Debrahlee Lorenzana's Office Fashion Faux Pas - How to Dress for Work Without Crossing the Line

Debrahlee Lorenzana (Carrie Schechter)
NEW YORK (CBS) Sexy banker Debrahlee Lorenzana claims in a lawsuit that her bosses at Citibank fired her because her appearance was too distracting, and what she was wearing may have played a part in that.

Lorenzana says she was subject to "improper comments," was reprimanded for dressing too sexily and said she was told by her bosses to tone down her wardrobe.

PICTURES: Debrahlee Lorenzana

Here are some tips on how you can dress to impress without crossing the line:

"The Early Show" style contributor Katrina Szish said that busty women like Lorenzana, who reportedly went under the knife for breast implants, need to be extra mindful of necklines, but there's no need to hide what you have. She recommends staying away from anything that draws extra attention to that area. Darker colors can help to minimize on top, as do blazers, and you can still keep things chic by adding a pair of earrings, wearing a bright-colored skirt or a great pair of shoes.

For women who are curvy all over, Szish suggests not wearing anything too clingy. Instead, try a dress with a belted waist and a fuller skirt. For inspiration, look to Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 collection and the return to '60s-inspired style brought on by AMC's "Mad Men."

A boatneck is another safe bet for curvy women, Szish said, because it offers an "elegant, stylish shape" (think Jackie Kennedy), but doesn't risk revealing too much. 

When it comes to office attire, Szish said the biggest mistake is showing too much skin.

"I don't have a problem with slim (not snug) pencil skirts and body-skimming silhouettes," she said. "However, once a neckline plunges to the point of showing cleavage or a hemline rises too far above the knees, the line for what's appropriate has been crossed."

Where that "line" is can depend on your work environment. What is appropriate for a fashion editor, Szish notes, is very different from what will work for a banker like Lorenzana. Also, if your workplace has a specific dress code, you must adhere to it, no matter how creative you'd like to get with your wardrobe.

Here are a few looks and labels that would work for the office.

1. LOFT: Linen/cotton jacket, $79.50; Habutai trim tank, $29.50; Linen/cotton pencil skirt, $59.50.

Credit: AnneTaylorLoft.com

LOFT (formerly Ann Taylor Loft) has reinvented its look and is now more fashion-forward, Szish said.

"I love their accessories, which instantly update an otherwise boring work look," she added. "They also have great separates that are easy to mix and match for the office."

2. Kate Spade: Lite Brite Phoebe cardigan; $245.

Credit: KateSpade.com

Szish recommends choosing bright colors and patterns, like this dandelion-colored cardigan, as a way to update office ensembles.

3. Diane von Furstenberg: Taipa shorts, $198.

Credit: DianevonFurstenberg.com

Depending on where you work, Szish said, elegant shorts may be an appropriate option. She recommends pairing them with a blazer or cardigan to keep the look on the more serious side.

In addition to these, Szish also recommends clothes from J. Crew, Milly, Tibi and Nanette Lepore for stylish-yet-work-ready looks.

But overall, she stresses that women shouldn't try to dress like men in the office - suits are fine, but should not be frumpy or masculine. Women should dress like women, but in a way that is appropriate.

"I have been encouraged by many women I see in New York City, who are dressed for work but still manage to show femininity and personal style without appearing the least bit unprofessional," she said.

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