An elegance coach has revealed the items that could be making your work ensembles look ‘cheap’ – including backless garments, red lipstick and high heels.
Anna Bey, who lives in Geneva, boasts more than 993,000 subscribers on YouTube, where she shares self-help clips for finding an ‘affluent’ man, infiltrating high society and living a ‘feminine lifestyle’.
In her most recent video, the School of Affluence founder, who married her wealthy husband during lockdown, shared the ten items she believes elegant ladies should never wear to the office.
The prohibited list includes sleeveless outfits, figure-hugging ensembles and casual attire, such as leggings, gym garb and loungewear.
Don’t wear anything too revealing
Anna said opting for clothes that are revealing, which for example, show off ‘too much cleavage’ or are backless, is ‘inappropriate for the office space’ (stock photo)
Anna said opting for clothes that are revealing, which for example, show off ‘too much cleavage’ or are backless, is ‘inappropriate for the office space’.
She claimed: ‘You will look unprofessional if you wear anything too revealing and under that bracket goes too much cleavage, something that is too short, too sheer, anything backless, anything that shows your stomach, like a crop top.
‘Generally speaking, anything that really shows a lot of skin. It’s highly inappropriate for the office space.
Avoid damaged garments
The elegance coach said damaged clothing, or items that are stained or aren’t ironed can make you ‘look cheap’.
‘Any damaged garments are going to really make you look like an amateur,’ she said. ‘It will remove any form of professionalism from you instantly.
‘And when I say damaged garments, I mean, when you haven’t steamed your garment or ironed it, when you come to work and your shirt is all wrinkly, that’s not going to look professional.
‘Or let’s say you have a stained, dirty top on you. Maybe you forgot that it had a little hole. Or just really anything that just looks worn out and old… it makes you look cheap.’
‘So all those mini skirts, mini dresses, all those kinds of garments that are perhaps trendy, are not suitable for a professional environment. Don’t wear them at work,’ she insisted.
Tight clothing is a no-no
‘Don’t wear anything too tight,’ said Anna, before suggesting that figure-hugging ensembles signalled ‘sex’.
‘It signals sensuality, seductiveness and we don’t want to put any of that energy in the workspace because we are not here to talk about sex,’ she explained.
‘We’re here to work, and we’re here to be professional. We are here to have people take us seriously and not think all kinds of different thoughts.
‘As an example, a pencil skirt is very much appropriate for the office, but there are different types of pencil skirts.
‘There are these really sexy, tight ones that are very seductive and will make the men be like, “who’s that girl”.
‘And then there is the more looser one, the straighter one, the one that is not talking about sex.
‘Maybe your grandma could wear it, as an example. So that’s the type of pencil skirt we want to wear at work. ‘
She added: ‘I’m not saying now you have to dress like a grandma, but you certainly should not sex it up at work.
‘It’s a big no-no and same goes for if you want to wear any form of dresses, no tight dresses.’
Never wear something sleeveless
For women who have a strict dress code to follow at work, Anna suggested never wearing any attire which is sleeveless (stock photo)
For women who have a strict dress code to follow at work, Anna suggested never wearing any attire which is sleeveless.
‘A woman should never wear something sleeveless. She needs to cover her shoulders at all times at work, even if it’s summer time, even if it’s hot,’ said the elegance coach.
‘Now, of course, this can create problems in the summer because “what are we going to do?” We might not want to wear something with a sleeve.
Don’t opt for jeans
‘In the workspace, we don’t wear jeans,’ insisted Anna. ‘The only exception would be if you are working in a more relaxed environment, where there is absolutely no dress code.
‘…Less is more if you really have to wear jeans. But generally speaking, I wound not recommend any of you ladies to wear jeans.
‘It does not work in an office environment.’
‘We might want to wear something with a little spaghetti strap or something like that. So my advice is, no spaghetti straps, no cami tops, nothing off the shoulder or any tube tops.
‘Ladies, always wear a short sleeve even if it’s hot. But if you feel like it’s too hot, why don’t you wear a fabric that is more lightweight and more breathable, but that doesn’t compensate on the shoulder.
‘Because truly, in a formal environment, you should not be wearing shoulder-less cuts,’ she claimed.
Never show your undergarments
The elegance coach insisted that a woman in the office should never show her undergarments – and as such, should avoid see-through clothing.
She said: ‘Truly this is going to make you look so unprofessional, but not only that, it’s also going to cheapen your appearance.
‘I’m talking about having visible underwear, anything from having a sheer top that shows the bra you’re wearing underneath.
‘Maybe you are wearing a lace bra and you can see a little bit of the lace poking under the fabric because the fabric is so sheer or so light, or let’s say you are wearing something where you can see your bra straps, or let’s say you’re wearing a pair of trousers and as soon as you bend over for something, you can see your thong poking up.
‘Things like that, ladies. It’s all about the details. And in the office space, it’s crucial to think about these details because it’s incredibly inappropriate. And again, it removes professionalism from you.’
Heels shouldn’t be too high
Anna said it is ‘not appropriate’ to wear heels that are above three inches, either for the workspace or at any daytime event (stock photo)
Avoid casual attire
Anna said those working in an office should avoid wearing yoga pants, leggings or something that looks like your pyjamas.
She said: ‘It’s so inappropriate for work even if you have more of a casual office dress code, it doesn’t matter.
‘No matter how casual your office is, it’s just too casual.
‘All I’m saying is that even if you have a casual dress code at work, you need to step it up a notch.
‘You don’t have to come to the office wearing a suit, but you certainly cannot wear your pyjamas or your workout clothes.’
Anna said it is ‘not appropriate’ to wear heels that are above three inches, either for the workspace or at any daytime event.
She claimed: ‘Heels that are too high, higher than eight centimetres, they are taboo in the office.
‘Really, throw them away if you have any right now, because it’s not appropriate. Remember under eight centimetres. So keep it low.
‘If you’re unsure, keep it lower just to be safe. For daytime and the office, you never wear stilettos or anything that is high.’
Wear only closed shoes
Continuing on the theme of shoes, Anna said: ‘In a formal office space, you should always wear closed shoes. You cannot wear sandals at any point.
‘And when I say sandals I mean literally all kinds of open shoes, everything from flip-flops to mules to regular sandals, sandal heels, sandals with low heel, or my favourite Birkenstock.
‘Pumps are suitable for the office space if you’re wearing heels. If you are not wearing heels, let’s say a pair of ballerinas will work absolutely fine.
‘I do think a nice little kitten heel in a pump is quite suitable for the office,’ she added.
No heavy makeup looks
The elegance coach said: ‘For the office space, it’s incredibly taboo and wrong to wear heavy makeup. That comes across incredibly unprofessional’ (stock photo)
The elegance coach said: ‘For the office space, it’s incredibly taboo and wrong to wear heavy makeup. That comes across incredibly unprofessional.
‘Keep your makeup elegant, minimal, remembering less is more. No heavy eye shadow. Try not to do any eye shadow whatsoever. Maybe a little bit of eyeliner so it barely shows, but nothing more than that. Keep it truly simple.
‘If you have to wear foundation, make sure there’s no heavy layers, no contouring. Make it look invincible. Also tone down the lipstick. You do not wear red lipstick in the office. It’s not appropriate. You wear something very neutral.’