What Not To Wear (Yes, It’s Another Poll ;)

As I was getting dressed for work today, I asked Tay if he thought that a halter top was appropriate for work. I had on a full summer skirt that falls just below my knees and since the skirt is royal blue with white flowers on it, I had paired it with a white halter top. The top is long through the waist and extends down over the top portion of the skirt so there’s no midriff showing, and the cleavage is minimal but it does expose my shoulders and my upper back. Tay couldn’t really say whether it was appropriate or not, and I didn’t really know either but I decided to wear it anyway since we’re having a staff picnic today and I wanted to dress up a bit.

I got a lot of comments at work today about how nice I look but one coworker commented on my halter and mentioned that she debated wearing one but thought that she would get in trouble. I have three other halters similiar to the one I’m wearing (they were on sale at Jacob) and with the TO humidity being what it is, I would like to have the peace of mind to wear them when the weather calls for it, so I went into my boss’s office to ask her where she stood on halter tops and if she felt they were inappropriate. She looked at me with surprise (I guess most people just wear what they want and don’t bother asking) and then said that she thought I looked very nice – and given that some parts of our building can sometimes get quite warm, she’s pretty laid back about what people wear.

So here’s the poll part – what do you think is appropriate (summer) dress for an office environment whose dress code is business casual? What are your thoughts on halter tops, shorts, open toed shoes, sandals, flip flops, jeans? Are some things okay and other things not? What things can you wear at your work that most other people can’t wear? What things do you wish you could wear at your work that other people can? (For those that aren’t working, or work from home, feel free to refer to past experience.)

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10 Responses to What Not To Wear (Yes, It’s Another Poll ;)

  1. katitude says:

    my one boss always said to wear what you’d wear to meet your serious boyfriend’s parents.Course I’ve met some who have zero sense of what’s appropriate so that could backfire.

  2. Flip flops: Never, under any circumstances. In our office, (when I was working) we are business casual and the rule is: no bellybuttons, shorts and shirts could be no shorter than 1 inch above your knee, no bare shoulders, dress sandals are OK but beach sandals are not (if you can buy them at the dollar store, regardless of comfort they’re not appropriate)and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD regardless of how proud you are of your thong DON’T SHOW THE BACK OF IT AT WORK

  3. that should be “shorts and skirts / dresses BTW”

  4. And I must admit, I was surprised not to see a pic of the outfit on the blog!

  5. Anna Lee says:

    Great Idea for a Poll…I often feel like I should be hosting that show, given my constant need to critque what ensembles people chose to wear, work or otherwise. At my current workplace, we have a buisness casual dress code, in the summer we relax a little more. That being said…if you can wear it to the beach, then it should not be seen in the board room! I am a big lover of sandles with skirts in the summer, however, if you hear a very apparent flip-flop sound, then I’d say they are a flip-flop, and thus not appropriate for the office. As for the halter top, well, it’s a step away from a tube top…to me, honestly, neither are office attire…unless you’ve got a blazer or cute summer sweater over it and take it off while you’re out of the office on lunch. Sorry, Barratt…I would have given you a fashion warning:) On the other hand, I love the knee length short look that’s in this summer, but I know many ppl don’t feel this is office attire either.

  6. Fern Wimpley says:

    If there is no set dress code, I wouldn’t have worried about it.ALAS, as a frequent halter top wearer, I totally support the fashion, as they are most comfortable in hot, hot weather. It’s not like you paired it with a tiny skirt or those incredibly skanky short shorts a lot of people seem to have been wearing.I think, business casual is touchy. Jeans can be buisness casual paired with the right top, but most businesses don’t go for jeans. I think flip flops should be allowed, as they can be dressed up. I know when I put on a nice top and one of my skirts, I wear flip flops.That’s my two cents. And how nice it is to post it all at once.

  7. Flud22 says:

    ok tawny here’s a guys point of view…..the answer is simply…”it depends on where you work.” u work at settlement…a place that has very few rooms with A/C…and deals with many lower income families, so wearing your calvin klein business suit (even in the winter) is just as inappropriate there, as flip-flops are at the MS Society.

  8. Flud22 says:

    but in the end my wonderful wife to be would also say that i have no sense of what to wear at work cuz as u know…when i worked with you, i was the king of golf shirts, shorts and sandals (usually birks, but sometimes flip-flops). where what u want tawn…comfort is the key for me!

  9. Taylor says:

    Quite frankly, IMO, it should never be about “Where you work”, it should probably be about, “What’s classic and portrays someone with a keen sense of professionalism”. That said, some positions do not have you in front of the “customer” and some have you tucked away where you’re lucky if you talk to anyone that day. From there, I think you can interject how much “comfort” you can get away with.For me, shorts are a no-no as would be plunged neck line or back lines (halter). But that’s me. I think considering there was this picnic, it would be a little more foregiving to wear “outdoor” clothing (like a halter). That said, Tawn did have a meeting later in the day soo.. I dunno.Oh I should say, obviously if everyone (including the boss.. whom is probably who you should model yourself after in a hierarchal structured workplace) never wears a suit, or jacket, or tie, etc.. then you do not outdress them. But if you’re in sales, or a sales support person, then you should either dress as well as you can to meet a client by yourself or on-par with your partner if you’re meeting a client together.Also branding comes into play depending on what level of work you’re into. If you’re lower or management, you can’t wear BOSS when you want to move up or get a good raise.Also there’s the whole debate in some sales positions as to whether you dress in the finest threads or modest ones. The reason I don’t like the modest one is because it’s false. You can afford better, but you want to project your budget it tight to avoid figure negotiation issues, outdressing your client, etc. I’m *personally* for dressing “for success”. If you can afford a $1000 suit. You should wear one. If you can afford a $1000 watch. You should wear one. You don’t want anything flashy.. that’ll come off as arrogant.. but if you can dress tastefully but with ‘class’, it projects that you’re good at what you do, that instills confidence in your client AND most importantly, yourself. I think if you feel successful, but you dress modestly, you’re also cheating yourself. This is where the polo-shirt w/ logo Bullshit comes from at trade shows. I hate that shit. Let your tech staff wear polo shirts, sales and management should look like sales and management. Now if you’re modestly successful, then I get it. But I know many people who make a whole lot of money, and they dress really sub-their potential…Then again, some people have no taste or sense of style. So I guess those people are forgiven! But please.. someone help them!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I think it depends on the fabric & style. I can’t imagine you own a whole lot of inappropriate clothing. If anyone had been offended, you could wear it next time with a little short-sleeved shrug (knit one!) while indoors.

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