Things you might be doing that makes you look BAD at work

Publish Date
Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 1:20PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Professionalism seems to be going out of vogue, but if one wishes to retain a sense of dignity and decorum when at a desk then there are certain things one shouldn’t wear or have on show.

This new guide below should be used as a check-list to ensure you retain some business class.

Of course, if your employer enforces any of these workplace sartorial no-nos and you don’t like it, you are more than welcome to find another job.


They were once only seen on mid-guided souls who thought themselves to be edgy, trendy and cool but now all-and-sundry have them and customers and clients are now confronted with them in all professions.

It is, of course, your right to get someone to inject toxic ink into your body in the name of art but it is also an employers’ right to tell you to cover it up, or not to hire you on the grounds you may intimidate the clientele.

They may not change how YOU act but they can change how other people act, and you are being employed to do a certain task as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Tattooed eyebrows

Similarly, the latest trend for perma-inked eyebrows is to be avoided in the names of professionalism unless you want clients staring at you trying to work out if you are some minor star from an Anime cartoon.

Tie clip

Although the tie-clip is entry-level stuff for oily candidates on The Apprentice, they should not be seen outside the TV bubble in the real world of work.

Admittedly, sellotaping the thinner end of your tie to the thicker, outer end (looking at you here, President Trump) isn’t a great look either, but tie clips are equally as bad.

Ties can be held in place by fastening the suit jacket when standing, as it correct. No clips or tape required.

Too much scent

There is an argument for people to apply no scent whatsoever in a professional environment, but rules have relaxed a little and now the gentlest of applications is permissible.

Nose rings and piercings

If you wear a nose ring or stud socially then you need to remove it when at on the job.

Whilst they do not hinder you from working they do nothing towards improving your work ethic and they are yet to be widely accepted.

Charity bangles

It’s always jolly good to support a good cause, but unless your workplace is having a day in aid of that charity it is not good practice to wear colourful rubber bangles when interfacing with clients.

Visible roots

How super – you’ve dyed your roots black for the meeting.

If you are going to add artificial colour to your hair – whichever sex you are – then make sure the dye is constantly reapplied and visible roots never show. The only thing it highlights is a tardy lack of standards.

High heels

A woman’s heels should never be more than three inches when at work.

Anything else and it can be seen as tarty. Sorry, shoot me feminists for saying that, but it does.

Brown shoes with suit

Men have restrictions for their shoes, too – just to be balanced.

Brown shoes with a suit is still seen as downmarket, as was reported by the Social Mobility Commission in September last year.

Remember – don’t wear brown in town.


Although I must commend the effort, too many businessmen get it wrong by trying too hard with their workplace attire.

With an exception for those who work in the City of London or a top law firm (and even then, tread carefully) it’s best stick to a jacket and trousers and keep it formal but not over the top.

There is a thin line between sartorial correctness and spiv.


Unless you work as a David Gandy look-a-like (or indeed if you ARE David Gandy) then designer stubble is not really on, I’m afraid.

Again, it shows that you don’t care or show attention to detail.

Go and find a razor, please.


There is never any excuse for a backpack at work.

You’re not scaling Kilimanjaro, you’re meeting to talk about the new diversity directive.

Backpacks just scream ‘graduate intake’. Get a satchel, or, better still, a briefcase if you wish to add executive presence.

- Daily Mail