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Men's fashion mistakes at work

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(CareerBuilder.com) -- Dude, have you taken a good look at yourself lately?

Your fashion-sense or lack there-of could be offending the eyes of your colleagues and recklessly endangering your career!

Here are 10 of the most common fashion crimes along with tips on how to avoid them:

1. Backpacks. OK, maybe this is just a misdemeanor, but you're trying to climb the corporate ladder, not hike up a mountain.

Carry a briefcase or messenger bag -- and if you need something for your gym clothes -- invest in a nice-looking gym bag.

2. Clashing or too many colors. A coat of many colors may have worked for Joseph, but you, my friend, should limit each outfit to just three colors or shades.

Stick to complementary colors (those opposite from each other on the color wheel) or colors from the same pallet. Match pale clothes with light-colored shoes and dark clothes with dark shoes.

3. Stained clothes. Don't be that guy who's unwittingly walking around with red sauce on his shirt.

Make it part of your daily routine to inspect your clothes when you take them off and when they come out of the wash to make sure you don't miss a spot. Watch for yellow circles under the armpits, soiled collars or cuffs.

You may even want to keep a stain stick in your desk at work.

4. Ill-fitting pants. Even if you're sure of your size, always try on pants before buying them, because different brands have different lengths.

Jeans can be worn to the bottom of your heel, but your khakis or dress pants should end at the top of the heel. Make sure they don't reveal any sock as you walk-- or more than a couple of inches of sock when you sit. Too tight or too baggy won't cut it either.

5. Ponytails. You're neither a wizard nor a rock star. And even if you were, admit it, doesn't Michael Bolton look much better now that he's cut his hair? If you must keep your hair long, make sure it's neat and clean and doesn't fall past the base of your neck.

6. Novelty ties. It's okay to express your individuality through color or pattern. But stick with the classic width of about three-and-one-quarter inches and make sure the colors and patterns complement the shirt you are wearing. Not make people scratch their heads and say, huh?

And one more thing: When it comes to how a tie hangs, it should reach the top of your belt buckle and have a dimple in the center of the knot.

7. Too much cologne. If you must wear cologne, get a quality brand. And since the same cologne smells different on each person, make sure to test it out and get some opinions.

Beware of mixing too many smells at once. Remember, if you wear an anti-perspirant or aftershave, the scents can mingle for an unpleasant effect. And don't be too liberal in your application. The safest bet is to avoid wearing cologne all together and let the clean smell of soap do the talking

8. Funky facial hair. If you're going to do facial hair, do it right. Keep any mustache or beard trimmed. Don't wear a soul patch (that little rectangle of unshaven hair beneath your lower lip) or uni-brow (try waxing or laser hair removal). If you're prone to stray nose or ear hairs, please invest in a special trimmer.

9. Too much jewelry. A simple watch is all you need outside of a wedding band or class ring, if appropriate. Save the gold neck chains, bracelets, pinky rings and facial piercings for after hours.

And the most heinous crime of all:

10. Comb-overs. Draping or otherwise "arranging" those nine hairs on top of your head into an elaborate comb-over doesn't actually work for Donald Trump. He only gets away with it because he's the boss. If you are follicly-challenged, embrace it. Keep your hair cropped short, or shave it all a la Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi or Howie Mandel.


© Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority


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