The Three Commandments of Office Attire

Office attireI’ve worked in two offices. Which by my own authority permits me with the right to give advice regarding Monday-Friday office attire.


Throughout my many years working at two offices (which accumulate to a grand total of 2.5 years behind a desk) I have deduced the rules of office SHT. I’m not being rude, although the acronym works incredibly well. The rules of what one should and should not wear to the office, work much like an add-on to the Ten Commandments – thou shall not wear SHT to work, to be obeyed as follows:


1.Thou shall not wear anything too SHORT

A cardinal sin and one that people have been advised against for years, and yet co-workers continue to break the golden rule – myself included. A skirt that is too short will never win you any office friends – bar that one creepy fella who sits quietly in the corner until the office Christmas party. If you can see thigh when sitting down, your skirt is too short, if you’re constantly pulling things back down when getting up from your desk,  your skirt is too short and if you’re boyfriend remarks he can see your green knickers on your way out the door, then your skirt is definitely too short. That one I experienced personally.


NB: Trousers can also be too short – short masts will never be in fashion people!! If you’re experiencing cold ankles on a regular basis, start buying trousers three inches longer, or sack your seamstress – no one wants to see your daggy socks on a Monday morn.


2. Thou shall not wear anything too HIGH

I once read a scathing message in a newspaper from a young man who compared a curvy woman in heels to a hippopotamus wearing stilettos. And the terrible thing about this rather degrading comment, is that he was right. It’s actually not about a woman’s size; it’s about the awkward stance a woman in heels adopts when she’s wearing footwear that isn’t comfortable to walk in. Slim woman look equally unstable – ever noticed the buckling of the knee as a woman in sky-scraper heels lurches across the road to catch a bus? It’s like a drunken new-born giraffe getting to grips with its gangly legs. Lots of animal references here, but you’ll be hard pushed to miss it from now on – the daily commute is a foray of safari sight-seeing. We should actually take note from these great creatures of the animal kingdom – they do not wear hooves that are too high to walk in, and nor should we.


3. Thou shall not wear anything too TIGHT

This is such an obvious observation for women. I once sat through an entire job interview with my top button popped due to an overly-tight shirt. Unfortunately the top bottom was rather low and I flashed more than entirely necessary to land the job.  Anyway, this is a rule the men should abide by too. There’s something a bit desperate about a than a man flashing his ‘Heman’ muscles by wearing a shirt designed for a scrawny twelve-year old. Quite frankly, I don’t care if there are bulging muscles beneath his clothes, just like I don’t care what kind of twin-spark, double-jointed, turbo engine sits beneath his car bonnet. We woman are simple folk – we like good manners and nice smells, so when the body-building office ‘hunk’ passes me in the corridor, I shouldn’t have to avoid his monstrous biceps by turning  my own body sideways, or turn my nose upwards to narrowly dodge the stench of Old Spice. One day men will realise we don’t care about muscles or engines, cars or protein shakes, and overly-tight work shirts will cease to exist.


Remember the rules of Office SHT and you should be more than capable of arriving for work looking every bit the office superstar. Go forth – allow others to follow by example and no more shall we endure fashion faux pas while snoozing through the morning power point presentation.