Appearance matters. It's not everything, and it certainly isn't as important as our performance at work, but people do judge us based on how we look. Don't become known as the guy who looks like he rolled out of the hamper or the woman whose skirts are too short. Get noticed at work for your performance rather than your appearance.
Don't Wear Dirty or Wrinkled Clothes to Work
You should always look put together when you go to work. Your clothes should be clean and unwrinkled. Avoid wearing stained items. Some people even keep a change of clothes in the office in case of a mishap.
In addition, your hair and nails should be neat and clean and your shoes must be in good condition. If you look unkempt your boss and coworkers may perceive you as someone who is careless and doesn't pay much attention to detail.
Don't Wear Tight or Revealing Clothing to Work
Plunging necklines, midriff-revealing crop tops, sheer fabrics, mini skirts, and dresses don't belong in the workplace. A man's unbuttoned shirt shouldn't show off his chest hair.
When you wear revealing attire people may not respect your professionalism. You can debate the fairness of that, and you may not be wrong, but it, unfortunately, might not change people's perceptions.
Don't Wear Work Clothing That Is Too Casual
If you think having to dress up for work every day is a pain, try working someplace where casual or business casual attire is allowed. While wearing a business suit isn't what you'd call comfortable, at least there is no mistaking what the boss expects of you.
When casual attire is allowed you have to figure out exactly what that means. How casual is too casual? Generally speaking, t-shirts and shorts are definitely out. Jeans may also be out, but some offices allow them, especially if they are colored dark blue or black denim.
Ripped clothing, while trendy, doesn't belong in the office. Neither do flip-flops—definitely, NO FLIP-FLOPS!
Don't Wear T-Shirts With Offensive Messages to Work
You probably shouldn't wear a t-shirt to work anyway, but if you work somewhere where it is allowed, you should never wear one with something offensive printed on it.
So, if you have a shirt that has a message, either in words or depicted graphically that has even the slightest chance of insulting or offending people, wear it elsewhere. Some offensive images can even be considered harassment.
Don't Wear Club Clothes to Work
If you wear an outfit that looks like it's better suited for a night out at a club, it may look like that's how you spent the previous evening, and never made it home.
Stay away from shirts that don't cover your shoulders, leather, or glittery attire unless the holiday party is that evening. Save that for social events.
Don't Wear Clothes That Make It Difficult to Work
Don't wear any article of clothing that makes it hard to do your job. Those beautiful four-inch stilettos may look great on your feet but if it takes you too long to get from your desk to the copy machine because they're too hard to walk in, save them for another occasion.
Likewise, avoid wearing overly tight skirts or dresses. Aside from being a distraction to your coworkers, you don't want it to seem like being fashionable is more important than being productive.
Don't Wear Too Much Aftershave or Perfume to Work
Go light on the perfume or aftershave. You don't want people to be able to smell you before they can see you.
Additionally, many people are very sensitive to fragrance. If you work with someone who has a severe reaction to it, you may want to refrain from wearing aftershave or perfume altogether.