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Biggest Office Fashion Mistakes

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  • Biggest Office Fashion Mistakes

    So what is the biggest fashion issue in your work place? My office is supposed to be business casual, but most people lean to the more casual end. In no particular order these are the biggest mistakes I see:

    Ill Fitting Clothes
    "Dress" Sneakers
    Sport watches

    What do you see in the work place as mistakes?

  • #2
    We're a business casual office, but I'm IT and we have guys that show up in t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. It's going to be what it's going to be, though. Though don't harass me (anymore) for dressing up so I don't give them a hard time for dressing down.

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    • #3
      This is not a universal issue, but rather a story.

      I was still in school and working at an office where it was SUPER casual. There were a few guys that knew what they were doing casual wise and looked good (either more 'indie' or 'smart casual'), but there was one guy that clearly didn't give a rip about his clothing. Black jeans and t-shirts every day. And he was similar to me... slim, pasty, and the look wasn't helping him out.

      I still had no idea what I was doing either, and didn't particularly care. I was cycling to work and had no need to get crap on my 'nice' (at the time) clothes. Jeans and hoodies all the time. Well one day it rained on the way home. So my denim was soaked and needed to be washed, and for whatever reason the only pair of pants I could find were some black levi's. Something in my brain lapsed and I could not think of what t-shirt I could wear... Yellow? No... White? No.... Hmmmm.... heather grey.

      So off to work and I'm mosying through the halls, still warm from my ride with hoodie in hand when I see this guy. You know in films when they slowly tilt the camera up and you're taking in what a character is wearing? Well I'm working my way up and inside my head my inner monologue is checking off everything that I'm wearing. Sneakers? Check. Black Jeans? Check..... ..... heather... grey.... t-shirt.

      Twinsies.

      And he's looking at me too like it's a living mirror. Two skinny, pasty guys, looking like they've seen some unspeakable evil and it has stripped all the color from them. For whatever reason he seemed unfazed by it, so more power to him. I, on the other hand, took it poorly, felt like a total idiot and resolved that I would at least TRY to put some effort into the clothes I wear because of it.

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      • #4
        And he's looking at me too like it's a living mirror. Two skinny, pasty guys, looking like they've seen some unspeakable evil and it has stripped all the color from them. For whatever reason he seemed unfazed by it, so more power to him. I, on the other hand, took it poorly, felt like a total idiot and resolved that I would at least TRY to put some effort into the clothes I wear because of it.
        Hey, whatever it takes.

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        • #5
          I work in a suit environment, although coat and tie is acceptable. People get as casual as they can. Super casual striped button down, pleated khakis, linebacker blazer, tacky tie, boat shoes. I honestly don't understand it. I get the tshirt crowd because there is a comfort argument, but if you have to wear a tie at least go to jos a bank and buy something with "dress" in front of it.

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          • #6
            I really don't think a sport watch in a business casual office can count as a mistake. Dive watches are the obvious example - they are pretty well accepted in business environments.

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            • #7
              I don't judge a guy that wears a watch unless it's a fashion watch in which case I judge away. Something about an obnoxious colored G-Shock or similar watch that bothers me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MikeAD91 View Post
                I really don't think a sport watch in a business casual office can count as a mistake. Dive watches are the obvious example - they are pretty well accepted in business environments.
                Depends on the dive watch in question. This:



                is pretty acceptable for most workplaces, while this:



                is not.

                Sport watches can be appropriate for business attire, but they follow the same general rule as any watch: The smaller, simpler, and subtler, the better. If a watch looks like you could use it to communicate with the mothership, or serve a green salad on it, it probably isn't going to look right with a suit.

                But there are still chronographs



                and dive watches



                and other "sporty" styles that are perfectly acceptable to wear in a business environment.
                Ben

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                • #9
                  To respond to this thread more generally....

                  In the public defender's office where I worked this summer, our attorneys were dressed appropriately for the most part thanks to being in and out of court on a regular basis. The women attorneys were well-dressed most of the time. A couple of the younger ones were downright stylish. Some of the men attorneys had issues with fit (lots of baggy khakis and sack suits) and color coordination of shirts, ties, and so on. One particular attorney actually wore white tennis shoes with his suit to court one day... though in fairness to him, he had just gotten back from a tour of duty (Marine reservist), was moving houses, and had evidently lost track of all his real shoes. On Fridays, most of the attorneys would wear dark jeans and casual button-ups (for men) or blouses (for women) if they didn't have court.

                  The biggest fashion errors in our office came from our support staff. Secretaries, paralegals, and so on. A lot of the younger women support staff would wear some questionable things... "fashion" jeans with weird washes and crazy designs on the pockets and so on.

                  In general, I saw a few attorneys this summer whose attire was astoundingly bad. Thankfully none of them were from our office. Two were city prosecutors and one was a private defense attorney who, I think, does some contract work for us. One of the prosecutors was a man who would actually show up in court wearing black jeans, black leather sneakers, and a sport coat. It was legitimately disgusting from both a fashion perspective and a respect-for-the-courts perspective. The worst part is he evidently practiced law in New York City earlier in his career, so it's not like he doesn't know how an attorney is supposed to dress. It's a good thing he was only appearing in justice court before a justice of the peace - the district court judges would have chewed him up and spit him out for dressing so disrespectfully.

                  The other prosecutor was a young woman who just didn't seem to understand what kind of attire was appropriate for court. Her skirts were too short, her heels too high, and her tops too revealing... not professional at all. Her clothes might have been appropriate for a bar or a nightclub, but not for appearing in court. It probably won't surprise anyone to hear that, in my town at least, the city attorney's office doesn't have the most outstanding reputation.

                  The private attorney/contractor was a woman who just dressed like she stopped caring a long time ago. Long, flowy skirts and baggy, knitted cardigans instead of a suit or a skirt and jacket like all the women in my office would wear.
                  Last edited by LesserBlackDog; December 1, 2012, 06:27 PM.
                  Ben

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                  • #10
                    By sport watch I meant the type of watch with either a pedometer or GPS in them. Not sure of brand but they have a rubber band and a digital display.

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                    • #11
                      Ah, I see. I'm of two minds on plastic digital watches. Obviously, they are not traditional business attire in any sense. But it's hard to feel offended by someone who wears a simple Timex Ironman or digital Casio. On the other hand, I'm not crazy about people who wear a $400 Suunto or Casio Protrek in the office. I doubt they find much use for their oversized, overpriced altimeter-barometer-compass while filling in Excel spreadsheets and Skype-conferencing.

                      To me, digital sports watches are like any other watch. Small, simple, and subtle is ok (though not optimal); oversized, garish, and eye-catching is a definite no. If a guy's digital watch can slip easily under the cuff of his dress shirt, then it doesn't bother me.

                      Personally, I always wear my $14 digital Casio when I'm on a jury trial. But that's more to do with courtroom social dynamics than style.
                      Ben

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                      • #12
                        I work in a federal building shared by a few different agencies and i tend to see the baggy jacket, i think this is more for comfort of weapon, so i give them the benefit of the doubt. My biggest dislike is seeing women wearing flip flops when its warm outside. They are loud and some of the time the women have corn filled bunion enriched feet that would make you gag...O, the agents wearing the tacky sports oakley shades with thier suits and the shoes they bought from payless that have the seams threading...
                        "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"
                        I>0<I

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                        • #13
                          White gym sneakers with chinos. I have a colleague who does this (when teaching MBA's, nonetheless) and it just makes me cringe.

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                          • #14
                            Our IT guy is your classic dad jeans, bright white Wilson tennis shoes, and baggy gray sweatshirt guy. He basically wears that same uniform EVERY DAY. When he takes his sweatshirt it's usually to reveal a baggy t-shirt with some garish slogan about fishing or the Yankees (he wears his "blue collar guy from New Jersey" badge with pride). Not that anyone in this office notices, though, it's me that gets all the comments for "dressing up" when I tuck in my button-up shirt with chinos and wear my Cole Haan chukkas. :-\

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                            • #15
                              Not sure if it counts as a fashion mistake or a movie reference mistake (or both), but today I was wearing my JCF herringbone sportcoat, a red gingham shirt + jeans, and was told that I looked "very fancy in my suit [note, not a suit, not even close], like one of the guys in that movie... what is it? oh right, the matrix... one of those evil agents in the matrix [black/dark green suits]"

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