Entrepren-Her: Women’s Wear That Doesn’t Belong In The Office (And The Alternatives)

It’s not easy being a working woman. Not only is there institutional sexism, but ladies get judged regardless. Merge that with the fact that women like to be fashionable and there is a conundrum.

What makes this dilemma worse are the lax attitudes toward work wear. In the past, guidelines were concise and strict. Sure, they revolved around short mini skirts and high heels, yet at least women knew where they stood. Nowadays, the rules are objective, and businesswomen around the world are taking advantage.

There’s no doubt it is essential to be comfortable, sexy and professional in the workplace. Still, some things should never grace the office for the sake of your reputation. It only takes one poor style choice and it could stay with you for a very long time.

To help, below are the items which may look good inside and outside the office, yet aren’t suitable. And, there are alternatives in case you need fashion inspiration. Let’s begin.


flip flops


Flip Flops/Slippers


Everyone has been there. The kids need to go to school and there’s barely any time left in the morning. So, the comfy footwear goes on and doesn’t come off until you get back home at 6:00 pm. Yes, it’s nice to get away with casual shoes on the odd occasion, especially as a woman. Guys, if any of you are reading this, try and walk a mile in our heels. The problem is the higher-ups won’t be as kind if they see you parading around the office in a pair of Havaianas. After all, clients and customers go in and out of the office, and they won’t judge the company positively. More importantly, there is a health and safety issue. Even buildings suffer from dangerous hazards, and employees need to wear the right clothes to protect their health. Should a file fall from a great height, it could break a bone if it lands on uncovered feet.




Rather than uber-casual footwear, opt for a tried and tested boot. Sneakers are an option, too, but they can be pretty casual. In the autumn and winter, women tend to wrap up for obvious reasons. Once you wear long pants, it isn’t hard to match it with knee-high boots. Flats are another option if you like to wear skirts and dresses to work.


comfy office shoes




Finding the balance between professionalism and sexuality is very difficult. Women have and are still trying to get the right mix to this day with differing results. Of course, some outfits are classics which hit the nail on the head. A shirt with a blazer and a pencil skirt is elegant and alluring at the same time. Women don’t like it because the secretary look has a stigma, yet it’s well worth considering. The key is to avoid anything which is overly sexual and has no place in the office. Sheer clothing is a perfect example as it shows off far too much skin. Plus, if there is visible lingerie underneath, it’s not appropriate. An outfit shouldn’t show excessive skin, such as the legs or midriff. Don’t be afraid to give people a glimpse, but keep it conservative. Firstly, you are not on a night out and looking to impress. Secondly, some guys don’t need a second invitation.




An airy skirt with a formal shirt works well even in the fall and winter. Because the fabric is roomy and breezy, the skirt will cover the majority of your lower half. But, thanks to the extra space, it won’t feel as if you are wearing a Straitjacket. As long as you have a warm jacket, you won’t get cold either.


smart office wear


Excessive Jewelry


Accessories are excellent ways to offset an outfit and take it to another level. In the workplace, the right item can make a seemingly dull style seem exciting. In short, everything from a chain to earrings and necklaces is essential apparel for women. The trick is to keep it simple and avoid wearing too much in one go. Unlike skimpy clothing, people won’t judge you for being in touch with your sexuality. However, they may laugh and snigger behind your back about your love for bangles. Seriously, some colleagues just need an excuse to get the rumor mill turning. Of course, accessories such as earrings are easy because, hopefully, you will only have one hole per ear. Necklaces get a little trickier but there still isn’t much space. The problem lies with rings and bracelets. As a rule, keep the number of rings to two or three per hand. An excellent trick is to double up to not seem as cluttered.




Opt for outlandish items which stand out from the crowd. Although it seems counterproductive, it’s a great way to resist temptation. Say you have a ring which is big and bulky, you shouldn’t feel the need to add any more. Also, pick and choose which accessories to wear each day. If you have a watch, there is no reason to overload on bracelets.


Nude Leggings


On the flip side of the coin, no one wants to appear too boring or drab. See, it is a delicate balance! The problem most women have is with their leggings. Considered a staple of women’s fashion, they are welcome in the office as they are at home. However, nude or see-through pantyhose are a big no-no in the workplace. For one thing, they will make you look like a nurse on a night shift. Also, your footwear and leggings should match color-wise. Seen as the majority of women have black shoes, the hose should be black, too. Anyway, dark leggings are more flexible as they match with various pieces. Nude hose pretty much dictates the outfit for the day without any substitutes.




If you want to wear nude pantyhose, make sure your shoes are white. It is possible to pull off the look as long as what’s on your feet is light.


A Baggy T


T-shirts and jeans have become acceptable the world over. However, there is a fine line between smart and fashionable and too casual. In simple terms, anything which is oversized shouldn’t get the nod in the morning. Clothes which are not fitted are unflattering and make it seem as if you are in the depths of depression. Also, avoid t-shirts with prints or logos. Again, this is chill out attire which people use when they are hanging out at home. Frankly, a professional woman can’t go wrong with a plain white T. Yep, plain white clothes seem tedious at first, but it’s all about the layers. And, the t-shirt doesn’t have to be white. Everyday black never goes out of fashion, even in the summer. But, in the fall, colors which represent the season are a girl’s best friend. Burgundy is particularly popular, as are dark greens, rustic browns and mustard yellows.




Don’t just turn up in a t-shirt and pants. To add the right level of je nais se quois, match it with a blazer or lightweight jacket. If you love white, make sure the jacket and pants are dark. Why? It’s because of the white which pops and adds contrast against the deep dark hues of the rest of the outfit.


inappropriate office wear


Sloppy Denim


How on earth is denim sloppy? Well, let’s take a look and see what we find. Oh, here we have the latest resurrected trend: jeans with rips. Although it was cool in the 80s, it doesn’t make it trendy now. Sure, some fashions from the past are coming back with a bang, brogue shoes for example. Still, some trends need leaving in the past. At the very least, they shouldn’t make an appearance into your work life. Jeans with tears will only make you seem untidy and disorganized. Also, think about the color of the denim. Light blue in the office is a little bit too casual for most people’s liking, particularly in the middle of October. Typically, black or navy blue is the way to go denim-wise. It should go without saying, but keep denim to the lower half. Even Fonzie wouldn’t get away with a denim jacket at work.




Dressed up denim is all the rage in 2017. Thanks to the savvy people at Levis, manufacturers are making dressy jeans which are perfect for the office. Always consider the cut and the length beforehand, though.


Unpolished Nail Polish


Painting your nails should be second nature by the time you hit working age. Unfortunately, it’s also second nature to let the paint chip, crack or come away at the edges. Although most people won’t notice, eagle-eyed colleagues don’t miss a trick. Of course, a simple solution is to top up the polish every day to keep it looking fresh. To do that, you need to put it at the top of your to-do list. Priorities people!


nail polish




Use a long-lasting polish which stays for days on end. That way, you get some breathing space.


An office is a dangerous place for professional women. However, with the right outfit, it gets easier to navigate.


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