Thu Oct 27 13:03:36 CAT 2016

Don't dress to kill the job

By unknown | Sep 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Young and ambitious, Olga showed up for her first day of work at a transportation company wearing a low-cut top, fishnet stockings and stiletto heels so high she could take only mincing steps.

Young and ambitious, Olga showed up for her first day of work at a transportation company wearing a low-cut top, fishnet stockings and stiletto heels so high she could take only mincing steps.

Olga was a head-turner all right, but for the wrong reasons.

After watching Olga get ogled for three days, her new boss asked Beth, a young human resource manager, to speak to her about her wardrobe.

"I tried to impress upon her the image of trust and credibility the company was trying to project," Beth said.

"I told her that while her outfits were great for clubbing, they were sending the wrong signals at work."

Olga's response shocked her.

"She unabashedly told me she couldn't help it if people felt threatened or turned on by her. She was who she was and those people bothered by it were probably older, fatter and jealous."

Human resources expert Lori Kocon believes times have changed and so have dress codes.

"A few decades ago, companies were put off by women in pants or men with scuffed shoes and rumpled shirts," says Kocon.

"Today we're seeing candidates come in wearing sweat pants, flip-flops and tattoos.

"I'm all for self-expression, but be forewarned: If you come in with piercings in your tongue, I won't hear a word you're saying because I'll be focused on how much that must have hurt.

"Yes, the workplace has become more casual," Kocon continues, "but there are limits."

While what you wear to work depends on your industry, company, geographic region and the activities you have planned for the day, image consultants and corporate executives agree there are basic standards everyone should follow.

Below are 15 things that are never a good idea:

1. Underwear as outerwear. Camisoles or visible bra straps and lingerie scream "yuck!" not "chic!"

2. Workout gear.

3. Soiled, stained or rumpled clothing. Better wear less expensive clothes that are clean than to sport designer grunge.

4. Shorts. Wearing shorts to work is not acceptable.

5. Tattoos. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie have made tattoos seem mainstream, but they still put off many.

6. Extreme hair colour. Natural looking highlights are fine, but never dye your hair blue, magenta or other colours not found in nature.

7. Too much cologne. A strong scent is a turn off to most people. Best to forgo fragrance and opt for the clean smell of soap.

8. Long, fake or wild-coloured nails. Keep your nails short and neat. Avoid nail decals or black polish on nails.

9. Grungy beards. Most companies prefer clean-shaven men. If you just can't part with your facial hair, at least keep it neatly trimmed. And check in the mirror after eating that powder-sugared doughnut.

10. Micro-miniskirts. Make sure there is no more than three or four inches between knee and hem.

You want to be able to sit without giving a peep show.

11. Overly revealing attire.

Too little is too much. Cracks, tummies and armpits should be covered. Avoid overly snug fits by making sure there is at least one inch of room between body and fabric.

12. Athletic socks with street shoes. Men, the devil's in the details. People notice these things!

13. Body piercings.

Studies show that most people view body jewellery as unprofessional and that people with multiple piercings are less likely to be hired or promoted.

14. Bare midriff.

Make sure there is at least one-inch of room between body and fabric and that your shirt is long enough to conceal your midriff.

Let your clothes show off your good taste not your six-pack abs.

15. Low-rise pants.

"Plumber's crack" is not acceptable anywhere. Period.

Finally, as a rule of thumb:

If you have any doubt whether something you have on is appropriate - go back and change to something safer.



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