Appropriate (and not so much) office attire. Most employee handbooks will give specific examples of what to wear and what is considered acceptable. With the spike of summer heat comes an opportunity to adjust your work wear for the rising temperature.
- Rule of thumb for appropriate attire during the summer season is to avoid the “four Bs”: bar-wear, boudoir attire, barbell outfits and beachwear.
- Women’s skirt lengths should not be too short nor should necklines be too revealing. Showing your bra straps are also a definite no-no.
- Flip flops are distracting. They make noise and expose your feet. The weather might be sweltering hot, but do you really want your boss raising her eyebrows about your feet? – “Flip flops, for example, can be worn commuting, but once you get to your desk you should change.”
- I see you. Too much skin and visible undergarments should not be peeking through the fabric you’re wearing.
- If sleeveless isn’t appropriate, try capped sleeves or a wrap-dress with a 3/4 sleeve, à la Diane von Furstenberg. Just remember to use seasonal prints in moderation—think subtle patterns, not screaming florals.
- Sunglasses are a summer staple, but they are also outdoor wear. You should always be able to make eye contact with colleagues and clients when indoors, so unless you’re a rock star, take them off when entering a building.
- Bright jewelry is a great way to infuse the colors of summertime into your work attire without going overboard. Go with one fun piece like a statement necklace or bold bracelet—but think sleek, not beachy.
- Peep toe shoes fall in the pump category; dress code permitting, they’re perfectly fine if your toes are manicured.
- Avoid: sheer fabrics, short skirts, shorts, Spandex, and bare midriffs.
If you are unsure of what is appropriate, seek guidance from someone in your human resources department. Just because it is almost summer, doesn’t mean the office dress code goes out the window! If you follow these tips, you can continue to convey your professionalism during every season.