Many businesses have dress codes to control how their employees dress and to maintain a professional workplace. One dress code which has a little bit of flexibility is business casual. Even in a business casual dress code environment, there are certain types of clothing that are inappropriate for work and business wear. These items should never be worn in the office.
Wearing a mini skirt at the office is not appropriate business attire. The traditional length of a skirt for work is knee length. It can be slightly shorter than that, but should not be be so short that it only extends to mid thigh or higher. These are considered mini skirts. They can be a distraction in the office to members of the opposite sex, and can make other women feel uncomfortable.
Sometimes, a woman is proud of her upper body features and enjoys drawing attention to them; the office is not the place to do this. Fashion trends occasionally arrive in which low-cut tops are considered fashionable. If you would like to wear a blouse that follows the current fashion trends, wear it as part of a layered combination at the office. For example, wear a camisole to conceal visible cleavage.
Some clothing is designed to show off a portion of your figure. An example of this is midriff shirts. They are designed to allow a woman to show that she very physically fit in the abdominal area. These shirts are not appropriate in the workplace. In the office, you want to be recognized for your business skills, not for your physical assets. Wearing revealing clothing like this can get you a reputation among coworkers that can lower their professional opinion of you and the work you produce.
Tight clothing is not appropriate for either men or women in the workplace. This is because the clothing can be a distraction to other coworkers. Extremely tight clothing can also limit your ability to get your job done. Wearing very tight pants could make it uncomfortable to sit for extended periods of time, or to bend over to pick up an object on the floor.
Clothing that has controversial slogans or suggestive phrases or images on it is not appropriate for work and business. Even if you think your coworkers have a good sense of humor, and might find what you are wearing entertaining, it could be offensive to some in the office. Even on casual days in the office, if your office permits T-shirts, your selections should not be offensive to anyone. Save the ones with the revealing images and offensive language for outside the office. Refrain from wearing these items at office-sponsored events, such as happy hours and holiday parties. Even though it is outside of the office, you are still socializing with your coworkers.
Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.