Work culture has been changing and adopting since time immemorial. Stringent dress codes, for most the part, have left the building. Informal and relaxed dress codes are what are being encouraged by MNCs and other top institutions. But how casual is too casual? Is there anything that is totally off limits? Corporate casual encompasses a large grey area of what is acceptable and what to avoid. There exist some unsaid rules, which are going to be highlighted really soon.
The quintessential method used to size up someone is the head to toe glance. By judging the attire donned and by analysing the appearance worn, a lot can be understood and told. We often forget that trendy is the last stage before tacky. Thus, for the sake of your career, consider banishing these following office fashion faux pas from your wardrobe-
Wear perfumes but do not marinate in them
A perfume is something which is invisible yet an unforgettable accessory. Working 9 to 5 in an environment that smells of sweat is highly unproductive, however, wearing too much of the cologne wouldn’t make it more productive either. A good fragrance is a work enhancer, but too much of it can be a demotivator too. Work environments consist of diversity, thus, in order to not be deserted, ditch those cheap, strong aromas, and create an impact with soothing and subtle ones. The guys out there, you need to take care of your aftershaves as well!
A man is known by the shoes he wears
With the ever-evolving work culture, less stringent dress codes and ‘Casual Fridays’ are being incorporated by many institutes. However, showing up in sneakers or flip-flops definitely is a no-no. Pairing the right footwear with an appropriate attire is a prerequisite. Sporting a formal footwear on ‘Casual Fridays’ or slipping into your sports shoes along with your formal attire wouldn’t be of any good, mind you. With your impression being gone for a toss, you would in for some mockery too. Like they say, “it’s hard to take people seriously with their flip-flops on”.
Save yourself from such embarrassments.
Life isn’t perfect but your clothes can be
Regardless of how laid-back an office culture may be, it would never accept employees showing up to work looking as though they just rolled out of bed. Casual attire too can be made appealing and professional, if donned right. Try pairing up a pair of nice jeans with an ironed t-shirt coated with a dapper blazer. Apart from a relaxed look, it would also earn you some brownie-points in the realm of style. In addition, take care of your hygiene and make sure the nails and hair are well-kept.
For a wrinkle-free life, gift yourself a steam iron- better than the traditional one- that would not only provide a smoother but a hassle-free existence too.
Office is formal, unlike an errand
Athleisure is in vogue right now; be it running on the treadmill or running daily errands, with this attire, you have your comfort and style, both in your pocket. As tempting as it may be, comfort isn’t everything and although the work-out gear might save you some time legging in to the Pilates class at lunch, it’s not worth annoying your superiors. Be it the fanciest of the leggings or smartest of the tracksuits, professionalism level cannot ever be attained in such apparels.
Keep the body shut and let the work speak
It can be tough, especially in an office setting, to know where the line is. The most fashionable and accepted piece of bottom clothing, for a woman, is a tight, form-fitting pencil skirt. However, there exist absolutes and wearing something very skimpy or revealing is a red alert. A fashionably dressed employee is an asset, but when that fashion becomes too flashy, the employee is nothing but a liability. Donning a trendy attire is just a supplement to the skills that you were hired for. Thus, one shouldn’t let the skills take a backseat while letting the clothes drive.
Mind your step
Various TV shows have redefined the attire one should sport in a workplace. One of these influences is on the footwear the ladies don. Stilettos surely look flattery and elegant, but while wearing those, you cannot even make it to the copy machine when required, save them for some other occasion. You do not want to clank those heels every time you step out of your desk, and definitely, don’t want to touch the floor while having an audience laughing at you. Since most of your day is spent in the workstation, you might as well want to give your feet the love of a comfortable yet formal footwear.
Don’t let your look shoo away your colleagues
Your face is not a colouring book, and you definitely aren’t in a fancy dress competition. Go slow with your make-up regime. Utilize the time you spend on ‘make-overs’ on achieving some turnovers. In case you’re wearing some dangling jewellery, your colleagues would either be able to focus on your work, or on your overly accessorized look. So, be mindful of what’s hanging off you too. Aside from being a distraction for the co-workers, you would appear to be giving more importance to your looks rather than productivity.
Just like writing, move from left to right.
Life is too short to be wearing same outfit consecutively
As fresh graduates, you might not be having enough money to indulge on a variety of clothes, but this doesn’t mean that you can come to work with the same pair that you were in, the previous day. Even if you’re a senior, workload is no excuse to not change your clothes and continue working without taking a shower. Even if you are able to suppress the ‘un-showered’ odour with a deodorant, make sure to at least change into fresh clothes. This way, you stand a higher chance of fooling people of you donning a fresh look.
Going beyond natural colours don’t give you supernatural powers
Being out-of-the-box is attractive, but only till a certain extent. When in the corporate world, experimenting too much with bold colours don’t often go well with the environment. If you sport unusual hair colours, people might think of you as less professional; yes, that’s debatable and you might not be wrong, but it wouldn’t change people’s perceptions about you.
Don’t take casuals too casually
Yes, the offices are having casual outfits permissible, however, one shouldn’t take the casuals too casually. With the upcoming trends and changing styles, one should be careful of what to wear and what to avoid. With workstations being equipped with several air conditioners, sweatshirts cannot help you do the trick of avoiding the iciness. Jackets and sweaters are, and will always be the go-to apparel when it comes to tackling the chill. While in the summers, irrespective of how warm it gets, shorts are not the clothes to be taken seriously. Cut-off shorts, that are the fad now, won’t make your deals any cooler and dandier.
Saucy outfits are not for the office
With the bold and off the hook trends coming into the picture, casual looks in the office are going in for a reformation too. However, some clothes are beyond acceptable when it comes to wearing them in a work environment. T-shirts, though generally shouldn’t even be worn, when sported, should not express some offensive or audacious message. Likewise, animal prints are equally dauntless when it comes to wearing them in an office environment.