Dress code violations will be my favorite topic to blog about. These infractions are the ultimate hot mess mistake. In my past, I was guilty of this offense on a daily basis. It’s like I woke up, walked to my closet, and asked myself “Would I wear this to the club, the beach, the gym, or Wal-Mart?” If the answer was “yes,” I wore it to work.
In this weekly segment, we’ll discuss how to not look a hot mess at work. If you want to be respected in your place of business, listen up. I love this topic because your at-work wardrobe is a quick fix and the easiest thing you can do to position yourself as a total #girlboss.
- First and foremost, locate your company’s handbook stat. Look for the policy on dress code and read its entirety. More than likely, it says business casual, which means no leggings as pants. My idol, Ivanka Trump, describes business casual as a bit more formal than casual, but you’ve still got some flexibility. I totally agree, but you should also assess your company’s culture, the work environment, your industry, and the season.
- Also look at what your boss is wearing. My manager wears a suit and tie everyday. He’s a total badass and commands respect via Thomas Pink without speaking a word. There are also other managers who don’t dress this way; they’re more into the untucked-polo-shirt-and-Vineyard Vines-pullover-look (I’ll be honest, they’re not as respected as those who dress like they give a shit). As for yours truly, I rock business formal on the daily. Blazers and jackets, pencil skirts, tailored dress pants, and shirts always tucked in.
On the contrary, I feel it’s really not cool to judge someone’s competence and value based on their appearance, but that’s the world we live in. How you pull yourself together in the a.m. strongly effects how others view your authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion (someone somewhere did some research; Google it). So, if I’m being rated at 94% for overall performance and my physical presentation can take me to 97%, I’m sure as hell going to make the effort. This means no Tory Burch Millers or Lilly Pulitzer resort wear (love ’em, but by the ocean, not at the office).