What Not to Wear: Summer Edition

what not to wear

It’s June and the official first day of summer is fast approaching. These next few months, without a doubt, are the hardest wardrobe-wise. Many of us have already started exchanging our winter attire for shorter hemlines, short-sleeve tops, and Polo shirts. But what is appropriate for work and what isn’t? The real answer is that every office is different and has different dress code policies – vague I know. However, for every office there are some basic rules you must abide by.

  • Always look polished and appropriate for an impromptu client visit or meeting
  • Respect the colors of your industry. If you work in the fashion or advertising space, bright vibrant colors are acceptable and maybe even the norm. But if you work in a more serious industry, try to stick with neutral toned-down colors such as tan, black, brown, white, or blue. Feel free to add a pop of color to spice up each outfit.
  • Keep a cardigan at your desk. It will make your outfit look more professional and it will keep you warm when your colleagues crank up the A/C
  • Pair summer items with business staples, such as capris with a lightweight blazer
  • Khakis and polo shirts are always safe for men trying to look more casual and summer appropriate

Stay clear of the following items:

  • Tight shorts – if you’re allowed to wear shorts at all, make sure they’re knee-length and on the looser side
  • Jogging suits
  • Overly revealing or see-through attire – if you have to ask if it’s acceptable, it probably isn’t
  • Flip-flops – semi-casual sandals for women are ok but stay away from these cheap, noisy beach shoes
  • Halter tops
  • Tank tops, crop tops, or spaghetti strap tops
  • T-shirts that are tight or have offensive logos/prints
  • Mini-skirts
  • Jerseys
  • Beachwear
  • Exercise clothing
  • Wrinkled or stained items
  • Sunglasses (indoors) – not just at work, I mean everywhere. Not in a bar, club, just take them off when there is no sun. Please.

Dress for your career. Warmer weather is not an excuse to throw out dress code decorum. Err on the side of caution even if you have a liberal dress code policy. It’s better to be safe than to be reprimanded and sent home to change.