Office apparel do’s and don’ts

Summer is full of wonderful
distractions, but co-workers’ skin shouldn’t be one of them.

The formality of office attire
often diminishes as temperatures rise. Every workplace is different and some
are a lot more relaxed than others but don’t be fooled into thinking that no
one will judge your appearance. Be sure you’re comfortable with the message
your clothes are sending.

For women, the more skin you show,
the less influence you have. Do you really want to work harder to earn the
respect of your co-workers and boss?

Keep up a professional look by
combining seasonal items with lighter weight classics. Pair capris with a
lightweight blazer, sandals with a wrap dress.

Happily, unless you work for a
conservative office that specifically calls for them, pantyhose and stockings
can be left in your drawer. Bare legs with a knee-length skirt are 21st century
work appropriate.

Though Michelle Obama has made them
work-chic, tank sleeves are still up for debate in many offices, and that goes
double for spaghetti straps. Strapless day dresses need to be saved for weekend
brunch.

Also avoid: sheer fabrics, short
skirts, shorts, Spandex, and bare midriffs.

For men, while some workplaces
might be shorts-appropriate, in the majority of offices nothing says “I
don’t take my job seriously” more than wearing short.

When in doubt, khakis and polo
shirts are the way to go. They are both professional and comfortable. Don’t
forget the belt!

Sandals are iffy for men. Be sure
your feet look and smell appropriate for business if this kind of casual attire
is allowed in your office culture.

Although the thermometer may be
soaring outside, most offices are kept extra cool to compensate. Keep a thin
sweater or light weight jacket with you to ward off chills during your morning
meeting.

Wrinkles can be harder to fight in
the humid summer months, but neat and clean still counts.

Wrinkled khakis and a stained or
faded polo shirt are just as bad as showing up in gym shorts and a tee-shirt
for your favourite band. The “I just got out of bed” look does
nothing to enhance your credibility.

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.

Ladies, sunglasses don’t double as
a headband when it comes to work, so put them away entirely when at the office.

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?

For men, think twice before wearing
loafers without socks.

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