Can you wear leggings to the office and still look professional?
As I read the fashion magazines and watch the trends these days I have to say that this is one, I didn’t think would last. I was wrong, it has made a comeback and it looks like it will be around for a while. I decided I would touch on this particular style and answer some questions that come up as I speak to groups of businessmen and women.
Q. Are leggings an acceptable piece of clothing to wear when working in the business world?
A. It has never been acceptable in the past because it is related to loungewear and loungewear is not something you wear to work. However, leggings can be very stylish…if worn appropriately.
Q. Who can wear leggings?
A. Well, I am sure we all can, but that is not the real answer here. Most women do not look good in leggings because they don’t compliment their body type. Yes, they may be comfortable, but they look ridiculous on most people. When in doubt, it is a NO!
Q. Are leggings okay if I wear them under a dress?
A. A dress is meant to be worn as a dress. So, why are you wearing the leggings? We have other options to keep our legs warm in the winter and they are more sophisticated and stylish as well. Nylons or tights would be more appropriate. Leggings look like pajamas and it just says to the world that you are too lazy to take them off.
What is Business Casual Attire?
In my opinion, fashion has already gone too far when it comes to business casual. When the words “business casual” hit the airwaves, most companies didn’t realize how far “casual” people would go. Now companies are trying to readjust the dress code and get back on track.
I spoke to a group of women and one of the topics that they wanted me to address was skirt lengths. What would be an appropriate length for a skirt? A good rule to follow would be 2” above the knee, at the knee or 2” below the knee. Now, before I could say anything else I was accosted by a woman that didn’t like that answer. Did you read where I said a “GOOD RULE TO FOLLOW WOULD BE?”
If your skirt is too short, to begin with, when you sit down it rides up another 2” and is even shorter. That is not appropriate in the business world; save it for the weekends. I am not saying you have to look matronly, but you do need to look appropriate. When in doubt ask someone of influence what they think. If you value their opinion, then listen; they are there to help.
Ask yourself: does your wardrobe exude confidence, presence, and power? That’s what is should reflect!