Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | September 23, 2010

Fashionable Work Pieces

Labor Day came and went and with it we’ve ushered in Fall. Women everywhere are ditching their summer wardrobe and are marking the September Issue for style inspiration.

As you indulge in the delights of Fall fashion, remember that there’s your personal brand for work and your personal brand during your leisure time and both are equally as important. In this post we’ll focus on your career personal brand. So, let’s review on what’s appropriate to wear in the office.

Whether you have your own business or you are working in a corporate environment, it’s important to represent and promote the most effective and appropriate personal brand for you.

1. Follow the dress code
Like it or not, there is a dress code and most companies will enforce it.

2. Never show your midriff
Unless you work as a model for American Apparel… you see where I’m going with this.

It's not the 90s anymore, ladies! Cover it up!

3. Keep the girls in check
Cleavage is powerful and not to be taken lightly but last I checked Sophia Loren and the ladies from Mad Men weren’t flaunting it like Pamela Anderson, so be careful here.

4. Keep your straps hidden
Might as well keep your bra straps hidden while staying modest! Never let your bra show, and make sure your top is buttoned properly.

5. Do not wear anything see-through
Most dress codes actually list this. Funnily enough I was actually in a client’s HR meeting where we were discussing dress code and, lo and behold if the HR folks weren’t both wearing see-through shirts. Hmmm… In any case, be tasteful here. Wear an appropriate undershirt when necessary.

6. Keep your hemlines in check
It’s work, ladies. It’s not a club. Even if you have worked your butt off to tone your legs, shorter hemlines should be saved for nights out or weekends. If you are wearing a skirt to work, the shortest you can go is a few inches above the knee.

7. Save the flip flops for the beach
Even if you have to walk to and from your work location, select a chic pair of comfortable flats. Ladies, sneakers are for gyms and flip flops are for the beach or home!

8. Wear clothes that fit
Some women wear clothes that are too baggy and that’s almost as bad as too tight. Make sure that you are wearing the correct size and if you need to tailor, for goodness sake’s make friends with a tailor.

9. Use your best judgment
There are clothes for the office and clothes for the weekend. If you have to ask yourself “Can I wear this?” The answer is probably “no” if you hesitate.

If you want to wear a button-down, make sure it is not too snug.


Let’s update that work wardrobe, professionalistas – get rid of belly-baring tops, extra-tight blouses, and ultra-mini skirts. There’s nothing wrong with J. Crew and Banana Republic…Keep it sharp, keep it chic, keep it professional and all on a reasonable budget.


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