The clothing you wear can reveal a lot about your personality and your purpose. Wearing the wrong clothing can confuse those who see you, and can leave them questioning your ability or willingness to perform the activity or task at hand. In a business setting, it is a sure way to make a bad impression and in some cases could even get you fired.

Everything has its time, place and purpose. Clothing that says, “sloppy, fun, sexy or fitness” should be saved for those kinds of activities, and generally have no place in the workplace.

It may be comfy, but if you look like you don’t care, it will likely be translated by others into: “You don’t care”. Even though your company may have a ‘Business Casual’ culture, your business casual dress code should never be interpreted as, ‘sloppy is okay’. For most companies, the casual work days of untucked, uncoordinated, unfitted and unruly dress have come to an end. Today even the most casual work environments are raising their expectations for this category of dress. Business clothing should be neat, clean and coordinated. It should fit your body and always be in good repair.

Clothes that say “fun” are fun. They set the tone for frolicking alone or with others. However, at work they may send the message that you are there to goof off. Most employers and clients would agree, this is not the message that will enhance your professional credibility or the credibility of the company. Employers and clients want to know that you are credible, capable, professional, and are there to do the job to the best of your ability. Don’t let them be fooled by the way you are dressed.

Would you wear a micro mini skirt to hike in the woods or go downhill skiing? Although mini skirts can be fashion forward, fun and great for some activities, they may not be comfortable or appropriate for others. Work is one of those activities. Although it may seem innocent to you, revealing clothing or sexy styles such as see through fabrics, short hem lines, low neck lines and visible underwear can be distracting to those around you and send the wrong message.

Although most people would agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, dressing like you belong in a gym, while at work, is a little too casual. Save the sneakers, yoga gear, track suits, leggings, casual T shirts and shorts for fitness activities. Active wear is called ‘active wear’ for a reason.

When getting dressed in the morning, consider the time, place and purpose most suited to your clothing, and then dress accordingly for your day’s activities. If the activity is work, ‘dress for success’ and avoid anything that might be distracting.

More Articles on this Topic:

What Not to Wear to the Company Picnic
Executive Style – How to Out Dress Your Competition
How to Buy a Quality Suit
Dress for Success the Modern Way

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

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Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)


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