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5 warm weather mistakes not to make at the office

Categories: casual office


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Summer is coming, which means getting dressed for sweltering temperatures outside and freezing conference rooms inside. We all know that you need a cardigan for the office, but how else can you make your summer clothes work-appropriate? You can start by not making these five mistakes.

Tank tops are weekend wear. A sleeveless blouse is fine for the office; the tailored shape of a blouse raises it from casual wear to work attire. Opt for a blouse with a little pizzazz, like the one pictured above.

Save shorts for after work. Unless you’re a PE teacher, shorts are not appropriate for work — not even so-called “dressy” shorts. Opt for a skirt instead.

Keep your hemline professional. When I say “opt for a skirt,” I mean a skirt that is appropriate for work. Miniskirts are super fun for summer, but not for the office. Keep your hemline close to your knee; wear a slip with very thin, unlined skirts.

Keep your feet covered. A peep toe or slingback is fine for work, but a flat, strappy sandal is too casual for work; likewise flat espadrilles. A wedge espadrille is one good option; another is a chunky sandal that covers up your foot, like the one pictured above.

No strapless for the office. Make a strapless or spaghetti strap dress office-appropriate by layering a cardi or jacket over it — but don’t go bare at work. And for the love of all that is holy and professional, wear a bra, all the time. I’m begging you.

What are your warm weather work DON’Ts?

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6 comments so far...

  • The sad part is, I have seen several of those violated already. In Houston, it has been warm for a while now, and I still cannot believe what people will wear to work.

    I’m just now breaking out peep-toed shoes; others have been in flip-flops every day we haven’t had ice.

    Kelly O  |  April 18th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  • This is all great advice. I agree with every single rule!

    rb  |  April 19th, 2011 at 11:34 am

  • No Flip Flops at work (especially the loud ones)!! It shocks me that people think this is appropriate, even in a fairly causal work environment.

    One other little pet peeve of mine: after lunch, put your sunglasses back into your purse!! I have a coworker who wears them on top of her head the rest of the day. I mean, it’d be NICE if we were all sipping drinks on the patio, but we’re in a meeting. You look ridiculous. Rrrr.

    el-e-e  |  April 21st, 2011 at 5:27 am

  • I’m with el-e-e — NO flip flops (not even Jack Rogers, people! and a big NO to the ones with a heel — they’re not real shoes). And your sunglasses are not a hair accessory.

    Susan  |  April 21st, 2011 at 7:12 am

  • I was just reading a comment thread elsewhere where a few people were discussing their regular usage of sunglasses as headbands. I was a little baffled.

    Where I live it’s perfectly acceptable to show up to a meeting in sweaty workout clothes if you rode your bike to the office. I. just. can’t. do. it.

    Katherine  |  April 21st, 2011 at 1:41 pm

  • Sadly we cannot wear sandals at my new office. Slingbacks, yes. peep toe yes. But not sandals and not slingbacks with a peeptoe.
    And I have such nice dressy sandals, sigh.

    Mich  |  April 26th, 2011 at 12:20 pm