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Dos and Don'ts of Summer Office Attire

Dos and Don'ts of Summer Office Attire

Photo courtesy of Alfonso Pierantonio via Creative Commons

Beverly West | Monster Contributing Writer

June 22, 2009

Those hazy, lazy days of summer can make a business suit feel as comfortable as a suit of armor. Fortunately, you can make a professional statement and still beat the heat with these tips.

How Casual Is Summer Business-Casual?

Even some of the most formal workplaces — such as those within the financial and legal industries — now institute a “casual Friday” policy all summer long. But what does “casual” mean in the workplace?

“You don’t want the emphasis placed on the word ‘casual’ instead of the word ‘business,’” says Sherry Maysonave, author of Casual Power. " Casual could be jeans, sneakers, T-shirts and shorts, whereas business casual is a relaxed version of business dress. It’s how you might dress to go out to a nice dinner on the weekend, not how you would go to the grocery store."

Business casual may include chino trousers, pencil skirts, relaxed button-down shirts and linen, polo or knitted shirts.

Especially Tricky for Business Women

“Women face a particular challenge in nailing the right look for the workplace,” Maysonave says. " That’s because it’s still a male business world. Fashion bombards women with more social attire than business attire. What a business man would wear to a social event or a party, he could also probably wear to the office. That’s not true for business women."

Next Page: Fashion Don’ts and Other Tips →

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