Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Work Attire

Want to avoid looking messy? Steer clear of these common wardrobe mistakes.

Some of us are more attentive to our appearance than others. But there are some mistakes that many of us are making without even realizing it. This list is to help you avoid sending the message that you are sloppy or careless about your appearance.

Take a look and see if you’re guilty of any of these. They are relatively easy to avoid!

Cover up—underneath
Don’t let sheer fabrics show an unwelcome side of you. Wear leggings under a sheer skirt and a camisole under a sheer or low-cut top.

The rumpled look
No one—well, almost no one!—enjoys ironing, but it’s unacceptable to show up to work in a shirt that looks like you picked it up off the floor.

Get rid of the pet hair
Keep a lint roller next to your bedroom mirror, by the front door, and in your car, if you need to!

Avoid items that are too tight or too loose
Clothes should looked tailored to suit your body size and type. Choose things that flatter, and don’t wear anything that you outgrew 10 pounds ago. Also avoid hiding inside huge items that make you look slovenly.

Overdoing it on the jewelry or accessories
A night on the town is the place for all the jangly bracelets AND the long dangly earrings AND the big necklace. Choose one piece of tasteful jewelry and leave it at that.

Get shoes repaired if they need it
Don’t wear shoes to work that have a split sole or a hole or gash in them. It’s usually relatively inexpensive to get them repaired and looking good as new.

Pants the wrong length
You don’t want to wear floods—pants that are supposed to be full-length but hover above your ankle bone—or pants that have inches of extra fabric gathering over your shoes. Choose shoes with the right size heel so the pants fall at the appropriate length. If you must, find a tailor to hem them!

Keep your undergarments hidden
A bra strap that shows is an unwelcome sight in the workplace. Ladies: Make sure your straps are tight enough so they’re not moving around under your clothes. And wear tops that are wide enough at the shoulders to give you adequate coverage. By the same token, your low-riding pants should not be so low that someone can see your underwear when you raise your arms or reach across your desk.

Don’t arrive with wet hair
Taking a shower before work is the way to go, but give yourself enough time for your hair to air-dry, or get out that blow dryer. Otherwise you look like you didn’t finish getting ready in time, and you’re treating your workplace as an extension of your bathroom and bedroom.

The few minutes you spend safeguarding your appearance could make a big difference in how your supervisor, your peers, and your patients/customers/clients see you. It’s worth it to give it some extra thought and attention!


This article is part of the weekly blog of the American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, FL. For more about all of our various professional training programs, visit us online.