What Your Work Wardrobe Is Really Saying

One of the hardest transitions to make when you're moving into the full-time work world — or even when you're moving from one job to another — is making sure you have the right wardrobe for the job. But hey, good news if you need some help: Fast Company's “What You're Really Saying With Your Office Fashion Choices” video can translate exactly what each and every work wardrobe choice you might make actually says. Whether or not that's what you meant to say with it is immaterial. Just y'know… a word of warning.

True story: Because I work from home, I spend pretty much entire day in yoga pants (excuse me, lounge wear) and often forget what it's like to, y'know, interact with people on a regular basis. This means that I have a minor crisis every time I have to go into the office or to other work-related events: What do people wear to these things? Is this dress too “hip?” Is that one not “hip” enough? What does “hip” even mean these days, anyway? And what about shoes? I have all these pairs of shoes and none of them are suitable! What do I dooooooo?

But at least I now know more or less what to avoid. Need a few examples? Here you go — and don't forget to scroll down to see the whole video:

What You Think Your Fitbit Says:

“Oh, this? I'm just really active.” Well, look at you, all smug and fitness-oriented.

What Your Fitbit Actually Says:

“I don't know how to turn this thing on.” Yeah. Oh well.

What You Think Your Graphic Tee and Blazer Combination Says:

“I may be the boss, but I still connect with the Millennials.” Everyone loves a hip boss, right?

What Your Graphic Tee and Blazer Combination Actually Says:

“I live vicariously through my interns.” And it's… shall we say, not a good look.

What You Think Your Fedora and Bow Tie Say:

“Nothing wrong with being on trend.” And my, don't you look magnificently put together!

What Your Fedora and Bow Tie Actually Say:

“If I spent as much time on my job as I did putting this outfit together, I wouldn't be getting laid off next week.”

To be fair, #NotAllSuperTrendyPeople are like that, and there are a wide variety of reasons one might get laid off (some of which are no fault of your own)… but it's worth reminding yourself that looking the part will only get you halfway there. You also have to, y'know, do the work.

What You Think Your Menswear-Inspired Look Says:

“Yeah, the menswear look is really in this season.” Who doesn't love going all Marlene Dietrich? It's polished, yet still feminine.

What Your Menswear-Inspired Look Actually Says:

“I just had sex last night!” — and you totally borrowed a shirt, belted it, and called it a dress, didn't you? Actually, that one's not so bad; effortless fashion plus fun sexytimes is a hard combination to beat. As long as you're still put together enough for the office (and not shouting "I HAD SEX!" from the rooftops), that's really all that matters.

For more, including what happens when you get a little too casual, check out the full video:

Images: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr; Fast Company (8)