What are you wearing to work today?

Working in New York City was an experience in more ways than one, but I must say dressing up in business attire was expected and never questioned.  No one ever showed up at work without stockings, shiny heels and a suit or business dress. If you can imagine, white gloves and a hat was part of the office garb before my time.

What happen to “the code?” More important, what happen to the workplace? When Dan, my nerdy son, started working at Apple in the Bay area I was a little shocked to see him go to the office in cargo shorts and tee shirts.  He explained that there was no dress code; what they wore was not important, their creativity and productivity was the key. This from a company run by a guy who walked around the office barefoot.

Except for lawyers showing up in court or meeting clients in their office, School principals, Top Executives, Funeral Directors and Politicians, most people now wear more comfortable clothes. 

Things are not as strict as they were years ago but no matter where you work, you still represent the company that pays your salary.  If you work for yourself, wearing the appropriate clothes for the job is doubly important because you are your company.

When in doubt, business casual, classic casual, or smart casual are always a safe way to go.

Avoid wearing . . .

  • Anything see-through
  • Yoga pants and leggings
  • Anything too tight, too short or too baggy
  • Anything that shows off your back, cleavage or tummy
  • Visible underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Crocs
  • Workout clothes
  • Ripped jeans
  • Anything with emblazoned in sequins or sparkles
  • Flipflops

It sounds a little ridiculous that some of these items are on the list, but believe it or not some people have worn these to work.

3 Comments on this Post

  1. Diana Kempton, IIDA, LEED-AP ID+C

    Great list–Crocs? People other than nursery staff wear garden clogs to work? I’m adding the “emblazoned with sequins/sparkles” admonition to my list for interior design students interviewing for firms or starting to meet with their own clients. I still can’t believe they come to school in flip-flops, and the girls wear jeans with huge holes–white weft threads showing and very few warp thread–and sheer blouses with bras showing beneath. I especially remind the young women working in residential design that, while see-through or tight fashions might look good on them, if the wife of the client duo has a say (and they have the MOST say), they’re more likely to be trusted working for the couple if they dress fashionably but conservatively from the first presentation or client meeting.

  2. NOTHING surprises me anymore! When people started wearing PJ’s to the store, things went downhill from there.

    • Debra Christensen

      and Airport…….Have seen many adults wearing PJ in the airport.


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