What do your clothes say about you?

I work for a very, very flip-flop friendly company, and believe me when I say we all take full advantage of the dress code. Jeans, t-shirts and casual button-up shirts are more common than slacks, polos and blazers. Plus, we live in California where you can wear sandals and flip-flops all year round! I absolutely love it, especially having previously worked in an environment where the word “casual” was only uttered on Fridays.

However.

I am obsessed with TV shows about fashion like TLC’s What Not to Wear and Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style so I tend to think about what my clothes say about me. I wear denim religiously to work but I try to break up the monotony by wearing a cute jacket over a t-shirt or, if I’m really ambitious, a pretty sweater or blouse instead. Nothing fancy.

By no means am I a fashionista but what you wear affects how you present yourself. The proof is in every episode in both of those shows: when a person puts on clothes that fit and flatter their body type, and has their hair done and face polished, they exude a completely different level of confidence. It’s amazing. And of course, how you present yourself – especially in the professional world or as an adult — plays a huge role in how other people perceive and interact with you.

So I ask: When you’re working in an uber-casual environment, how casual is too casual? Do you agree with the stylists on the shows who say that what you wear at work has a direct affect on your success?

Is it bad to wear sweats or go to work with your hair wet? How about no makeup or wearing flip-flops without a pedicure? What about wearing sneakers, old jeans and a faded t-shirt? (And by faded, I don’t mean that trendy vintage, “distressed” look…)