Go To Work Dressed Like An Adult

Last week, a guy showed up at our mutual place of work in a t-shirt that read "Show Me Your Boobs." (He was sent home.) A friend of mine used to hold an annual meeting explaining to her preschool teachers that stained and torn jeans are not workplace appropriate. The teachers in the school were my mother-in-law works (the school that had to tell teachers leggings are not pants) are threatening a coup against the administration if the ban on foam flip-flops is not lifted.

A thought: Grow up.

Sometimes you don't like the dress code at work. It's work, not happy-go-fun-times. You can either suck it up so you can keep paying your bills or you can look for employment elsewhere. Being told your clothing shouldn't have holes or that your toes should be covered isn't an assault on your personality or freedoms. If you honestly believe it is, you need to, I don't know, read a book and learn how words are defined.

In case you missed Adult 101, here are some hard and fast rules for dressing in most professional* workplaces:

1. Your clothes should not make people think of sex either via slogans or by showcasing your sexual assets.

2. Your clothes should be clean and tidy. Even if your clothing is a hyper-professional black suit, you won't look professional if it is wrinkled, torn, or stained. (With this in mind, keep a change of clothes in your car in case you have a run-in with rebellious coffee or that lazy printer or an evil pigeon.)

3. Your clothing should not double as pajamas or beach attire. Are yoga pants comfortable? Of course. I am wearing them as I type this, but I am also sitting on my couch wrapped in blankets with a rabbit sitting at my feet. Work is not your place to be ultra comfy. That's for home. With the amount of office attire now being made in easy-wear fabrics like jersey, you really don't have comfort as an excuse anyway.

*We are defining professional as a job in which you are responsible for the well-being of others, one set in an office, or one that requires additional schooling. This is, of course, assuming that you don't already wear a uniform. Blue collar jobs are a completely different ballgame as a very real concern is "Will this get caught in a machine and cause me to lose a limb?"

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you have gathered that becca and I do not have the world's most conventional style. We enjoy being individuals, even if people sometimes balk at our choices. Heck, we don't even like how the word "professional" is often used as a euphemism for "more like a man." However, we also know how to express ourselves within a dress code. (Thank you, 17 years of Midwestern Evangelical schooling.) If you want ideas for dressing yourself expressively and professionally, flip through the always growing gallery below.

Expect more work attire ranting later in the week. In the meantime, what is the most work-place inappropriate outfit you've ever seen? What bit of dress code drives you up the wall?


Anonymous said…
damn right!
Anonymous said…
The worst is thin, cheap sweatpants that are clearly worn without underwear.
Florence said…
100% with you on that.
The most inappropriate? Two come to mind, both at my last workplace. We were to dress business casual, nice top, khakis, nice shoes. One girl that worked with us for a while was an ice skater. She is a beautiful girl with the perfect leggs. However, she came to work one day in a skating skirt!!! So short it barely covered her assets. I made comment about the dress code and her and was promptly told to mind my own business and that I was jealous. Now, I am 20 years older than that young "lady" however jealousy doesn't come into it. If someone's clothes make me uncomfortable, then there is an issue. The reason nothing was done was because certain people in our office liked to stare at her assets. Second was in the same department. This girl was more my age. She had one of those long 80's style sweaters that she work leggings under and the leggings were almost see through. On that ocassion the owner happened to be in town and saw her and promptly sent her home to change.

Get a clue out there people-going to work looking like a hooker is not appropriate!

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