8 Things You Should Never Ever Wear To Work


photo: Neon Blush

With the decline of dress codes in many workplaces today, there seems to be a little confusion as to what is appropriate and what is not, even on casual Fridays. The first tip I have to offer, if at any point you question whether what you are wearing before you leave your home is okay then it probably is not.

Your intuition is trying to keep you from embarrassment and “oh no she didn’t” faces from co-workers, so listen.

Flip Flops

This goes without saying. So just ask yourself…why? Then put your shoes on.

Body Cons

Love your body in all shapes and sizes, show your curves and work that sexy – just not in the office.

Crop tops

Bellies were never to be shown at work…never, ever! Yes, you have worked hard on those abs, I get it. But your workplace would appreciate you coming to work fully clothed. Just saying.


Heels higher than 3 – 4 inches are reserved for special work places. If you have not been told to wear sexy heels with your outfit then it is probably safe to say a nice 3-inch pump should be your go to.

Ripped jeans

I will admit, as a fashion marketing educator, I have tested this out. I work with fashionable people, right? However, every now and again I would see someone’s eyes shift (secretly) to my jeans while in mid conversation. I can only imagine what they thought of my exposed knees.


Keeping personal feelings about tattoos aside, (I have one!) most workplaces find them the epitome of unprofessional. In the workplace, they should be kept hidden under clothing or with makeup. So before heading off to the local parlor for that face or neck tattoo, consider where you see yourself in 5 years or less.

Sheer blouses

Even with a tank or t-shirt underneath, sheer blouses just don’t scream “working professional”.

Linen trousers

They are deceptive. You feel covered and in normal house lighting you seem safe; but in office lighting, coverage is bare and you and your career opportunities are exposed.

If you are now thinking, “Hmmm, well what do I wear to work”, feel free to read about just that.


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  • Kaitlynn Baker

    I have to disagree about the tattoo thing. I’ve found that most places are okay with them these days. I also wear flip flops every day but my office is suuuuuper laid back.

    • Sharon Nicole Hughes

      It really depends on where you work. If you work in a very relaxed, creative field then forms of expression through style and body are expected and often times encourage! That is excellent. However in more professional settings or conservative work places tattoos must be covered and flip flops are a no. It is important for people (including our young people) to consider where they want to work before adorning their bodies with highly exposed tattoos. It could make or break someone’s career future.

  • Victoria

    I have to disagree with sheer blouses. If you know how to layer it with the right garments, it’s not a problem. It’s also a personal preference on how you style it. I’ve worked with lawyers and other professionals who can make it scream “working professional.”

  • kellyannerist

    I have to disagree with the comment about tattoos from my personal experience! Yes there are certain industries and situations in which high profile colleagues and clientèle might frown upon them, but in most places these days are very open to tattoos both on and off display. Great examples are the fashion and technology sectors in which you’d be hard pushed in some office to find people without them! Personally I never intentionally hide my ink but nor do I flaunt it – my abilities and attitude are what count the most!

    Kelly – http://www.kellyannerist.com

  • Kathi Ka

    I could not agree with you more when it comes to big global players and conservative companies. But I am working in a publishing company, where people are wearing flip flips, linen trousers, ripped jeans and show their tattoos :D It all depends on the industry you work in, I guess. And if course you should never wear one of those when meeting customers… :)

  • Ellie MacBride

    While I understand that some offices enforce dress codes, I find this article particularly sexist. Women should feel comfortable wearing whatever makes them feel productive and able to do their job.

    If you work somewhere that doesn’t allow you to embrace your personality with your fashion choices, you should probably ditch the job (not the clothes)!

    • Inma

      Hi Ellie,
      I agree with you that we should feel comfortable wearing whatever in our lives. There are, however, situations that require a dress code, for both men and women. People usually dress up for a wedding, or to go to a job interview, for a meeting… I think we should always be true to our style and personality but kind of stay within certain parameters in these punctual situations like the office. I used to work with someone who had a very colourful and flamboyant sense of style, which was fabulous. However, she used to wear dresses that were really really low and that exposed her bra A LOT. We had plenty of meetings with external companies and it was really uncomfortable to sit across the table from her seeing her boobs. I personally didn’t think this was appropriate, and still wearing the same dresses but perhaps doing a tiny bit of layering and making sure that they fitted well would have been absolutely fine. Not sure I am making sense…

      • Sharon Nicole Hughes

        Nicely put Imma. Thank you!

  • Camille Beygui

    Thanks for sharing

  • Inma

    Ha! My office is really laid back when it comes to dress code and some people push it to the extreme. Quite a few guys wear shorts and flip flops every day during the summer. While I understand they are comfortable, I personally think there is something good in dressing slightly differently for work. Obviously this depends on the sector and on your role. If it is customer or client facing, you may need to be smarter than in others, and that applies to both men and women.

    Inma x

  • Whitney Kidd

    I work in a pretty lax environment where anything goes. I think its all about where you work, I have tattoos and a Mohawk… I think its all about balance and knowing what to do and when to do it. My daily wardrobe is still chic but a bit edgy… but when I have clients in town or out at networking events I make sure I’m buttoned up and air tight. :)

  • Liz

    Yes! I’ve seen so many people come in for interviews and I’m like uh no you can’t wear that to work. You just don’t look like a professional.

    • Sharon Nicole Hughes