What to wear to the office

The Swiss bank UBS 44-page dress code story on the BBC News site made me smile. Apparently they have issued a dress code manual for client facing staff. We’ve all seen the outfits in the office that have made us double take. We may have even worn them.

I remember a female Partner at the firm I worked at giving me some helpful advice. “Don’t wear dangling earrings to work. They are distracting when people are talking to you especially men”.  She had a point. It was hard to keep them focused on the words coming out of my mouth at the best of times. The distraction of plunging necklines with bulging cleavage, butt clinging pants and gravity defying skirt lengths would not have helped.

There is a time and place for everything. Those type of outfits are better placed at the club rather than the office. It’s just not a good look if you want to get ahead. It is often challenging for females to be taken seriously in the city. Why make it harder? Save your self expression for the weekend or work in an environment that suits that style – like home or on the stage.

The great thing now is that you don’t have to dress like the iron lady to be appropriate for work. Corporate clothes have evolved. There are many more corporate female fashion role models than ever before that you can model yourself on. When in doubt three of my favourites are Oprah, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron who are great examples of how to dress for success but not at the expense of your femininity.

What are some of the fashion faux pas you have seen or worn to the office?