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The Modish Boss Babe Handbook: What Not To Wear To Work – 7 Don’ts + Dos

The Modish Boss Babe Handbook: What Not To Wear To Work – 7 Don’ts + Dos


Sometimes, fashion has a way of making more of an impression than words and its effect in the workplace proves this. As a result, knowing what not to wear to work saves you the trouble of making tacky style statements. From inappropriate cleavage-bearing fits to doing the most in a business-casual environment, the list goes on and on.

In other words, knowing what not to wear to work is as important as knowing what to wear. Whether you’re a lawyer or a prodigy in the creative industry, your appearance matters. Thankfully, the term “office-appropriate” continues to change and it’s now more flexible enough to fit into diverse personal styles.

So if you’re looking for ways to avoid ill-suited style choices for the workplace, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 7 solid tips on what not to wear to work…

#1. Don’t wear tight or revealing clothes, but do your best to accentuate your features 


Being comfortable in your skin is an amazing feeling, as it should rightly be. However, most workspaces aren’t befitting spaces to go all out showing some skin. For instance, if your job is heavily situated in the corporate field, you want to avoid deep plunging necklines, revealing crop tops, and micro-mini dresses. What you should do, on the other hand, is find ways to accentuate your best features in tasteful ways. Think of midi skirts with subtle slits accompanied by heels that show off your legs. This way, you’re classy with a touch of allure. 

#2. Don’t wear stained or wrinkled clothes, do your best to look as clean and neat as possible


Messy clothes to work are unacceptable. Your appearance can be a reflection of who you are in certain spaces, and more importantly, it determines how you want to be addressed. For this reason, you want to make sure your hygiene isn’t being questioned by your co-workers or bosses. This could affect as much as how much you’re respected, valued or promoted. So, avoid stained or discolored outfit pieces and opt for finely pressed ensembles. 

#3. Don’t overwhelm yourself in prints, do what you can in solids and sophisticated patterns


Prints have a bold way of letting you know what not to wear to work as they can set a general aesthetic. To make the right decision from its vast range, think of patterns and colors that fit into the tone of your position and office culture as a whole. For example, a pantsuit in bright animal prints can be a little too ritzy for a corporate office versus one in pinstripes. When you do wear prints, be sure to pair or style it with a solid color that can tame things down a bit.

You want to look chic and classy, rather than nonchalant as to what the company’s image is. 

#4. Don’t wear workout or gym clothes to work when you can go for ritzy loungewear-inspired pieces 


We are currently in a social climate where working from home has become the new normal for some, and waist-up dressing is a thing now. Consequently, wearing your gym clothes for a zoom meeting can come off as lazy, even if you had a power workout session prior. What you want to do is go for loungewear pieces like – cozy turtle neck sweaters and bodysuits, or a bodycon dress for a quick impromptu meeting at the office. The key is to follow the business casual route, but with functionality and professionalism. 

#5. Don’t go overboard with see-through clothing when you can look polished in subtle sheer pieces

what not to wear to work stylerave
Juliette Foxx

When you’re looking to add some je ne sais quoi to your workwear wardrobe, say no to see-through pieces. Not only can they be inappropriate and unfit for the office, they can also clash with having a sophisticated agenda. So go for pieces with sheer details that aren’t distracting like tops and dresses with organza sleeves. This way, you get to make a fashionable statement in refined ways. 

#6. Don’t wear clothes that make it difficult to work, do your best in formal yet comfy pieces


Knowing what not to wear to work and having a high fashion sense of style can go hand-in-hand. Nevertheless, keeping the “comfort is key” mantra in mind is also imperative for workwear. Take items like shoes for example, you don’t want to be stuck running errands in six-inch stilettos all day. Essentially, you want to be the ‘stylista‘ strutting with polished ease.

#7. Don’t try too hard, do you! 


Yes, the workplace can be a competitive space but staying true to your style lane in authenticity is a must. Whether you’re going for the CEO-next-door look or a smart casual kinda vibe, you want to stay in your power. From patterned pantsuits and oversized blazers to cropped dress pants and shirt dresses, there’s something for everyone!

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