11 Items You Should Never Wear To Work—Are You Guilty?

Office dress codes can be maddeningly confusing (what does “business casual” even mean?), but no one wants to be the girl who gets noticed for wearing the wrong thing. As such, we went straight to some of our favorite fashion editors—from ELLE, Lucky, Marie Claire, and more—and asked them for their office outfit no-nos. 

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    Read on for a definitive list of items that you should never wear to work: even if it’s so cute or you so need to do laundry. 

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    Flip Flops

    “I'm a huge rule-breaker when it comes to office outfits. I've worn everything from crop tops to sweatpants (with heels of course), which works because we work in fashion. But nothing looks like you've given up more than a flip flop in the office. Not everyone has to have on an Alaia bootie or a sky high heel, but a ballet flat or flat sandal is much more polished.” —Shiona Turini Market Director, Cosmopolitan 

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    Oversized Fishnet Tights

    “Unless it's Halloween (and even then, think twice), these should never be worn in the workplace.” —Laurie Trott, Fashion Director, Who What Wear 

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    Body-Con

    “Anything body-con. I'd rather not be conscious of my co-workers' bodies.” Laurel Pantin, Market Editor, Lucky

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    Wet Hair  

    "Even if you work in the most casual environment, I strongly believe that one should never show up to work with wet hair. In fact, if you look polished from the neck up, it's a lot easier to get away with your favorite ripped jeans or that skirt that's maybe an inch too short." —Britt Aboutaleb, Editorial Director, Byrdie

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    Cut-Off Shorts

    "Never say never: who would have thought Birkenstocks would be the shoe of the summer at many magazines! Somehow, what used to offend can turn on trend. However, I think we can comfortably say it’s best to stay away from cut-off denim shorts in the workplace. I love them, but stick to a smarter denim pick if your workplace allows jeans, and save the frayed short shorts for the weekends." —Mary Kate Steinmiller, Senior Fashion Market Editor, Teen Vogue 

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    Sheer Clothing  

    "My office attire pet peeve is sheer clothing. Whether it's a thin t-shirt, a diaphanous blouse, or a slightly transparent dress or skirt, it's just not right for a professional setting. Save it—and the pretty bra you wear with it—for the weekend or some other off-duty situation, please." —Hillary Kerr, Co-Founder, Who What Wear

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    PHOTO: Jade Frampton

    Hot Pants 

    “Hot pants. Never appropriate at the office. Ever!” —​Jade Frampton, Senior Market Editor, ELLE

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    PHOTO: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc.com

    Sneakers  

    “We have a strict no-sneaker policy. Pretty much everything else goes.” —Ray Siegel, Senior Online Editor, CR Fashion Book

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    Hat

    “Don't wear a hat to work. Unless you are working outside in the rain, a hat sends off a very unprofessional vibe that is not appropriate for indoors—no matter how bad of a hair day you are having.” —Katherine Power, Co-Founder, Who What Wear 

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    Visible Panty Lines  

    “I'm obsessed with the VPL trend for S/S 14. If you dare, a sheer dress with high-waisted ‘50s knickers is fun and flirty for a party, but never cool at the office, even if you work in fashion.” —Rachael Wang, Fashion Market Director, Nylon

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    Clothing That Requires A Strapless Bra

    "My general rule is: if you need a strapless bra to wear it to work, it should be left at home—this canvases a wild assortment of items." —Courtney Weinblatt, Market Director, Marie Claire 

EXPLORE: How To, Sub-Feature-2, Laurie Trott, Mary Kate Steinmiller, Rachael Wang, Hillary Kerr, Britt Aboutaleb, Katherine Power, Shiona Turini, Ray Siegel, Courtney Weinblatt, what to wear to work, what not to wear to work, office dress code, Laurel Pantin
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