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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Office Modesty Tips

It's getting hot out; obviously you don't want to be wearing lots of layers. Trouble is that summer clothes often oppose a closet constant -- the office dress code. Here are some of my tips, culled from 17 years of private school dress code subversion, for making sure your boss doesn't send you home.

Sleeveless shirts seem like a great thing for summer, but they have a hidden problem many wearers never see. When you're buying a sleeveless (or cap sleeve) shirt for work, raise your arms. Move as if you're reaching for a top shelf or across a desk. Look at your arm hole while doing this. Can you see your bra? If so, don't buy the shirt. There are plenty of sleeveless tops that won't show off your bra.
Summer Work

Some summer necklines are a wee bit low for work. You can, of course, layer a cami underneath, but who wants an extra layer? Instead, I like to drape a light silk scarf around my neck and tuck it into my top.

And now, an awkward word about pants. You may think thongs are the bee's knees. Great, but I don't need to know about your underwear. Thongs and summer-weight pants are often co-conspirators in booty display. If this is a combination you frequently wear, move about your house for a few hours making sure to do plenty of sitting, standing, bending and walking. Now check yourself in the mirror. Have things migrated to a showy level? If your pants are giving you a wedgie, change your undies.

Shoes aren't really a modesty issue, but some work dress codes don't allow sandals or other open toed shoes. I work in one such place, and have come to rely on perforated shoes to help me cope with the heat.

Are there any bits of dress code you find yourself bumping into?


Nora Bradshaw said...

Also, concerning what you said about lightweight pants and thongs--be very, very careful that those pants are OPAQUE.

Jael Paris said...

Our dress code says "You must wear underwear" because one woman doesn't grasp transparency and ride-up.

Audi said...

Also, low rise pants should always be paired with a top that's long enough to cover everything that might be visible above the waistband.

The Fashionista's said...

Totally agree with everything in this post. Just because it is hot out (every where else in the world but Vancouver Island) doesn't mean you have to put the goods on display.

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