The Do’s & Don’ts of Women’s Business Attire… According To One Misguided Brand

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BeautyCareerFashionWomanhood 5 Comments

Our editorial team received the following email last week… I have an awesome infographic that might be a good fit for Women You Should Know if you have a few minutes to check it out?”

We did indeed check it out and quickly realized that the folks behind it A) have never looked at our site, B) need a reality check, and C) must think women are morons.

biz attire_cleanThe infographic is from New Look, a British based, self-described “leading fast fashion retailer,” and covers the subject of “The Do’s & Don’ts of Women’s Business Attire”.

According to the pitch, it “provides a number of basic rules for choosing business attire including what is best to wear for interviews and social events at work,” like wearing clean, crease-free clothes. Really? Really!

Here are some our absolute favorites from their list of “basic rules”…. and by favorites we mean the ones that made us laugh the loudest, cringe the hardest, and shake our heads in complete disbelief that this garbage is being spewed to professional women… in 2014!


Your Eyes May Be The Window To Your Soul, But Apparently Unpolished Toes Are The Window To Your Poor Work Ethic

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Wait… Didn’t You Just Tell Us To Get Regular Pedicures? Now You Want Us In Close Toed Shoes?

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Wet Hair Says, “I Have Time Management Issues” And Drying It Is Your Womanly Duty. Who Knew?

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Bangle Bracelets? No Way! Your Jewelry Should Be Library Atmosphere Friendly… Even If You Don’t Work In A Library

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Be Bold! Just Not When It Comes To Hair And Makeup… It Seems You’ll Be Far Too Distracting

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Drat! Your Plan To Exclusively Wear Lycra To Work Has Just Been Foiled…

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Unless You Are Jillian Michaels!

  • Paula

    Seems reasonable to me, actually.

  • Estelle

    So I’m doomed never to get a job because I have curly hair that can’t be pulled back?! Talk about discrimination!

  • testingwithfire

    Yep, some company looking to move product by playing on people’s fears. A daily shower/shampoo and clothing in decent repair is really all that is necessary for a shared professional work environment. Sales, well, you might need more. I think the closed-toe pump rule went out of fashion in about 1985 or so.

    I think people in most modern Stateside work environments blithely disregard these concepts – good luck enforcing ANY kind of dress code these days (ask my HR manager).

    However, these prejudices tend to be silent killers, and women can be very harsh judges of other women who don’t “toe the line,” so it’s a good idea to expose the rotten old thinking when someone actually voices it. Good on WYSK for doing so.

  • JoJo

    The “toes” got to me. I worked at various corporations for over 30 years, and never once did anyone ever question how my toes looked – even when I was wearing open toed shoes!! Who are they kidding? Why do I think that some guy came up with these “rules”?

  • Karen E. Concannon

    These rules are, without a doubt, ridiculous. However, I think I may understand why they created the infographic. I just moved back from living in the UK for the past three years, and very young women shop at New Look, perhaps high schoolers to those in their 20s. Many of these girls do dress absurdly on a day-to-day basis (they’re not kidding about the Lycra). They also have a tendency to mega-glam a dressy occasion, such as a night out, in big makeup and big shoes. These professional rules seem pretty obvious to the average woman with two marbles rolling around in her head, say the average WYSK reader, but the target is likely young girls who are just trying to enter the workplace, girls that shop at New Look who might show up to a job interview in clothes fit for the gym or the nightclub. They don’t have the right market for this infographic here because their target demographic is likely not following WYSK (ironic, that). However, it might be a lesson to those of us reading this in disgust to coach younger women we know into the merits of intelligent self-presentation.

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