7 Things You’re Telling Yourself About Your Work Wardrobe That Are Actually Outdated

Woman Getting Dressed for Work


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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
April 22, 2024 at 9:55AM UTC

The truth is that when it comes to work wardrobes, women are often damned if they do, damned if they don't. There's a wealth of research surrounding how much makeup a woman should or shouldn't wear, how much leg a woman should or shouldn't show, how much color a woman should or shouldn't rock, etc. 

People are always going to have comments to say about what you wear. Sure, you should dress for the job you want and do your best to stick with the company culture and dress approrpriately — whatever that means for your particular industry, job and company. But there are some outdated work wardrobe rules we all tell ourselves that hold no merit.

Ditch these work wardrobe rules.

1. I can only wear black to an interview.

Sure, research suggests that black is a safe color to wear to an interview. But that doesn't mean it's the only color you're allowed to wear to an interview — especially if you're interviewing for a job in a creative industry that might appreciate a pop of color or a fun print.

2. I can't wear jeans to work.

Offices are changing. It's 2020, and startups are rising more and more, paving the way for more casual company cultures. This means that many companies don't only allow jeans at work, but they expect it.

3. I can't wear sneakers to work.

Like jeans, many people wear sneakers to work these days, especially if you work for a more casual office or in a startup that tends to be full of young people. Sneakers have all seen a rise in popularity as ever more people wear them as a fashion statement in recent years, paired with skirts and dresses, as well.

4. I have to wear a suit to an interview.

Sure, for some companies, you may have to wear a suit to an interview. For example, if you're interviewing for a job in a big bank, you might want to wear a suit. If, however, you're interviewing for a job at a content agency, chances are that the dress code will be a little less formal. You still want to dress to impress for the interview, but a suit may not be entirely necessary.

5. I need to wear heels to work.

No, you don't need to wear heels to work unless, of course, you want to. While many people used to wear their sneakers on their commute to the office, and then switch into heels at their desk, many nowadays never make the switch. And that's OK.

6. I can't wear flashy accessories to work.

Accessories can actually be a fun way to add some style and personality to an otherwise bland work wardrobe. Chunky jewelry is a fashion statement, and while your office isn't the runway, you do spend a good chunk of your life in it — you might as well enjoy it!

7. I can't wear makeup to work.

There's a whole gamut of research about whether or not women should wear makeup to work. All of it comes to the general consensus that you should wear makeup... just not too much of it. If you don't want to wear makeup, don't wear it (tons of women don't!). If you do want to wear makeup, wear it as you please.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.

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