For some of our readers summer has started showing its strength already, while for others, it is just beginning to break through. With the first official day of summer on June 20, 2012, a shift in attire will surely become necessary. With the increased temperatures and humid weather, many pieces in your work wardrobe will need to be retired until next Fall if you plan to survive the next few months. Sure, we would all love to sport our best beachwear or a comfy pair of flip-flops and shorts to the office, but unfortunately, for most professional work places, a few poor dressing decisions could land you a permanent vacation from your position.
Here are some standard guidelines to follow when making your summer selections.
- Tank tops, halter tops, tube tops, or any top for that matter than openly exposes your shoulders or shows off a little too much of your recently bronzed skin are not acceptable. My motto is — when in doubt, take sleeveless out. If you cannot bear to be sleeved to and from the office, bring a sweater to wear while on the job and remove it when away from your workspace.
- Make sure to wear appropriate footwear to work. I, for one, would much rather don the new rhinestone-embellished flip-flops I picked up last weekend than some stuffy closed-toe shoes. But dress codes are not in place to take the fun out of personal expression; they are there for your safety while on the job. Strappy sandals and flip-flops provide zero protection from the injuries inflicted by a tumbling box or sharp corner. In addition, the noise sandals and flip-flops make while walking down the hall are truly annoying to your coworkers. Save them for the weekend.
- Shorts are a tricky subject. Some offices allow them, and others strictly forbid them. I suggest steering clear of shorts. Length, style, fit, and fabric can easily take shorts from professional to inappropriate very quickly. For women, shorts should have a minimum of a 5” inseam; for men, cargo shorts and worn-in styles should be taken out of the running.
- As far as short-sleeved shirts go, try to stick with button-down styles. Polo shirts and golf shirts should be avoided.
- Women should avoid casual sundresses. No matter how cute they may be for a weekend getaway, they may not be appropriate for an office setting.
The rules around summer dress code can be expansive and never-ending. Each office and human resources department will have their own set of guidelines and ideas on what office attire is included and excluded from their culture. When in doubt, consult your HR manager if you have any questions and BEFORE wearing an outfit to the office. The last thing you would want to have happen is that you are sent home for inappropriate wardrobe choices.
Check out these links to get more tips and visuals on what to wear in the summer heat!
What are your summer work style suggestions?
Look forward to your comments!