Blog [10 Oct] What Not To Wear To Work

Whether you work on a site or in an office there are some dress code no-no’s that will be certain to draw disapproving glances. Even in casual environments, looking the part is a key element of how you’ll be perceived and respected. It sends a visual message that you are professional.

Dressing for success has very real consequences. A study reported in Scientific American confirmed that when wearing attire relevant to your working environment, you perform better. So, unless you work from home, always stick to your company dress code.

1 Gym wear

If you’re prone to a pre - or post - work gym session, keep your get-up for your workout, not workplace. For men, this means super short shorts and vests, and for women, yoga pants and crop tops. For both, any athletic wear that is too tight or see-through may also look inappropriate. The same applies for cycling gear.

What it may be perceived as: My mind is more on the gym than my job and I’m not bothered to get changed.

2 Dirty, creased or odorous clothes

You overslept and are tempted to throw on yesterday’s shirt instead of ironing a fresh one. One word: don’t (please). Even in the most casual of roles, coming to work in pre-worn clothes or even have an odd tell-tale mayonnaise stain will turn off your co-workers as much as your manager.

What it may be perceived as: I don’t have much self-respect and I’m too lazy to show up.

3 Ignoring workwear safety codes

If you work in a field that requires you to wear a hard hat, PPE or high vis, it’s vital to pay attention to safety instructions and policies. Failure to do so may result in accidents, injury, or gross misconduct, as well as being catastrophic for you and your company’s image.

What it may be perceived as: I am neglectful and not mindful enough of my own and others’ safety.

4 Thongs or flip-flops

Whether in the office or on a site, thongs are simply too casual. There is no professional working environment where they’re acceptable or safe. What’s more, they are bad for your feet as your toes have to work harder to keep them on, which, over time, can cause muscle or tendon imbalance. Choose a more supportive, structured sandal instead.

What it may be perceived as: When can I hit the beach?

5 Fragrance overload

Of course, it’s important to keep yourself suitably deodorised, especially if you work in a physical role, but going OTT on your favourite scent can be overpowering for your co-workers. When you enter a room, you don’t want those that work with you to turn their nose up at you – literally…

What it may be perceived as: Colleague turn-off and headache triggers.

5 Excessive, noisy jewellery

As much as you may love ornamenting yourself in layers of heavy chain necklaces or bracelets, too much jewellery can jangle and become a noise irritant. If you’re moving a lot in your job, the noise is magnified. It may even be a safety hazard. There’s a time and a place for lots of jewellery, and unfortunately, it isn’t at work.

What it may be perceived as: I value style more than a quiet workspace for myself and my co-worker’s.

6 Cropped clothing

As a general rule, cropped clothing isn’t typically office appropriate and can jeopardise the way people perceive and respect your professionalism. While some workplaces are more progressive today, the mindset is still prevalent in many corporate environments. So, unless you work outside in extreme heat and your boss permits it, cropped clothing is unlikely to be suitable. This means anything midriff, chest or thigh revealing for both genders.

How it may be perceived: Disrespecting professionalism in the workplace

If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.