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Fashion: What Not To Wear In Corporate America

Fashion. A form of personal expression via clothing, shoes, and accessories. 

In the world of fashion almost anything goes.  If you have ever taken a look at the latest runway shows during fashion week, every season the legacies of the Haute Couture houses are consistently proven. My dream is to one-day be able to own a couture garment (or two).

With that being said there is a huge difference between being able to look fabulous on a runway and dressing appropriately for the office.  PSA: The same rules for Fashion Week DO NOT apply in Corporate America! Making that bold statement of a short skirt, extreme cleavage, or a revealed back will absolutely NEVER fly in the office — so don’t do it! My colleagues and I have seen our fair share of office wardrobe flops quite and with the help of fellow Librarian A.Nikk, I have put together a list of Corporate America Fashion No No’s.  This list has some guidelines for both the ladies and gentlemen so listen up!


No – Sagging Pants


See my past post about Men’s Wardrobe Must Haves for more on this one… Fellas, belts are your friends! Make sure your pants are the correct size and not falling off you backside.  It looks far from professional when you spot someone wearing super-sized slacks or khakis – you never want to give off the “Used Car Salesmen” look.

No – Oversized shirts


Once again, make sure your clothing fits you! I’m not saying every shirt you buy needs to be sized and tailored – not everyone has the time nor money for such ventures – however, at least while shopping for said shirts, please try them on before you bring them home! The baggy polo shirt is sooooo early 2000s…we are so much more advanced than that now! The same rules apply for jackets and blazers – make sure they fit before you make the purchase or get them tailored! I can’t stress enough how bad an ill fitted blazer looks.

No – Mismatched Shoes & Belt 


Fellas, I know you may not think it is a big deal, but if your belt is brown, make sure you are not throwing on navy or black shoes and walking out the door.  Paying attention to the small details is what separates the well groomed from the just down right tacky! Do yourselves a favor and make life easy – own at least two pair of shoes and two belts (black and brown). That way when you pull out the brown belt you can easily match it with your brown shoes and vice versa with the black combination.

No – White Socks with Black Shoes


This is one of the biggest fashion sins you can commit.  Please, please, please refrain from wearing any type of dark colored shoe with white socks.  You lose major points if you sit down and I see your black dress shoes are paired with white athletic socks.  I don’t care if laundry day isn’t until Sunday – don’t do it! I won’t go too far, however; my mother didn’t even let my brother do that when he was five… just saying.

No – Excessive Jewelry


Reality check:  this is not a rap video and you are not, and will never be Meek Mill, Rick Ross, or even any of MMG’s clean up crew. Therefore, the excessive jewelry is a definite no-no.  Simply stated, its tacky and actually makes you look cheap.  Do better.



No – Revealed Cleavage and Low Cut Blouses


The fact that I have to say this.. ladies we’ve got to do better. Save your goodies for your extracurricular activities outside of the office! If you want to be respected within your office please make sure you dress appropriately! Your blouses can still be cute without revealing everything your mama gave you!

No – Mini Skirts/Dresses


The aforementioned applies to skirt length.  You may be blessed with beautifully long and toned legs, but how about we leave all that to the imagination while we are on the clock… I’m not saying all your skirts need to be ankle length but please make sure they are appropriate.  The fingertip rule does not really work in the real world – your skirts should never go any higher than two inches above your knee.. and even that is pushing it!

No – Body Conscious Dresses


Ladies, body con may be a trend in the clubs, but even paired with the most conservative cardigan it does not translate in the office! If it screams Instagram boutique, it’s not meant for your place of work! If you want something a little more form fitting, go for the always appropriate pencil skirt x blouse combo. As long as the skirt is an appropriate length you will never go wrong.

No – Flip Flops & 6″ heels


Flip flops in general are a fashion no-no but wearing them in the office is terms for employment termination.  The only place in which flip flops are acceptable is the beach and I’m sorry to break it to you Hunny, but your cubicle is far from the shoreline.


This rule of thumb also applies for the heels – please leave the stripper heels for your Girls Night Out.  I don’t even know where to begin in telling you how silly you look trying to wear the most uncomfortable pumps around your corporate office.  It’s never a good look.

No – Leggings


I’m going to keep this one short and sweet – LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS! Unless you are heading to the gym for yoga or the grocery store, Yoga pants and leggings will never be an acceptable form of pants…EVER! 

Tis all.tumblr_m6zeskuzxd1rp27ezo1_500

About Spilled Tea (69 Articles)
Life happens.

2 Comments on Fashion: What Not To Wear In Corporate America

  1. Hey please could you check out my fashion blog, I follow back if you ask – x

  2. Hey, great post! I’m Cameron and I’m very interested in fashion and style. I would really appreciate you checking out my blog and maybe following me back! Thanks!

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