Just say “No”

Manshion.net editor-in-chief Paul Beirne says "dont' do it" when it comes to women's workwear taboos.

Manshion.net editor-in-chief Paul Beirne says "dont' do it" when it comes to women's workwear taboos.

Guest Blogger: Paul Beirne

It is unfortunate–but true–that what we wear speaks volumes about who we are as people. As much as you may want to refute this claim, you must concede that on a number of occasions you have made up your mind about a person before they’ve opened their mouth. The man waiting near you on the train platform, covered in tattoos; not exactly your first pick for an honor student. The young woman sporting the trendy isometric haircut, shaved up the left side; you would never expect her to work in an office, right? Well, unfortunately, these days it seems that some poor decisions don’t just come in the form of a night over the toilet and a good story. Rather, some are the unconcealable badges of past misteps worn proudly by those strolling into work and sitting at the cubicle next to you. The following are examples of the poor choices some women make when selecting their everyday “professionial” (I use the term loosely regarding some of these instances) attire.


1. The Short Skirt

This little number is all of 12″ long. Wearing this into an office building in my book means one of two things: You’ve been having an affair with the boss and today you’re going to quit because he never left his wife for you. “Get a good look [gestures towards legs].. this is the last time you’ll be seeing these!” Conversely, you may actually be well-dressed for work because your job is to jump out of a cake at the (inappropriate) Christmas party. Ladies, if your skirt isn’t residing in the knee region, you are losing credibility in exponential proportion to each inch further up your leg this “skirt” does in fact end. Don’t even get me started on the long shirt plus a belt equals a dress mathematics some of you employ. With some simple algebra I’ve found that shirt-dress – dignity = hot mess. “Ohh! So you’re saying you’d like me to look you in the thighs when I’m talking to you. Got it. Thigh-contact. Because, ‘Hello–you’re down here.'”

2. Gaudy High Heels.

The forbidden leopard need not be brought to work. Call me old fashioned, but I think if you walk into the workplace and more than 3 people’s eyes widen upon seeing your shoes, you’ve probably made an error somewhere along the way. Patent red/pink. Florescent colors. They’re for club. Not for crunching numbers. I’m sure there’s cases where you can tone down the rest of the outfit and make some of these work as a nice accent. However, I can’t picture it off the top of my head. Unless you’re working with some really expensive luxury brands, 9 out of 10 times you will look cheap and appear ignorant to proper business attire standards. “Ohhh, so you’re saying you do that erotic dancing workout thing everyone’s talking about these days? N–no? Not just a workout thing? I see. Well, yes the economy is pretty bad these days, I suppose.”


3. Deconstructed Denim.

Ms., don’t take this the wrong way, but, how dare you. [I don’t even pose this as a question because I am not interested in a response]. Casual Friday is privilege, not a right. You are completely exploiting this luxury and offending your co-workers and company at the same time. Seriously? Light-dyed, dirty wash, ripped jeans? “Ohhh! So you came into work today expecting a tailgate party?” Nice. Bang-up job, really. I was thinking of new places to look for work clothes and, shucks, Hollister must have slipped my mind!
Honestly, if you’re going to wear jeans to work, please wear the most dressed-up variation of denim: dark rinse, no frills. A pair of dark skinny jeans and black pumps is a good look that can easily transfer to a classy outing after work.

Visit Beirne’s Manshion.net for the dos-and-donts in menswear.