So there’s this great piece on USA Today about how “business casual” can be confusing to some people — this one 24-year-old PR executive was shocked (shocked, we tell you!) when she wasn’t allowed to attend a meeting dressed in Bermuda shorts and flip flops.
So I thought it might be fun to have an open-thread today about what attire makes you really raise your eyebrows. Obviously, every office is different, but I think we can all do a public service by listing which garments and accessories someone might want to think twice before wearing.
For my own list:
- Any shorts (or any pants that are less than full length — ankle-length pants and capris will be questionable at some offices!)
- Flip-flops (whether they’re plastic or leather, rethink)
- Sandals of any kind; peep toe shoes are also often questionable at the most conservative offices
- Tall boots (even knee-high used to be questionable, but over-the-knee styles are definitely questionable)
- Anything that is overly noisy in the hallways (flip-flops are the primary offender here, but other things qualify also — corduroy pants, for example)
- Denim, or items cut like denim (e.g., 5 pockets) — cords, khakis, etc.
- Lace or sheer clothing
- Sleeveless tops or dresses (worn without a cardigan or blazer on top)
- Any item that can be worn to the gym (sneakers, yoga pants, terrycloth wristbands, large shapeless t-shirts)
- Anything too short, tight, or low-cut
Readers, what “think twice” list have you compiled from your time at the office? Any fun “I couldn’t believe she wore that” stories that you’d care to share?