There's a hilarious, nearly full-page photograph on the front page of the "Pursuits" section of the Wall Street Journal today. It shows a forty-something boss in a pin-striped suit gazing with consternation at her millennial, twenty-something employee who showed up for work in a skimpy camisole, chunky jewelry, cropped pants, and flip-flops. Would that it were satire; sadly not. The article profiles managers and recruiters going nuts over exposed midriffs and other office fashion faux pas.
I discussed this problem as one of the top five mistakes recent college grads make in their job searches during an interview I gave a few months ago on Fox News Channel's morning show. The outfits you get away with in class will not fly in the professional world, even in a "business casual" environment. There's "business casual" and then there's "just woke up and dragged myself to class" or "raiding my roommate's closet hoping to hook up with some guy at the Pike party." When you get out of college, you'll need to give your wardrobe a complete overhaul. (If you think I'm picking mostly on women here, I am. Most guys don't show up at work with peekaboo bellybuttons.)