avoided.

2. Nightclub attired doesn't end at sights of flesh. Heeled shoes are fine, but extremely high stilettos are difficult to walk around in also do little for the impression company bosses are trying to cultivate.

3. Another big faux pas is when clothing is too casual, such as frayed jeans or crinked shirts. Neither communicates a particularly professional appearance and while corporate clothing may not be necessary in all workplaces, you should always aim to look smart.

4. This rule extends to worn or dirty footwear, particularly trainers. Everyone has their favourite pair, but even if employers are okay with trainers, once they're worn or untidy in appearance, it's time to confine them to a life outside of work.

5. Another footwear faux pas is the sandle. Your colleagues - and trust me on this - do not want to see your toes. This is particularly sound advice for the gents - especially those with hairy toes. It's not a good look. And if your colleagues don't want to see it, you can bet your house on the fact that your clients won't either.

6. In most office environments, wearing hats of any kind is frowned upon. When that hat is a cap or beanie, it's a definite no-no.

7. Sports clothing, particularly team shirts, should not be worn in the office. It's far too casual and only makes the business appear unprofessional to visitors. Embroidered polo shirts can be an exception, but only if they look smart.

8. Unless you work on a beauty counter, keep the make-up layers to a minimum. Thick or tasteless make-up will do you little good from a career point of view and harm the company's reputation to others.

9. Large, visible tattoos and unusual piercings might help your reputation socially, but it doesn't convey the right message in the workplace. Employers, colleagues and customers want office workers to look smart, clean-looking and professional.

10. Finally, even in office environments where casual attire is accepted, steer clear of slogan T-shirts - particularly those that have the potential to offend others. It may be clever, funny and ironic, but if it's not to someone's liking it will land you in hot water and harm morale.

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