At work, your goal is to dress to impress, especially when your boss (or future boss) may be paying attention. And while we know different offices have dress codes all their own, we're curious to know what should never fly in an office setting. The best way to know what's a no-go when it comes to office dressing is to go straight to the source, so that's exactly what we did.
We tapped a few of our favorite powerhouses from the fashion industry and asked them to share the styles they consider unprofessional. The result is a breakdown of the six faux pas that top their lists. Armed with their sage advice, you'll know exactly what to avoid when you want to impress your coworkers and superiors. Then, to help you master the art of office dressing, we shopped out a few of our favorite fashionable yet office-appropriate ensembles.
Read on to find out what our panel of chic bosses had to say!
Dressing down is a crime against humanity.
"Dressing down is a crime against humanity. You owe it to your colleagues to dress with fearless flamboyance. It's a form of good manners."
Not being able to walk in your shoes.
"[The] biggest style mistake on the sales floor: too much makeup, too much cleavage, too-short skirts/showing too much leg … and not being able to walk in your shoes. It just doesn’t work on the sales floor."
“Torn denim—save it for the weekend.”
Showing up dressed in head-to-toe designer is a big no.
"Showing up on your first day (or worse, interview) dressed in head-to-toe designer is a big no. You want your work and ability to be the focus, not the fact that your outfit costs more than a small car."
No hems undone, no soiled collars or cuffs, and your shoes must be well heeled and polished.
"The key to looking professional is not about spending a fortune on clothes but looking groomed, clean and appropriate to your vocation. Your professional wardrobe should always be well maintained. For example, your clothing should be cleaned and pressed, no hems undone, no soiled collars or cuffs, and your shoes must be well heeled and polished."
A pantsuit is sure death.
"Don't dress like you are interviewing at a bank!! A pantsuit is sure death. Know the industry you are interviewing for, and tailor your look according. You want to dress relevant and develop your own sense of style. You don't want to look like a victim, but you do want to appear like you actually follow fashion trends."
Shop stylish workwear pieces
Polished with a cool twist.
These aren't your average trousers.
Go from desk to drinks in this fun style.
Swap straight-leg trousers for a kick flare.
Spice things up with a little color.
You'll be cozy and chic in this sweaterdress.
Soft velvet pumps feel especially fresh.
You can't go wrong with the classics.
A fashion-forward take on the blazer.
Slide your feet into these fancy shoes.
A tie neck makes this sweater feel totally unique.
Shine on in this embellished skirt.
Looking for more office inspiration? Here's how our editors wear jeans to work!
Opening Image: A Love Is Blind