Too-casual jeansAlena Mozhjer/Shutterstock
There’s nothing wrong with wearing jeans to a casual office, but be cautious when choosing the style, says certified etiquette instructor Callista Gould, author of The Exceptional Professional: What You Need to Know to Grow Your Career. “I had a client that allowed employees to wear jeans on Fridays and was disappointed when some employees were not wearing ‘professional jeans,’” says Gould. Office jeans should have a straight leg and not be ragged, frayed, or bejeweled, according to her client.
Backless topsAnthony Hall/Shutterstock
Your chest isn’t the only thing that should stay fairly covered at work. Laura Handrick, workplace analyst of fitsmallbusiness.com, says she’s had to loan an employee a sweater to cover a backless top that showed her bra, after her male manager called it inappropriate and distracting. “There was nothing in our dress code that prohibited a backless top, so it was a bit uncomfortable to discuss it with her,” says Handrick. “She thought her blouse was fine, as she was showing no cleavage.” Even a halter top reveals more than your employer wants to see, says Gould. Wear a light cardigan over a backless top or dress to make it work-appropriate.