Work-appropriate outfits seem like a topic that's been talked about nearly to death, don't they? Do wear this, don't wear this, your boss will promote you if you wear this, and so on—it sometimes feels like a field of land mines, where one wrong step can lead to disaster.
To help navigate the treacherous world of office wear, we're putting the power back in the hands of the people. We went to a group of real Los Angeles women—real gals with real jobs—and asked them what they would never wear to work. With the more casual atmosphere in L.A., we figure if even these women have things they won't wear to the office, the rest of us can learn from their preferences.
Keep scrolling to meet 12 real L.A. ladies, and learn what they would never wear to work!
"I would never wear a look that only meets the bare minimum of the professional dress code at your place of employment. I was taught many years ago that you dress for the job you want to be looked at for. Overextending a bit of professional, stylish polish will always be looked upon favourably."
"In an office where colour resonates from every corner, wearing all black is a total no-no. However, with a wardrobe full of black pieces, I still try to incorporate them into my office outfit rotation. A funky black jumpsuit paired with a bright, chunky statement necklace or a simple black dress with metallic Converse and my turquoise glasses keeps me from feeling too one-note. I always have a bold nail polish colour on for a bright accent, and I've even been known to match my watch to my top! With just a little help, I can totally transform the most basic items into balanced ensembles that toe the line between work and play, and easily transition from night to day!"
"I would never wear flip-flops to work. Working in fashion definitely allows for more freedom than most office environments, but flip-flops just look, sound, and feel way too casual for the office. Flip-flops belong at the pool, beach, or at the nail salon post-pedicure. Cute summer sandals are a must, though."
"Not so much what I would never wear to work, but what I would never not wear to work: a bra. Instagram should free the nipple, but your co-workers can't unfollow a mid-PowerPoint nip slip."
"Never wear anything overly sexy. Work wardrobes vary so much depending on what you do, and there are hardly rules anymore, but too much skin is never appropriate. Keep it classy."
"Working in an fashion office where almost anything goes, I would have to say crop tops that expose the bellybutton are one of the few things on the ‘no’ list—hello, we’re not Britney Spears in the ’90s!"
"I would never wear flip-flops to work (or really just in general). Your toes should only be shown in the form of really cute sandals (preferably gladiators!) and open-toe heels."
"Since I relocated to L.A., I see this so much, and I don't understand it. I don't care how thick they are, I don't care if they're designer; it all boils down to dressing for the job you want. If you're busting your arse and you show up to work in next to pajamas, you're going to have to work that much harder to earn your respect. Work pants need a zipper. End of story!"
“I dress very formally for work because I interview CEOs and real estate moguls, but I never wear stockings. Stockings in the dry heat of summer—or, given that this is Los Angeles, the fall—is a formula for discomfort on many levels. (Breathing room, hello.) Since I can't always predict whether I will be at my air-conditioned office or out reporting in the hot field, I just opt out. No one has complained about my bare legs thus far. (Once again, it's Los Angeles!)”
"Working in a creative field with stylish, young co-workers allows me to have fun with my office style. However, I would never feel comfortable wearing a crop top to the office, despite how cute they are paired with a high-waisted skirt or culottes for the summer. I think showing off your midriff, even if it's just a sliver of skin, should wait until happy hour!"
"I would never wear flip-flops to work. I think shoes help complete a look, whether it be a pair of boots, a heel, or a nice sneaker. I'm not saying sandals are unforgivable, just flip-flops that look like you conveniently found them hiding in the backseat of your car for a few weeks. Instead, I suggest a sandal that straps across the foot or around the ankle."
"I would never wear a bare midriff to work. I love a good crop top, but I would never wear one to work if it showed my midriff; it gives off an unprofessional vibe. Save the skin for the weekend, ladies!"
What would YOU never wear to work? Tell us below, and shop some of our favourite office looks too!