Dressing Up For Work

Dressing Up For Work

So, we’ve talked a bit about what should be in your wardrobe. I think it’s about time we start to consider what’s acceptable and what isn’t in an office environment. Because what’s the point of having/knowing what to wear if you don’t know where and/or when to wear it? Of course, rules will vary depending on the environment you find yourself, so we’ll just look at the basics.

Sleeveless Shirts

This is a ‘yes’ for the ladies, especially if your office has a more relaxed dress code. Just makes sure it’s fitted (not too big, and not tight), and your underarms are presentable. The guys however should never consider wearing a sleeveless shirt to an office. Leave that for a day at the beach. Even when you have a blazer or suit on, seeing your cuff is a necessity. While we’re on the topic, your coat should stay on even if you’re conducting business outside the office.

Open Necks

While it’s okay for women to wear an open-necked blouse that shows a little bit of collar bone, cleavage exposure should be avoided. Men can open up one or two top buttons as long as there’s a layering t-shirt to cover up any chest hair.


You know those shorts you wear to the beach, r out on a leisurely stroll? Yeah? Well keep those far away from the office. It is NEVER acceptable for men to wear shorts to the office, and if you, a lady, must wear them, then they have to Bermudas (tailored walking shorts that reach the top of your knee).


If you’re a guy, then you already know what I’m going to say. DO NOT wear jewelry. I mean, come on. How can anyone take a guy who has jewelry o seriously? Well, except maybe a watch, which I’ve previously mentioned should be included in your wardrobe and will discuss extensively later. Ladies, keep your jewelry simple. No clangs and glitz. Nobody wants all that noise distracting them.

Hair and Nails

Hair and nails should be kept clean and neat. Yes, like in secondary school. Guys should NEVER keep long nails, as it makes you look dirty. Also, it’s difficult to take any man who braids his hair seriously. Keep it low and neat. Ladies, claws belong at a witches’ meeting, not in the office. Your nails should be decent and not be multicolored, and your hairstyle should be simple. Avoid hairstyles that will distract you and deter your work.


It’s important to smell good, but it’s even more important to not choke people to death. Try to avoid spraying overpowering perfumes or cologne. Here’s a tip: Invest in a good bottle of perfume/cologne, spray a little bit on your pressure points – wrists, neck, behind your elbows, behind your ears, and your ankles – and you should be good to go.


Ladies, keep your make up as simple as possible. Think ”natural’. We’ll discuss more on this later. Guys, the only reason you should have makeup on is if you are a clown.


Ladies, you are free to leave your legs bare when wearing short skirts, but if you choose to wear hosiery, make sure they complement your outfit. Keep the colors nude, or neutral, and make sure the toes are seamless if you’re wearing open-toe shoes. Also, avoid heels that are too high and loud. Guys, you cannot wear ankle socks with your suits. You can’t wear brightly –colored socks either.

As you go from office to office, there may be several variants in rules, so it’s important to be familiar with what is acceptable and what isn’t at your place of work. Also, look up to your superiors and try to emulate their sense of style. It’s another step in climbing up the ladder. Remember: dress the way you want to be addressed. It sounds cheesy, but it works.