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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 →

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    No matter how hot it is during summer we have to observe the dress code in the office. We shouldn't make it an extension of our living room or bedroom.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I worked for a company; just recently, that actually had a casual Friday policy. On Fridays any staff member could wear street clothes as long as the shirt represented one of the games we administered. It was a call center that was contracted with Zynga games; i.e. Mafia Wars, Texas Hold'em Poker, Farmville, etc.
    But, things that could get an employee sent home were: showing up in shorts with the bottom hem higher than the knee, t-shirts that depicted an other product of service not authorized by the company.
    If an employee chose to they could still wear business casual attire; dress slacks, dress shirts or polo shirts, and comfortable shoes.
    For the women the appropriate dress was a flattering blouse, skirts or spants that were below the knee. Jewelry could only be studs, and cologne had to be kept to a minimum.

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  • Dewoun_hayes_pic_max50


    about 5 years ago


    This reminds me of the episode on The Office and they were talking about Casual Fridays! At my workplace (which is a community college) we live for casual Fridays, and I have yet to see someone take it too far. Although, I have seen some flip flops! This is a great article and made me laugh when I started thinking about that television episode.

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