Advice

If You Wear The Same Outfit To Work Twice In One Week, Is It Unprofessional?

Unless you're smelly and gross, who really cares?

One worried employee had repeat outfits on her mind when she asked workplace expert Alison Green if it is unprofessional to wear the same piece of clothing twice in a row or more during the work week. She hadn’t given it much thought until her boss commented on her habit of repeat clothing.

“It’s not professional for you to do that. If someone notices someone, say, wearing the same dress or shirt multiple times, they might assume things about their finances or that they aren’t taking care of themselves,” she claims her boss said.

Alison’s advice is…no big deal.

Tons of people re-wear the same pair of pants within a work week,” she explains. “Hell, tons of people re-wear the same shirt within a work week. Also, lots of these people are men, and I bet your boss doesn’t even notice when they do it.”

Alison continues:

“It’s true that if you have a really distinctive clothing item — like a green dress with white polka dots — it’s going to stand out, and people will notice if you wear it Wednesday after just wearing it on Monday. Even then, though, it’s not scandalous. It’s just … noticeable. But pants? Plain black or gray pants? No.

“Even if someone did notice, there’s no way for them to know if it’s the same pair, or whether you — like lots of people — have multiple pairs of basic clothing items. Lots of people have several pairs of similar-looking (or identical) clothing items. It’s really not a big deal. Your boss sounds like she has some kind of hang-up about money, since most people really aren’t assuming things about your finances just because you wear the same pants twice a week. “And even if they did, being on a budget isn’t some kind of terrible character issue.”

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