What (Not) to Wear to Get a Raise

A “business casual” dress code can be dicey, especially when office rules relax in the summer.

And if you’re looking to land a promotion, those Friday flip-flops won’t help, says Barbara Pachter, business etiquette expert and author of Greet! Eat! Tweet!

Here’s how to keep your wardrobe raise-worthy:

Don’t be sporty. Avoid Capri pants (too relaxed); tank tops (too skin-baring); and be cautious with the new thong sandals (see below).

Be fit. Clothes that fit well are crucial. If your weight fluctuates or you’re tempted by a slightly tight skirt that’s on sale, don’t try to make ill-fitting items work.

Toes exposed? Open-toe policies vary, but avoid shoes that can be worn to the beach. And if your foot is going to be visible in the office, it’s got to be well-groomed.

Pull it together. Lose the scuffed shoes and worn-out handbag. Favor bold jewelry? Pick one piece to highlight—and avoid dangling earrings or stacks of bangles, which look (and sound) distracting.

Bottom line: Your look sends serious signals to your boss. If you’re climbing the ladder, dress for it.

Dress the part. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to office attire?

-DailyWorth Team for DailyWorth

DailyWorth is a free daily email about money management for women. We deliver practical tips on self worth, net worth and everything in-between. Sign up and you’ll steadily master all aspects of money management from earning to saving to planning and investing—to become the financial powerhouse you always wanted to be.

GIRL TALK TIME: What’s the dress code at your office? Do you usually tend to dress up or down at work?


Post a Comment
  • ambercoupons513:

    good advice, also too short skirts look terrible

  • missmicheled:

    sage advice :)

  • roxkells:

    Business casual, unless we have important meetings with international colleagues, physicians, etc…in which case, the suit comes out. I am very used to be comfortable- some of the suggested outfits in the previous article are worth a try.

  • dawn30:

    nice tips

  • alexacheers:

    Good tips

  • janarbananar:

    These are good tips–business casual can really fluctuate from office to office!

  • Crispy:

    We’re business casual, but alot of people abuse it. I recently got a long overdue promotion, so I guess I was doing it right?

    1. avatar


  • rvcouponqueen:

    I work in an RV park so Jeans and a T-shirt, and since it is in Texas makeup is optional

  • ciarakitty:

    bangles are pretty but they end up getting on my nerves when they clank together

  • honaker13:

    great tips!

  • tweetybird0963t:

    Having not worked in a few years….those are some good tips for when I go looking for a job again…

  • reignbough1973:

    Good tips. Very common sense. :0)

  • tinyfingerprints:

    Awesome tips. Never really considered some of them. But now that you mention it, it makes sense :)

  • babyngoun:

    I’m a sweat pants gal myself no job for me either.

  • brittany92:

    I dont work right now so I dont have a dress code but Im going to be a nurse so not to much to worry about there lol just scrubs and nursing shoes

  • dawn30:

    fantastic article

  • babydoll:


  • hollyg123:

    I stay at home with my kids, but I have worked in offices that had business casual as the dress code, during the summer they were more strict, not more relaxed because of the things you’ve mentioned you shouldn’t wear.

  • chrysstina:

    Great article!!

  • meechhh:

    Good article, though I feel like there are some pretty dressy capri pants out there that are appropriate in some settings. If its hot, its hot….and some work settings may allow for attire like this.


Give Us Your Opinion!

Post a comment as a guest or join now for great rewards!