I got nailed

February 6, 2011 · 30 comments

So after yesterday’s festivities of epic Superbowl manliness, I felt it was time to get in touch with my feminine side and partake in a little fingernail therapy. In other words, I let Girl Ninja (and the two girls we are babysitting for the next three days), paint each of my nails a different color (don’t worry, I still found time to wrestle a pack of wolves and shave my chest hair with a rusted butter knife in between fingers). Check out the finished product…

That’s right. I’m reppin’ the light blue, sparkly gold, hot pink, dark purple, and glittery blue nail polish combo like a straight gangster. I contemplated leaving the nail polish on for work today, but something tells me people wouldn’t take me seriously as a Special Agent if I did.

Segue in to today’s topic….

As much as we may hate admitting it, looks matter. Especially in the work place, but if you read my previous article about the costs of being ugly, you’d already know that. Here are a few tips I’ve put together to help you stay ahead of the curve ….

1) Women: Don’t dress slutty. There, I said it. Unless your job title is stripper, prostitute, or backup dancer in a Kanye West music video, cleavage and short skirts just won’t cut it. Cover up! It will earn you respect amongst your female peers and your male coworkers will actually listen to what you say instead of just stare at your….

2) Men: Go easy on the hair gel. I find few things creepier than a dude with greased back hair. I don’t care how nice or expensive your suit is. If you’re hair looks superglued to your head I wont be able to take you seriously. You + Slicked back hair = Pedophile.

3) Mix it up. Don’t be scared to try something new. I’ve been trying to mix it up in the work place as much as possible. After a few days of wearing a white/gray/black dress shirt, I like to throw on my teal one, my purple one, or my lime green one. I never get compliments when it comes to my ‘earth tone’ dress shirts, but every time I put something a little more bold on I get a compliment or two.

4) Don’t smell. You already know I want to punch smelly people in the face, but I feel like it’s important enough to mention again. For the love of all that is holy, please make sure you deodorize, shower, and brush your teeth before coming to work. Don’t be the awkward guy that smells like hot garbage and tuna. On the flip side, you have to be careful you don’t over do it. If you have scented deodorant, scented lotion, and a few squirts of perfume on, no one will want to be around you. In fact, you give us all headaches. Tone it down por favor.

5) Insert your tip here

Alright, I came up with the first four tips, but you have to come up with the fifth. What do you think is the most important thing about appearance in the work place? What would you add to the list? What’s your companies dress code; professional, business casual, or casual? Which nail polish color do you like most….I’m a fan of the light blue, it really brings out my eyes :)

1 StackingCash

I don’t think it matters anymore. The piercings and tattoos at my workplace defies logic. It’s kind of funny how much more conservative I become as I age.

2 Michelle

I think it depends on the workplace – in Austin, it feels like certain employers gravitate towards the weird/outlandish in dress…others go superconservative (especially the technology companies). My tip would be to be consistent – don’t dress like an entirely different person from one day to the next – especially for women. I can’t quantify it very well, but choosing a ‘style’ and sticking to that style/manner of dress appears more professional than being trendy and interspersing the latest H&M outfit into your normal rotation of dress pants & blouses.

3 J

5 – wear shoes…and at no point TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES! ugh. my office mate takes off her shoes and i vomit in my mouth.

4 undercover kitty

Leave ur officemate an anon. note so she knows it’s a disgusting habit? Or she knows ppl mind but she just doesn’t care? I hate it when ppl take of their shoes and pad around barefoot unless it’s an office with no shoes policy going on (some offices here have a you take shoes off when you enter and leave your shoes on the rack etc. coz they hv a no shoes policy).

5 Mo D.

I’ll answer the most important question first… I prefer the polish on the index finger… you’d have no trouble matching it up with the rest of your wardrobe ;-) Next fave is your preferred light blue LOL!

You touched on all the stuff that I would’ve posted on my list… I’m having trouble coming up with #5!

6 Larry

We are completely casual in my office. Still, men should shave and get their hair cut once a month. (Um, “once a month” applies only to the haircut.)

7 Ann

My hubby was in the military and to be honest, I’ve gotten used to a neatly turned out guy. When I go into a business I like somone who’s clothes are clean, wrinkle free and appropriate for the type of job they’re doing. You might know your job but when you come to work looking like you slid out of bed & into duds that were in a heap on the floor, I can’t take you seriously. It gives the impression that you can’t be bothered to take care of how you look, so you probably can’t be bothered to do a good job either. You know what they say, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

8 Lizilla

For women I think that nothing is worse than caked on make-up. It looks like you schlacked it on and are going clubbing after work. Simple natural looking make-up is best for a professional workplace.

9 Lisa

that was going to be my reply! appropriate makeup! no nightclub looks.

10 Mo D.

EXCELLENT point! Wish I’d have thought of that! I once did a training stint for my employer overseas, and I gotta tell you, I was AMAZED that the women looked like they were on their way clubbing… or just coming home from a club… every, single day. Definitely not what you’d call “work appropriate”, but that might be the norm over there… it struck me as odd.

11 Daisy

I have to agree with the person up there that said tattoos and piercings. If you have them, take them out or cover them up for work. I can’t think of anything that looks less professional.

12 Yankeegal

Agree totally!!! When someone has a nose piercing while working at a store,etc…, I find myself oddly transfixed on it…What happens when you sneeze? Yuck!
I had the pleasure of going dress shopping for a bridal dress for my daughter this past weekend. Nothing kills the “bridal mood” more than a big ol’ skull and crossbones tattoo on the back or full arm sleeves with a strapless bridal gown. Just old fashioned I guess.

13 Larry

And wear clothes that fit.

14 This Guy

No double patterns (i.e. stripped shirt and dotted tie). Looks hideous. I’m not a “you must always match” Nazi (even though I always do), but for the love of Peter, don’t freakin’ clash.

15 Makky's Mom

Keep the piercings to a minimum. I really dislike chin piercings and tongue piercings and any other version of lip piercings. Eyebrow piercings are also not very professional looking, and when someone has more than say – 5 earings in each ear, it’s a bit too much and should be toned down.

16 CityFlips

I’m not sure what I would say for #5. It’s so true though. You’re going to be judged on your looks, clothes, etc. It’s a bit sad I suppose, but like it or lump it people have pre-conceived notions about certain types of dress. When it comes to the business world, I say do what you gotta do to get the job, keep the job, etc. When it comes to my friends, if you don’t like me for who I am I don’t want to be your friend.

17 Melissa

My tip for the ladies: Wear underwear. But seriously, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but in the summer it’s sometimes shocking how many women think wearing a bra is optional. Umm, what? I work in an office, not at a beach cabana.

18 Michelle

^^^Hysterical…our office is cooled to 60 degrees in the summer (and we’re in Texas), so there’s no avoiding KNOWING who’s gone without appropriate undergarments!

19 Investing Newbie

Ok, which gives you the pedophile vibe more: thick mustache or slicked back hair? For me its the former. Slick back hair makes me think you’re in the mafia.

A few of the workplace violations I’ve seen my 2+ years of professional work experience:

1) No bra. I’m about to vomit thinking about it.
2) Sneakers and suit. Nope. If you are going to dress up, don’t get all casual down there. Put on some nice shoes too.
3) Overly matchy. Same color top and bottom. Are we Crayola Crayons today?

You don’t need to be fashionable, but people, please, try to look put together. Don’t look like you just rolled out of bed or that you don’t care enough. Even if you hate your job, at least look nice while you’re sipping on that haterade.

20 Trina

Everything looks good, except in #3..I think you meant to write crimson instead of purple. And don’t think I didn’t notice your sweatshirt in the pic..you definitely don’t want to wear that to the office.

21 krantcents

Since many people wear the “uniform”, personal grooming is important! I refer to uniform as a suit or dress. They all look alike in general. As far as grooming, it can be personal, but there are reasonable standards. Hair neat and clean, body the same, not too much makeup, or perfume and clothes neat and well fitting. Our dress code is casual, but I see a lot of varieties of that which are unacceptable.

22 undercover kitty

Pls don’t put on too much perfume/cologne!

I really really can’t stand it when someone walks by and their perfume/cologne just about gag me! I know they wanna smell nice and probably let ppl know they use expensive, nice perfume/cologne but pls don’t make it so dang obvious like they bathe in the whole goddang thing! Esp if it’s not a good smell/a smell I don’t like – stimes I have to just get up and leave the room/cover my nose for a while before the big whifferoo clears up. I’m not allergic to perfume/cologne but I have a sensitive nose so some smells, esp if it’s really strong perfume/cologone, it can make my eyes water and I’d start coughing/sneezing.

23 First Gen American

For guys, the ones that stick out are the guys who look like they just rolled out of bed…messed up hair, half un-tucked shirt, or worn out clothes..pants with frayed edges or shirts with missing buttons, stains and rips.

For women, I have to say, it’s the hair that usually gets me. If you’ve had the same hairstyle since high school and you’re over 25, you need to find yourself a new stylist. Same goes for clothing. What was hip in 1985 not only is out of style but looks freakishly strange on someone approaching 50.

24 Mo D.

I don’t think my brother-in-law owns a comb; he literally looks like he’s just woken up from a nap ALL THE TIME! My FIL actually had to tell him to make sure he combed his hair on mine and Hubbby’s wedding day… BIL was 41!! What 41 year old man needs to be reminded to comb his hair!?!? 8 years later, and he still looks like a mess on a daily basis… unbelievable….

25 Jenna

Get clothes that last for more than a season. If you get a summer skirt, make sure you can wear cool tights with it in the fall and spring. This way you save more money on clothing and have a larger wardrobe without actually spending money on one. Our office is business casual. And I’m a big fan of the glittery blue one. Should have rocked it at work!

26 Sara

My item would be to just pay attention to the fine details. No chipped nail polish, super dry flaky skin (unless you have a skin disorder, but even then, take care of it!), no messed up hair, no stains on your clothes, etc. If you at least get some of the details right, people won’t notice other things as much. I don’t wear makeup to work sometimes because I just don’t feel like doing it/ran out of time in the AM, but my hair is always done, my nails are polished, and my clothes look nice enough that no one seems to notice if I don’t have eye shadow on. Well, it also helps that I don’t cake on makeup so bad that if I go without it, people still recognize me just fine! haha.

27 My Money Mess

Here’s mine:
5) Dress appropriately for the work you’re going to be doing. This could mean different things on different days. There’s nothing sillier than wearing white slacks on a day you know you’re going to be mucking around in your company’s file archives. If your company attire is casual but you’re meeting with an attorney or banker that day, you should dress for the meeting.

28 laura

I’m going to have to go with general presentation – even if you get all if the fine clothes and details and appropriate hair/makeup down, if you are slumped over, tapping your nails, twitching uncontrollably, sweating profusely, snapping gum, or OMG breathing loudly, I can’t take you seriously. Sit up straight, contain yourself, and breathe with your mouth closed – it’s kindergarten stuff, but it counts.

29 Slackerjo

Nobody respects a “pants on the ground” employee.

Previous post:

Next post: