Clothes with stains, holes or hems that have come loose are big no-nos and anything too tight or provocative should be saved for the weekend. Ditto for tracksuit pants, shorts, hoodies and spaghetti straps in in most workplaces.
Avoid slops and takkies – they scream casual. Footwear should always be clean and in good repair.
Ladies can accessorize a plain suit or dress with a necklace, pair of earrings or stack of bracelets, but not all three. Less is more when it comes to office bling. Think carefully about heel height. Heels that are too high are not only uncomfortable, but often seem over the top for work and fall into the same category as too short, too tight and too low-cut.
Sheer fabrics are also not acceptable at the office. Visible underwear certainly doesn’t exude professionalism. Check your clothes under a bright light if you are concerned that you might be walking a thin line. If you only discover that your undies are on display at work, a cardigan slipped on over the offending blouse will solve the problem easily.
For the gents, golf shirts are often not acceptable but check your company’s policy as those with a more relaxed dress code may allow them. A short-sleeved shirt with a tie is a fashion faux-pas and cargo pants generally don’t work for work. A shirt that’s not tucked in is also considered sloppy as is anything ripped, whether fashionably so or not.
A good rule to live by, is if you’re questioning an item, take it off.
As a final thought, consider your perfume or cologne, especially if you work in close quarters to others. You may be so used to it that you don’t notice it, but if you overdo it, you can be sure someone will find it overwhelming.