Saturday, 14 January 2012

Summer Dress Code Policy

Five Common Summer Casual Dress Code Mistakes

We all wait for it. That time of year when the Office Manager sends out her annual email which gives us permission to dress "casually" in the office. There are guidelines of course, but despite them, mistakes are made. Here are the the top five casual summer attire mistakes with some helpful hints to turn your "don't" into a "do".


When permission is given to wear shorts, the intent is that they be Bermuda style. This is the style of shorts that sits just above the knees. Any shorter and you risk showing a little too much leg. It is important as well, that the shorts are the right size. Too short and/or too tight can be a very inappropriate combination leading to an absolute fashion disaster. Find your right size and follow the rule of the hemline sitting just above the knees and you can't go wrong.


Again, length is very important here. It is often said that woman over 35 should not wear mini skirts. While, I don't completely agree with this, as many woman over 35 have fantastic legs and should definitely show them off, there is no place for a mini skirt in the office. Here is another situation where if it is just above the knee, you are on the right track. Any shorter, and you risk not only showing off too much leg, but potentially a whole lot more.


At this time of year, we are given permission to wear more casual style tee and polo shirts at work. While it most likely goes without saying that beer logos and rude statements are out, there are a few more things to consider. Halter and tank tops are only acceptable, when worn with a nice cardigan or jacket. These types of tops often bare more skin or cleavage, which is not appropriate for the office without coverage. Another type inappropriate top at any time of year is the midriff baring top. If your top shows any part of your belly, including your belly button, do not wear it to work. If you must, keep such items for off work occasions.


Sandals and open toe shoes are very appropriate to wear to work during the summer months. However, there are still a few cautions. If your shoes are something you'd wear to the beach, such as rubber, thong flip flops....they are not appropriate for the office. Also, beware of wearing shoes such as metallic strappy kitten heels to the office. These are meant for more formal occasions such as going out to dinner, weddings or perhaps a summer garden party. Chose instead a conservative wedge, heel or peep toe.


Capri pants have become a staple in most woman's summer wardrobes. They are a great alternative to long pants, providing relief from the summer heat, while still providing considerable coverage. Capris come in all fits and styles from the tailored chino to the "cargo" style. Save the cargo for your off duty time. This style is meant to be more casual and not the workplace. Choose instead the more tailored Capri for work.

Following these guidelines above and you are sure to present yourself as the professional you are, while still enjoying the relaxed office dress code this summer.

Thank you for reading and good luck.

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