Worst Wardrobe Don’ts

Professional attire is still relevant in today’s modern workplace. Here are a few of the worst wardrobe don’ts as reported by executives around the country:

“Too much skin and too much perfume. One of my sales reps is just shy of inappropriate: Her clothes are stylish and made with quality fabrics, but the skirts are a couple of inches too short, the heels a couple of inches too high, and the camisoles a couple of shades too sheer. A strapless cocktail dress has appeared a few times. I’m not going to complain to HR, but with the party look and the perfume, she makes people uncomfortable.”
–Greg, Financial Services Head of Marketing

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“Our summer interns are notorious for their outfits. From bra straps hanging out to hot pants. Thank goodness the bare midriff style seems to have waned. They would wear a cropped top with low cut jeans and a thong peeking out the back! It’s one thing hanging out with your girlfriends, but at your workplace? Come on.”
–Laurie, Film Producer 

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“My personal secretary was a very presentable young woman, well educated, neat, and pulled together. After about a year on the job, her wardrobe fell off a cliff: she started showing up in men’s wool pants that looked like they had been pulled from a dumpster and moth-eaten sweaters. It was a crystal clear sign that she no longer cared about the work and needed to move on.”
–Alan, Senior Diplomat

In the Spirit of Success,

Amanda Johns Vaden
Corporate Partner and Program Director
ajohns@southwesternconsulting.com

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One comment

  1. I attended Heald Business School in the late 1970’s. It was there that I developed a standard for business attire. We had to dress for school appropriately. Some of the things I recall are:
    1. No pants. 2. Dresses and skirts no higher than 1″ above the knee. 3. No bare legs, stockings or pantyhose were required. 4. No bare armpits. Had to have something of a sleeve. 5. No heavy perfume. 6. Makeup was to be “natural-looking.” I think that if piercings, tattoos and wild colors of hair had been thought up, those would have been on the chopping block,too. Oh, and 7. No cleavage. Just think about how many women flaunt the bosom. Must be very distracting to be male.

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