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Question: What clothes are too casual for office attire?

Answer: Dressing for work can be a difficult and daunting task. Bad outfit, bad day, right? Dress fabulously, however, and your day will be fabulous. Remember that “casual” is a loosely defined term. Besides from sweat pants, which are most certainly a no-go in every office, you can practically wear anything to work as long as you style it correctly.

Look at a controversial workplace clothing item like shorts, for example. Some may consider them a little too revealing or informal. Think again. One of my most beloved wardrobe staples is a pair of tailored black shorts. Pair an item like this with a pussy bow blouse and appropriate heels, and you’re ready to dominate the office. Or, how about crop tops? Of course, many would absolutely rule this piece out. But, have you tried pairing them with high-waist trousers or a maxi skirt? The right combination is key.

The DOs & DON’Ts of office attire

DO push the boundaries. Encourage your fellow colleagues to experiment with their outfits showing them that workplace attire does not mean over-sized, shapeless suits.

DO wear color. Follow the seasonal trends. Try duck egg blue, mint, cream, and pale pinks for SS14, as well as mustard tones, emerald, mulberry, and teal for AW14.

DO wear heels. A fabulous pair of heels can immediately enhance your outfit.

DO wear denimprovided that your employer allows it! A pair of black skinnies with a chiffon blouse is chic and sophisticated.

DON’T go overboard with patterns. Sometimes you can go a little over the top without realizing it.

DON’T go too short. Hemlines that are above the knee and below the bottom are key.

DON’T buy a wardrobe full of black. It’s dreary and will make you blend in with everyone else.

Get the look

The most important thing to remember is that you can dress up any piece. Items that you may think are too casual can be paired with something more formal. Experiment and show your employer that you can dress for success in a way that looks smart, powerful, and perfect.