“The Business Fashionista” is AZ Big Media’s fashion blog for the business-minded. It examines the dos, don’ts and musts of the modern fashionista who wants to stay in step with the latest trends in the workplace.
Being a business fashionista isn’t just all about dressing the part. It’s about looking the part, too. Hygiene is a key part in having a professional appearance, and that means you need to be groomed, clean and smell good.
The office is not a place where you should slack off on your personal hygiene routine. Your job isn’t like the good old days of college, when skipping showers and wearing dirty clothes were the norm. In the real world, if you choose to ignore the reality of general office standards for grooming and cleanliness, others around you will notice.
It seems like it would be common sense to take a shower, brush your hair and put on clean clothes before work, but on days when you sleep in and are running late —sacrifices are made. Don’t blame having to shave your legs for why you have no time to do anything else in the morning. Blame yourself for not waking up early enough or maybe failing to notice you haven’t shaved in days.
We all fall victim to procrastination, but there is a fine line to putting off that shower until later in the day and putting it off for a few days. Even though brushing your teeth, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash might feel tedious; it’s worth it to avoid bad breath.
Here are some basic, and easily forgotten, hygiene guidelines for the office:
• Shower daily, no matter how busy you may be. Coating yourself in perfume only goes so far.
• Have well-kept finger and toes nails, especially if you wear opened toed shoes. They should be trimmed, filed and definitely not discolored. The last thing your co-workers want to see is your fungus-infected toenail.
• Also on the topic of nails, chipped nail polish is almost impossible to prevent, unless you have your own personal manicurist on speed dial. However, your nail polish shouldn’t be chipped so much that only a tiny speck of color remains on the nail. Stop being lazy and take it off once you start to notice major chips.
• Wax/pluck eyebrows. You don’t want to be known as the woman in the office who has a unibrow.
• Shave your legs. I am a firm believer that you should shave your legs regardless of the season or if you’re wearing a dress or pants. If shaving your legs on a normal basis is one of those things you just don’t have time for, at least wear pants.
• Apply deodorant everyday, and if you find yourself more active on a particular day, twice wouldn’t hurt.
• Perfumes are wonderful, but don’t over do it. One to two sprays are good enough.
• Mints and gum are live savers after eating a stinky lunch, but they are not replacements for brushing your teeth daily.
• Even if you have a low maintenance approach to hair, at least come to work with it brushed. You shouldn’t be finding things in your hair throughout the day.
• Cleans clothes are a must.
• Don’t come to work after sleeping all night in your makeup and not caring to fix it. You might give off the impression of a hangover.