Determining what is appropriate for the office seems to be ever more difficult; the lines continue to blur between skinny dress pants and colored denim, fitted pencil skirts and bodycon dresses. At my job, I’ve seen it all: everything from undie-showing mini dresses to knee-high cage sandals. These days people are pushing the limits with work attire to the extreme, but my vote will always be to keep it classy, ladies, and here are a few ways to do just that.
Stick to the 50/50 rule when it comes to baring skin.
This is simple: if you’re going sleeveless, then be sure to cover your legs. If you’re opting for a skirt or dress, then layer on a cardigan for coverage. The bottom line is: don’t show more skin that you’re covering.
Opt for clean, natural makeup.
The office is not the place for testing out your smokey eye. Instead, it’s better to choose neutral colors that highlight your natural features without looking overly done. I actually do love a red or even bold dark lip color for the office, but only if you’re wearing neutral blush (maybe even just bronzer) and mascara on the rest of your face.
Keep toes enclosed.
Now, on occasion I do break this rule, but for the most part, I think that the most professional footwear covers your toes. Even if you have the best pedicure you’ve ever gotten, it’s still best to save those strappy sandals for the weekend. Personally, I’m more lenient on, say, a peep-toe ankle boot than with something like knee-high gladiators. Just use discretion. If it’s a shoe you would wear going out, you probably shouldn’t be wearing it to work.
Choose simple [not distracting] jewelry.
At one point, I sat next to a woman who must have worn one BILLION Alex and Ani bracelets every. single. day. I cannot even tell you how distracting that was, listening to the jangling of her bracelets with every keystroke. It drove me insane. Aside from the audible distraction of jewelry, you also want to be careful of anything visually distracting. You want people to pay attention to you and whatever brainy stuff you’re doing to woo them. You don’t want them focusing on your statement necklace, or shoulder-skimming giant hoop earrings. Again, if you’d wear it out on the town, you probably should not be wearing it to work.