The office is full of potential wardrobe pitfalls. We highlight the top 10 and give you some pointers on how to ensure a blunder-free working week.
1. Visible underwear
Visible panty lines (VPL) and exposed bra straps top the work wardrobe blunder list for women. Avoid rising g-strings by wearing higher waisted trousers and skirts, or invest in hipster briefs that won't ride up above your pants. Carrie Bradshaw may have got away with visible bra straps, but play it safe and buy yourself a seem-free strapless bra in both nude and black.
2. Plunging necklines
"If you've got it, flaunt it" doesn't apply to the office so keep deep necklines and strapless tops and dresses for the weekend. Instead consider collared or tie blouses, shallow V-necks and round collars.
3. Sloppy dressing
Even if your office environment is casual, there's no excuse for wearing clothes that are worn-out or overly relaxed. Tracksuit pants and Ugg boots are inappropriate for the office; as are thongs, board shorts and torn or frayed clothing.
4. Confusing the office for a nightclub
You might think the best thing in your wardrobe is that new sequinned mini dress, but that doesn't mean you should wear it to the office. That goes for anything that's too figure hugging or shows too much flesh keep it for Saturday night where it will be appreciated.
5. Over accessorising
Jewellery can lift a work outfit, but too many clanging bangles, necklaces or rings look unprofessional. The same applies to over-zealous body piercing. Accessories are best kept simple and minimal for the office, so stick to your favourites.
6. Make-up overload
Looking your best at the office often requires make-up, but slathering it on isn't going to win any points at work. Keep make-up fuss-free by sticking to neutral shades on the eyes and nude-based lipsticks, which require less maintenance than red shades.
7. Pairing brown with black
Brown shoes with a black suit is an old-school no-no. To avoid a wardrobe malfunction remember: brown shoes with a blue suit is fine, a blue suit with black shoes works well, but avoid pairing a black suit with brown shoes it just looks all wrong.
8. Ill-fitting suits
While a well-fitted suit projects competency and power, sadly an ill-fitting one can have the opposite effect. Buy the best suit you can afford and make sure it fits in all the right places, especially across the shoulders and at the cuffs and hems.
9. Sweat patches
Work can get stressful at times but walking around with soggy clothes is a serious office faux pas. Invest in an antiperspirant deodorant and use it daily. If you need to, keep a roll-on applicator in your bag or desk draw for emergency top-ups.
10. Stagnant wardrobe
Just because there are certain dress codes for the office doesn't mean you should let your wardrobe go stale. Have enough clothing on rotation to at least get you through the week. Men, that means at least five ties and five shirts, and women should keep a few combinations of blouses, skirts and trousers rotating throughout the working week.
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