If you think working in a casual office means you can wear a graphic t-shirt, well you’re wrong. The relaxed shirt trend is great when you’re off work, but it doesn’t look professional. And no, wearing it under a blazer doesn’t change anything.
Do you work at a gym? No? Then don’t wear sneakers to the office. I understand that they’re comfortable, but they don’t pair well with appropriate office attire. You also shouldn’t wear sandals or other casual shoes to the office. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, then stick to dress shoes.
Clip-on Ties and Bow-Ties
Clip-ons are only appropriate for children under 10. All functioning, ambitious, grown men need to sport actual neck wear, and know how to tie them properly. Bonus points for knowing multiple knots.
Just no. Cargo shorts (or pants) are absolutely never acceptable. The only exception to this rule is if you’re a zoologist and actually need the pockets. Please refrain from baring your calves to the rest of the office. It distracts everyone from what’s really important: your competence as an employee.
A job that feels like a vacation is awesome, but your work wardrobe shouldn’t look like you belong on the beach. Tank tops are only acceptable for life outside of the office because it’s impossible to view someone through the lens of professionalism after you’ve seen his armpit hair.
Nothing about ripped jeans says “Hi, I’m a capable, qualified employee you can trust.” If a lucrative career built on the respect of your peers is something you’d like, then save the cool guy jeans for the weekend. Even if you work in an office with a casual dress code, there’s no reason to wear jeans with holes and tears. Opt for a pair of dark wash jeans, without holes, to wear on casual Friday instead. Or stick with a nice pair of slacks - because you can never go wrong with slacks.
Women are allowed to wear jewelry to work, and yes, it’s a double standard, but men should not. Gages, earrings, necklaces, and leather cuffs are all inappropriate to wear with a nice suit or slacks and button-down. There are only two exceptions, and those are wedding rings and watches. You’re not a rapper, so jewelry is more likely to damage your reputation than make you look cool.
There are social rules galore regarding hats. They’re generally unacceptable at all times, unless you’re outside in the sunshine and legitimately need to shade yourself, or it’s cold and you need to keep your ears warm. Baseball caps are not to be worn in the office under any conditions, beanies tell people that you’re not serious about your job, and cowboy hats can only be worn by actual cowboys.
Don’t wear a hat to work simply because you have bed head. It will take approximately two minutes to wet your hair and run a brush through it. You have time to do that even if you wake up late, so there is no excuse to show up wearing a hat.
Like casual shoes, athletic wear is only acceptable to work in if you make a living as a trainer or gym employee. I know that there are days when dressing in actual clothes feels like more than you can handle, but I promise that showing up in sweats and a t-shirt will leave you a little self-conscious.
Not to mention, what you wear sets a tone for your day. Schlupping it in gym clothes will most likely make you feel lazy and unproductive. Professional attire on the other hand is more likely to keep you focused and alert. Oh, and your co-workers will respect you and your opinions more.
This isn’t college, fellas. Short shorts might be acceptable on frat guys across America, but they are not appropriate in the real world. If you’re wearing shorts that only reach so far as your mid thigh, then do your co-workers a favor and go home to change. Showing off the thigh distracts the other people in the office, and seems more suited to a day on the beach than the boardroom.