Summer Office Staples: What Not to Wear

Photo courtesy of Business casual. Business professional. Oh wait, Casual Fridays - but only this Friday because your boss stresses about never knowing who will be entering the work room. The ambiguity of the workplace leaves young professionals scrambling to find the perfect balance between professionalism, creativity and comfort every morning, especially as the weather gets warmer. As a guide, it's easier to inform young professionals of what to wear. Your typical pencil skirt-wearing, button-down blouse-donning and no-more-than-3-inch heels mantra has been ingrained into your brain. It's also good to assess the nature of your profession and to observe what your boss is wearing - and what your boss's boss is wearing. But with so many rules, the young professional is constantly told what to wear - what about the pieces the young professional shouldn't wear?

Depending on your work environment, anything considered a "summer casual staple" should not be seen in the office. Even if your workplace is more relaxed and casual than not, it's best to err on the side of caution and don a more professional wardrobe. Although the weather may be warmer, make it a point to avoid wearing the following:

  • Flip-flops
  • Too-sheer clothing
  • Super short skirts 
  • Exposed midriffs
  • Excessive cleavage 
  • Straw totes

Regarding footwear during the summer, open-toed shoes are generally frowned upon. This extends to the summer favorite of flip flops - under no circumstances should all five toes be exposed in the office, regardless of how casual your work environment is. For an alternative, search for moderately open-toed pumps, such as this coral wedge pair from Bait Footwear, which provides the right amount of coverage for the workplace.

Too-sheer clothing, mini skirts, exposed midriffs and excessive cleavage expose too much of the skin at the office - and when presenting at board meetings during a scorching summer day, your content and delivery deserves much more attention than your lack of clothing. For alternative looks, choose dresses with light, airy fabrics (such as chiffon) and pick a conservative yet playful print that's office appropriate. Below are some of our top picks from affordable website


All images courtesy of: 

 From left to right:

Print Dress; $67; Rubbery Ducky;

Color Block Yellow and Beige Highlighter Dress; $36; Lulus;

Daisy Chain Floral Dress; $86; Lucca Couture;

What are some of your office-wear "don'ts" during the warm weather? Let us know on Facebook!