How to avoid a workplace wardrobe malfunction

You need a way of fixing the dreaded coffee spill when you are at work.

Don?t Ruin Your Reputation on Company Time

There are particular rules you have to follow in the workplace to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. Regardless of how you express yourself on the weekend, you need to dress conservatively and be prepared for all sorts of situations.

No inappropriate tie

There are countless varieties of tie, and not all are appropriate to be worn at all times. You may take the attitude that there are no fashion rules in our postmodern times, but your boss might be a little more rigid. A work appropriate tie is a regular width, about three inches. Skinny ties are devastatingly stylish, but not okay for the office. When you knot your tie, the length should hit the top of your belt.

Your color selection is crucial. Red, blue, and brown are all safe choices for business casual. Black ties and white ties are a no-no. Both black and white ties have specific connotations which you want to avoid in the workplace. Patterns are usually okay for work attire, provided they are not too garish.

Jewelry overload

You may like to accessorise yourself using jewelry, but keep it subdued when you?re in the office. A nice watch is appropriate, but layers of necklaces is not. It is best if you wear one or two favorite pieces at a time. A chunky silver bracelet with a watch is a good compromise.

Piercings come across as unprofessional; even a simple ear piercing on men will not be appreciated in many workplaces. Take out any earrings or facial piercings for work.

The right shoes

It is always crucial to get your shoes right. This rule applies in the workplace, where your chances of getting that promotion plummet when you accidentally wear trainers. Follow the usual wisdom of matching your shoes and your belt. Pick either brown leather or black leather. Avoid canvas or other cloth materials. Both belt and shoes should be fairly plain. Oxfords or loafer-style shoes are a professional choice.

Prepare for emergencies

You never know when you are going to spill your lunch all over yourself or when your zipper is going to get stuck. If you have a wardrobe emergency when you are at work, you need to have an arsenal of tools to get through the rest of the day. Think of it as a first-aid kit for your wardrobe, to be kept in a convenient location such as at your desk or in your car. Stock your kit with:

  • Safety pins, to hide the aforementioned zipper issue,
  • a small sewing kit to fix any popped buttons,
  • a lint roller to remove lint, fur, dust and dirt from your clothes, and
  • instant stain remover or moistened towelettes to minimise the visibility of stains.

You might want to combine this kit with an emergency grooming supply kit. Dental care supplies, deodorant and a travel-size bottle of cologne will have you smelling sweet in any situation.

If your usual attire consists of a business appropriate shirt with slacks, you may want to keep a jacket on hand for just-in-case scenarios. Sweat stains can be hidden with the addition of a jacket, and it is useful to have in the event of an unexpected but important meeting.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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