Monday, June 16, 2008

What not to wear at work... unless, maybe, you work at hooters or something...

(Disclaimer: In no way am I referring to anyone specific or any place of business in particular, except for Hooters I guess, but am merely constructing a post based upon my various observations throughout the years coupled with an article or two I have read on the subject.)

Ah, summer. It's that ephemeral time when temperatures and spirits soar, when daylight hours stretch to their capacity and when visions of swimming and boating dance in people's heads. I personally heart the summer, and can't think of a single person who doesn't feel at least slightly the same way.

Because the summer is often scorching hot, the inclination to wear less clothing comes to the forefront, and can often spill into the workplace. Sure, it's fun to break out the capris and cotton tops/tees, not to mention sandals and other fun footwear; however, it is important to note that there is a line that should not be crossed when it comes to office attire, regardless of temperature or any other factor. Below is a short list of work fashion faux pas that should be avoided like the plague. (To some of you, these may be a no-brainer, but I am constantly astounded at how many people think these things are acceptable in the workplace.)

Faux Pas #1: Visible Bra Straps

I have never understood why some women think that a visible bra strap is sexy. Or why, if they don't find that it is sexy, they don't invest in a strapless bra, or at the VERY least wear a bra the same color as the shirt being worn or that has a clear strap. That being said, one should never bare their straps at the work place. It's just TACKY. Say you worked at a law firm and had an important meeting with a client. Are they going to take you seriously if your underwear is showing? I think not. Say you're a server at a restaurant and your straps are showing. It's thoroughly unappetizing to the nth power. Oh yeah, and don't wear pants/skirts so low I can see your thong, even when you're not bending over. Save that for Hooters.

Faux Pas #2: Sheer Tops

This blunder is directly related to the aforementioned faux pas, because it, again, deals directly with the inappropriate display of underwear. If you are wearing a shirt that is even remotely sheer, it is in your best interest to wear a tank top underneath. Why? Because people do not want to know what color/brand of bra you are wearing. This can apply to men too. If I can see your man boobs through your shirt, you need another layer.

I would think this sort of thing would be innate in people-- sheer at work is bad, layers are good-- but I have been proven wrong time and time again. Be it at a restaurant or another place of business, I am utterly befuddled at the prevalence of this practice. And let's be honest, most people are NOT as skinny as the girl in this picture and should layer for MULTIPLE reasons. (Love handles, anyone?)

Faux Pas #3: Copious Cleavage/Terrible Tanks

This Faux Pas encompasses two separate, but oft times amalgamated, aspects of work attire inappropriateness: cleavage and a tank top. First off, I don't think cleavage is ever that sexy. Oft times it's the ladies who don't have the "Victoria's Secret" grade chest that display themselves in thoroughly degrading ways; concerning those who do have said "Victoria's Secret" grade chests, they still should NOT be displaying their assets at work! It's distracting. It's so horrendously unprofessional. And demeaning for all women. If you're still trying to play the "I'll just flaunt my body to get ahead" card, I honestly pity you.

And though a skinny tank top is great for a hot day, it is NEVER appropriate for work. Wear a flattering sleeveless shirt that extends to your shoulder if you want to air out your armpits. Don't dress like you're off to the club after work.

Faux Pas #4: A short hemline

Unless you're a cheerleader (or you work at Hooters), I'm thinking that a short skirt is not appropriate for the office. I've read that a work skirt should never be shorter than an inch or two above your knee, though from my reading it appears that knee length skirts are preferable. As with all of the previous faux pas, it all goes back to a sense of propriety. Hey, if you like miniskirts and want to wear them on your own time, be my guest. But it's just not an acceptable look for work.

In all these cases, I have found that they are just as (if not more) distracting to members of the same sex than to members of the opposite sex. I mean, if someone came into my office and leaned over my desk and all I could see were her "girls" I'd be uncomfortable. More than that, I would be bugged because it gives all us professional females a bad rep. Cover up, for the love!

I hope I have not offended anyone by this post, for though I am serious, I don't mean to put anybody down. I just think in this age of political correctness we all sometimes lose our sense of propriety and respect for rules that have been set for the purpose of professionalism. But maybe that's just me.


Kenna said...

Awesome. I broke all the rules in ONE DAY!


Allison & Noah Riley said...

Can I get an amen...?

Matt'n Mal Johns said...

Lauren, I laughed so hard! It made my time at work more bearable! Thanks girl!