Design Mistakes for Workwear

design mistakes for workwear

Here’s a fun topic we haven’t gotten into in a while: What are some of the biggest designer mistakes for workwear that you’ve seen? Things that make the garment unwearable, things that aren’t as appropriate for work as the fashion community seems to think, or things that just annoy you to death? In the past we’ve talked about designer no-nos like double-breasted blazers (now, super in!) and hated workwear trends like sharkbite hems and exposed zippers, and more — but what are the biggest design mistakes for workwear that you’re seeing in 2019?

Some of my top designer mistakes for workwear would be:

design mistakes for workwear bell sleeves

1. Full-length bell sleeves, particularly in a dry-clean-only fabric. If you’re eating, writing with ink, or washing dishes, full-length bell sleeves are a pain in the butt. Plus, I have a feeling you’re going to instantly date any item you own with that feature.

design mistakes for workwear - step hems on skirts for work!

2. Step-hems for workwear. Nooooooooooooo. So…. ugly. For denim, I might be able to think of it as fresh and trendy, but for workwear it just looks like a mullet or something.

design mistakes for workwear - faux wrap tops

3. Loose wrap shirts that look like faux wraps but are just entirely open. I just ordered (and sent back) a top that had looked great online but turned out to be totally open in the front. Even when I was a nursing mother I wanted a bit more coverage. 

design mistakes for workwear - satin and other party fabrics

4. Party fabrics for day. We talked about this a bit in our post on wedding wear vs. office attire, but a lot of stores and brands seem to think “workwear” includes fabrics like tulle, satin, sequins, and more. No thank you. I think the only exception here is with a very traditional tweed blazer — sometimes a shimmery thread running through it is okay and gives dimension, but that shimmery thread should feel like less than 10% of the garment — probably a lot less than that. 

How about you guys: What workwear trends make you cringe right now? What design elements and trends do you wish that you could persuade fashion brands and designers away from? 

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