5 Fashion Mistakes Professional Women Make at Work (and How to Deal with Them)

Fall season can bring some challenge to women working in a professional environment. You may want to keep up with all the fashion trends, but some of them don’t belong in offices. If you wish to look stylish and appropriate at your workplace, keep on reading for the 5 fashion mistakes you must avoid and style advice from Katherine Power, the co-author of The Career Code and co-founder of Who What Wear.

Mistake #1: Wearing leggings, sequins, and shorts.

embroidered jacket with office outfit slip on sneakers with leather leggings and cobalt blue coat leather trousers with chiffon blouse

As for those leggings, Powers says they are a bit tricky and should probably be saved for the weekend while sequins one should be worn with extreme caution and make sure the sequined piece is conservative in style. For a safer look, copy Mary Orton’s style of wearing an embroidered blazer with her office outfits instead of a sequin piece that looks flashy in a professional environment. If you wish to wear a pair of leggings, always wear them with a long blouse, or even a structured coat like fashion blogger Annabelle Fleur. When it comes to shorts, it depends on the office as some Bermuda shorts will work in a creative or casual workplace.

Mistake #2: Dressing too casually.

camel blazer with striped tee and cuffed jeans

purple pants with gray sweater

“While it depends on the office, we definitely don’t expect them to wear something super formal—jeans and a simple blouse or a t-shirt and jacket are sufficient—but short shorts, cutoffs jean shorts, and flip-flops are not ideal,” Katherine Power said. If you wish to wear your favorite jeans and tee combination on your casual Friday, dress them up with a chic blazer like fashion blogger Annabelle Fleur did.

Mistake #3: Wearing something that’s on-trend, but not appropriate for the workplace.

candy striped pleated skirt with chic top creative office outfit with scarf green coat with office dress

Even though you’re working in a fashion industry office, remember that your company is first and foremost a business. “Occasionally, women will think they need to wear something that’s super on-trend or cutting edge, but it’s actually more important to look professional and polished,” said Power. If you wish to look trendy, think of wearing a structured green coat with your office dress, or a candy striped skirt with your white top like Mary Orton, but keep everything polished and muted.

Mistake #4: Taking casual Friday too far.

chic military vest with jeans flared trousers with classic coat and shawl

Katherine Powers says don’t mistake “casual” for “sloppy,” as you’re still at work, after all. If you wish to wear jeans, opt for a sleek style and neat design. Though flared trousers will sometimes work in a casual environment, top it with a classic coat like fashion blogger Ania Boniecka did.

Mistake #5: Not paying attention to your overall look.

pastel pink office outfit color blocked pencil skirt with fitted sweater

No matter what you’re wearing, it should be clean and free of wrinkles and your shoes and bag should be in good condition. “You never know when you’re going to be pulled into a meeting with clients or top-level executives, which is why it’s important to commit to a certain level of self-care,” said Power. If you wish to go for lighter colors, go monochromatic like fashion blogger Mary Orton did to keep everything sleek, feminine, and professional. By taking these things into consideration, you’ll make your office looks stylish and professional at the same time.

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