What Not to Wear to Work – Summer Edition
The great thing about fashion is that everyone has their own flavor, their own style, their own idea of what looks good. However, finding the right fashion in the workplace can be a little trickier, especially if you work in an industry with a strict dress code. Employees who are expected to wear professional attire everyday find that wearing a corporate suit in the summertime challenging, especially when then temperatures are rising and the humidity is sweltering. Summertime may allow tweaks in professional attire that will remain completely acceptable if you know “what not to wear.”
Flip Flops: Many companies allow dressier sandals in the workplace; however flip flops are not professional footwear at all. Not only are this rubber shoes too reminiscent of the beach or hanging out at the mall, these also make a very irritating noise when walking through quiet hallways in the office.
Sheer Fabrics: Sheer fabrics are best left for bathing suit cover-ups and dressy evening wear. Although sheer clothing may feel breezy and cool in the middle of a heat wave, they may convey the wrong image and unwanted attention at work. Also, sheer clothing will make you very under dressed in the notorious coldness of most office spaces.
Shorts: Wearing shorts will make your image seem less professional, especially cutoffs and cargos. Some fashion magazines picture women in tailored Bermuda shorts or “city shorts” which may be appropriate in the summer for some office places; use your best judgment. However, a just-above-the-knee skirt will keep you even cooler all while conveying a smart, authoritative image.
Too Much Skin: Low-cut blouses, bared midriffs, mini-skirts and backless tops don’t communicate the right message for a professional workplace. Keep skirts at a modest length and keep the neckline of blouses five-fingertips below the collarbone. There is some controversy whether or not arms should be bared in a professional environment; take cues from your superior to see whether or not a jacket or sweater is worn on top of a sleeveless shirt.
Keep your professional reputation intact on your current job or when interviewing for new jobs by wearing the appropriate clothing for the season. Hot temperatures may call for modifications, but always err on the side of being too conservative. You’ll never feel embarrassed by being a bit overdressed for a meeting than being obviously under dressed.