1. Bra Tops: We saw them all over the runways this spring: retro-style bathing suits and bras worn as tops with pencil skirts or flared trousers. Now, unless you have a 6-pack and fierce arms this one is hard to pull off even on the streets. But we shouldn’t have to tell you that undergarments worn as overgarments is a huge office no-no.
2. Clear shoes: You may have rocked Jellies to school as a kid, but that doesn’t mean that the of-the-moment adult version are workplace appropriate. Not only are they slightly, well, “red light”-esque, but you’ll also find that the plastic materials they are made with get pretty hot and sticky worn all day at work. Stick to black or nude pumps for a classic, feminine look that goes with everything.
3. Summer suits: We get the logic: if you can wear a skirt suit with blazer + skirt, why can’t you wear a summer suit with blazer + shorts? Because they’re, well, too short. Whereas a classic skirt suit hits just above the knee, most of the summer suits we’ve been seeing hit mid-thigh — far too high for work. Unless you want to rock Bermuda shorts with a blazer (good luck pulling that one off if you’re under 5’10”) save the shorts/blazer combo for the weekend. Or the Hamptons.
4. Lace: This one is tricky, and definitely falls under the “use wisely” category. A tasteful lace tee will add some nice feminine texture to your pencil skirt, or pop under a blazer. But for work, wear a cami or tee underneath it (no black bras showing in the office, ladies!) and remember, it should be lace, not lingerie. If it’s too silky or revealing, leave it in the boudoir.
5. Exposed shoulders: While we’d rather see shoulders popping out of your clothes than some other, ahem, alternatives, this is another skin-bearing look to confine to the weekends. As with most of the season’s cutout trends, exposed-shoulder tops and dresses are just too clubby to be worn around the office. But don’t despair: your shoulder-bearing weekend wear can be made fashionable and office appropriate by throwing a blazer or lightweight sweater on to cover up the holes. Voila!