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What you wear can affect your career

August 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many employers say inappropriate attire is their number one complaint, especially among young professionals. Some call the casually dressed crowd "Generation Y"; usually spotted in flip-flops, tank-tops and Capri pants. However, the casual uniform is becoming more unacceptable in the corporate world. In fact, more companies are cutting down on casual days.

"The issue was not enough money but still wanting to look cute, but still being professional," said Shannon Van Norman, a Generation Y professional.

Office staffing expert Dawn Fay says inappropriate work attire is a major complaint with employers.

"Internally, you want to make sure that there is credibility to what you are doing and appearance plays a big role in that," said Fay.

For example, casual skirts, lingerie-looking tops and open toed shoes need to be left at home. Fay says young professionals need to stick with basic colors when it comes to suits. She also says try to wear brighter tops and accessories, as long as they aren't too distracting.

"The real key is that people focus on you and what you are doing professionally, not what you are wearing," said Fay.

There are five things you absolutely should not do when dressing for work. First, flip-flops should never be the footwear of choice. Second, do not be too revealing when it comes to a low-cut top. Third, do not wear shorts or short skirts. Fourth, stay away from everything that is too tight. Finally, when in doubt, simply leave it out.

More than 90 percent of employers polled by the office staffing agency OfficeTeam said a person's work style affects their rise to the top.

 

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