Office Fashion: How To Stop Confusing 'Dressy' & 'Inappropriate'

Do you (or someone you know) have a hard time judging what's appropriate office fashion? You're not alone. Ashley Poulin of clears up the confusion as to what's dressy and what's inappropriate for the office. Fashion Challenge: Professionals who confuse “dressy” and “inappropriate.” Not thinking through the business-appropriate nature of what you are wearing (for example, thinking a dress you wore out to a club is acceptable to wear to an interview, or wearing a top that shows too much cleavage).

Office Prohibited

Knowing what’s appropriate for the office can be difficult and will take some time and investment to learn, but knowing what should never cross the threshold of your office lobby is imperative.

SharpHeels Style Guideline

Learn what is never appropriate at the office. Check out the quick tips below or watch the video!
  • Cleavage tops – It is never appropriate to show too much cleavage at the office. Fortunately, adding a camisole and a blazer or black cardigan can make an “evening” blouse workplace appropriate, but don’t force an evening look for the day. If the top has too much cleavage or is see through, then keep it out of the office.
  • Mini Skirts – The name says it all – “mini” is just too short for the office. Instead buy a pencil or an A-line skirt that hits just above the knee. Add a great pair of heels to add some sass, but keep those pumps under 4 inches in heel height.
  • Platform Heels – also known as (a.k.a) - Hooker Shoes – Let’s be honest: 4-inches is as high as you should ever go at the office. Typically, most heels should be 3-4 inches, max. You can add some flair with color pumps – burgundy or cobalt blue pumps look great with an A-line black flare dress
  • Too Clingy – Your office apparel should be flattering – form-fitting is fine, but too tight and you look like a stuffed sausage or a “woman of the night” – i.e. it’s definitely no longer appropriate or flattering. Instead wear a figure flattering A-line dress that you will look great in and still be appropriate for the office. Add some accessories to add some color and flare.
  • Remember: Never, ever wear something too tight, too short, or show any cleavage tops.
Click here to see all of the style guides in this office fashion series.  
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