7 Things Women in Corporate Offices Would Never Wear

Updated 12/17/18
Corporate Dressing

Tune into an episode of Law & Order or The West Wing, and it's immediately obvious: , especially in a formal environment. While you personally may not undergo the same amount of daily drama endured by the lawyers and politicians you see on , there's still a set of guidelines when it comes to getting dressed. While every office may have its own distinct set of rules (whether or not jeans fly on Fridays, for example), there are general principles that many women follow when  for a more conservative setting.

To help break down the dos and don'ts, we turned to our sister site Who What Wear's Insider community on Facebook to tell us about their own experiences with corporate dressing. From the  at all costs (sorry, Birkenstocks) to the simple guideline on bra straps, you'll find the yeas and nays of corporate dressing according to the women who know best. Read on for the seven things to avoid wearing, along with exactly what to opt for instead.

No: Short Hemlines

Yes: Knee-Length and Longer


"Shorts are a big no," noted one Facebook user, while others commented that miniskirts and short dresses also don't work in a more corporate environment.

Shop the look:

Siven Checked Silk Midi Skirt
Paper London Siven Checked Silk Midi Skirt $400
Byron Belted Satin Midi Skirt
Joseph Byron Belted Satin Midi Skirt $645

No: Crop Tops

Yes: Shirts That Hit at the Waist


Since, in general, showing too much skin can feel informal, avoid any tops that cut too high on the waist, and instead try tops that can be tucked in or that hit at or below the waistline of your bottoms.

Shop the look:

Pixie Market La Chemise Covered Button Shirt $92
Who What Wear Long Sleeve Wrap Blazer $45

No: Denim

Yes: Trousers


While some more formal offices do allow denim, this is a major point of contention among the women in our Facebook group. The general rule: When in doubt, stick to trousers or slacks.

Shop the look:

Frankie Shop Grey and Tan Plaid Pants $129
Violeta by Mango Side Slit Linen-Blend Trousers $100 $40

No: Stained, Distressed, or Wrinkled Clothing

Yes: Sleek, Simple Staples


Distressed denim, wrinkles, or anything that looks "dirty" are sure no-gos, according to women in corporate environments. Instead, stick to simple, sleek pieces such as a crisp blazer.

Shop the look:

Eloquii Ruffle Trim Double Breasted Blazer $140
Checked Cotton-Blend Blazer
By Malene Birger Checked Cotton-Blend Blazer $650

No: Tops That Reveal Bra Straps (or Could)

Yes: Longer-Sleeve Blouses


Generally speaking, opt for tops that hide your bra straps; avoid anything sheer, plunging, or too strappy. One suggestion from the Who What Wear Insiders group? "If something was sleeveless, I'd say straps should be at least three fingers wide."

Alice and Olivia Danika Pussy-Bow Striped Satin and Chiffon Blouse
Alice and Olivia Danika Pussy-Bow Striped Satin and Chiffon Blouse $320

Shop the look:

Zero + Maria Cornejo Jazmin Top $595
Palm Wrap Blouse
Just Female Palm Wrap Blouse $95

No: Flat Sandals

Yes: Heels and Closed-Toe Flats


Flip-flops and Birkenstocks top the list of no-gos from our community when it comes to footwear, but in general, try avoiding open-toe flats or flat sandals as they tend to feel too casual. In some offices, open-toe heels may be appropriate, but pumps and classic flats are the safest choices.

Gucci Jordaan Horsebit-Detailed Leather Loafers
Gucci Jordaan Horsebit-Detailed Leather Loafers $730

Shop the look:

Millie Slingback Leather Pumps
Tabitha Simmons Millie Slingback Leather Pumps $595
Alyx Zu Zu Slipper $620

Next up: .

This post originally appeared on our sister site, .

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