Suiting Up for Summer

Hello Readers!

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 Maybe the policy on casual summer attire should have been a little clearer!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!

The New Power Suit for Summer

How to Dress for Success in Warm Weather

How to Dress Business Casual During a Blistering Hot Summer – For Women

Smart Girls Guide to Business Casual This Summer

What are your summer work style suggestions?

Look forward to your comments!



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ameliarojas
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:40:15

    I guess this is a very common issue in the work place, just today I spoke with my daughter who works for a very professional and conservative work environment and today there was one of those “office memos” reminding people what was appropriate and what wasn’t. It was funny, my daughter explained that the HR Manager actually took out her ruler and measured another employees summer blouse and in front of everyone said “this is an example of what’s not appropriate” yes, can you believe it, a ruler? I think it’s comical but it is a serious matter that many just seem to have a difficult time following. It always amazes me to be honest because work is work and that’s that, we are not home or at the mall, it is work plain and simple. I think people get very comfortable with work and often time “too comfortable” to the point that they forget that they are employees and have to represent the company in many ways including their appearance, it’s important for everyone to remember to keep it conservative, even if it’s not your normal style.



  2. Amelia Rojas
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:33:09

    Some managers don’t set the example unfortunately, my suggestions is follow your “Dress Code Policy” regardless of what others do including your manager 🙂



  3. Robert
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 05:12:31

    I was hoping this article would address wearing a suit in the summer



    • ameliarojas
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:52:13

      Hi Robert, Anita included a link to “The New Power Suit for Summer” See above link. I read that article and it covers suit do’s and don’ts in good detail..I think it’s a great article…again click on the link above that Anita included..:)



    • anitaclew
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 14:02:36

      Suits in the summer sounds like a pretty hot topic. From experience, the key to being mostly sweat-free is fabric choice. Look for suits made from linen, seer sucker, or fresco wool (all very lightweight fabric choices). Stick with colors that are appropriate for the summer season, such as khaki or navy blue. The plus side of khaki is that it will be more reflective of the sun, making it cooler for you. Select jackets and pants that are not lined to reduce the heat. For shirts, I suggest going with a 100% cotton fabric. These are breathable and will last much longer that their manmade counterparts.
      I hope this helps!



  4. Tiffany Lieu
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 14:59:01

    I think we should have more options with wearing more casual pieces to workplaces. It just that the economy is not ready to accept certain looks such as the capri pants, cropped pants, sleeveless beach tops, shorts suits, and enough jeans designs. Going to work is about marketing yourself too.



    • ameliarojas
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:53:59

      I think it varies depending on your office or work environment, some offices are okay with capri pants, others aren’t it depends…I think a good rule of of thumb is to dress for the job you want and not the job you have 🙂



  5. pravinchn
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 10:21:32

    Reblogged this on pravinchn.



  6. ameliarojas
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 09:20:58

    Great advice Anita! Great that you covered this because it is subject that often comes up in the office and I always stay away from shorts completely, just as you said “I suggest steering clear of shorts.” Yes people stay away from shorts!

    On “Casual Fridays” the most I ever do is wear a nice pair of Jeans with nice high heels but a bit more comfortable then the ones that I wore M-Thursday and a nice blouse with a blaser…people always said to me “you’re not casual” and that’s okay, because I would rather get that comment than the “you’re too casual and not following dress code” 🙂

    It’s funny not sure you watched the TV episode from The Office that was about “casual Fridays” it was very funny and of course exaggerated but it made it’s point regarding how every individual has a different idea of what casual is.

    Anyhow, super advice Anita!




  7. Jodine
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 09:16:18

    I worked at a place, where the quality manager was on the shop floor and wore heels. She kept getting caught in the drains on the shop floor. I would think that would have given her a clue that what she was wearing was a safety issue. She was a quality manager! She should have known better.



    • m.capriola
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 10:35:14

      LOL funny. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

      High heels were probably invented by a man while he was going thru a particularly nasty divorce.



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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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