With the warmer weather upon us, we open the door to a slew of potential fashion landmines for professional women in the workplace.
At one point in time, business attire almost always involved a suit. Today, there is too little agreement on what defines “business casual” and most people don’t have a clear understanding of office dress codes. In order to define business casual, you must first consider the industry, size of the company and its workforce as well as the amount and level of interaction with customers. In addition, the climate, culture and age demographic for the workforce are all factors that will dictate the appropriate level of dress. A true business casual dress code should encourage employees to project a professional, yet somewhat relaxed business-like image.
For women in particular, there are more options when it comes to what to wear in the workplace. With this comes the need to exercise greater discretion compared to the collared shirt and slacks worn by their male counterparts. Women are intuitive beings, and if your outfit begs the question of being too short, tight or revealing for the office, it likely is. As a general rule of thumb, if there’s any doubt as to the appropriateness of your outfit for the workplace, then err on the side of caution.
When it comes to tops, consider this simple tip;
if your shirt or dress requires a strapless, racer-back, one shoulder or any other creative contraption of a bra strap, then it too is not appropriate for an office.
Great style and fashion often involves great risk, but save these risks for the weekend and not the career.