16 Things Your Boss Wishes You’d Stop Wearing to Work
You won’t be getting a promotion in any of these outfits. Learn which surprising pieces are killing your credibility in the office.
Even in the type of office where basketball shorts get the green light, coming to work in your PJs is a no-no, says Matthew Kerr, career adviser and hiring manager at ResumeGenius. “It gives the impression that you just got out of bed and rolled in to work—which makes it seem like you don’t care,” he says. Putting an effort into wearing the right daytime attire ensures you’ll be taken seriously. Find out what “business casual” really means for women.
Anything against company policy
Check your company handbook to make sure you’re up to date on the dress code. “I’ve served in an HR role [at a company] with a dress code of no open-toe shoes, only to have the (female) VP of operations undermine our policy by showing up to a meeting in tiny strappy sandals with a perfect pedicure,” says Handrick. “No one objected, but it confused staff.” You may look great—and even totally professional—in your outfit, however, if it’s undermining company rules it can erode your credibility.
Anything that you’d wear to a club doesn’t belong in your office, says Finn, especially anything that bares your midriff. “I discovered that an employee here has a belly ring,” she says. “While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s not something I should see for myself in an office setting!” Keep everyone’s eyes on your killer results, not your killer abs.
Anything your coworkers wouldn’t wear
Dress codes vary widely from company to company, so make sure your attire is a good fit for your office culture, says career consultant Christopher K. Lee, founder of PurposeRedeemed. “I generally advise people to not be the most casually dressed person in the office—even when you may ‘get away with it,’” he says. Don’t push the boundaries. Even if a clothing choice isn’t quite inappropriate enough to get you reprimanded, you can bet your teammates will be making comments behind your back (or at least in their heads). Don’t miss these other 9 surprising things that make your coworkers think less of you.
You’d think keeping it PG (and PC) would go without saying, but Kerr says one of his coworkers was told to change when his T-shirt with a naked woman on it made others in the office uncomfortable. Keep the sexual or offensive shirts for the weekend. “If the text on your shirt isn’t something you’d say to your mother (or could get you beaten up if said to the wrong person), then it’s probably not something you should be wearing to work,” says Kerr.
Crazy tight jeans
Whether you’re sitting at the desk for long hours or running around for client meetings, you won’t be able to perform your best if you’re wearing something you can barely move in. “For men—especially the younger ones—every time I see one in skinny jeans too tight to sit down and do a mock interview, it cracks me up,” says Morris. Quit making these other interview outfit mistakes that could cost you the job.