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What Not to Wear to Work

what not to wear to workHere’s a fun question as we slide into summer with lots of summer interns and summer associates: what NOT to wear to work?  Obviously: every office is different, so know your office.  My usual guidelines for readers are these:

  1. If it’s on this list (below) of questionable items, do NOT wear it until you’ve seen your boss several midlevels wear it. Note that these people do not count as “your boss:” another summer intern, a staffer/subordinate, or someone else very junior at the company (e.g., a first-year associate). (See the interesting discussion in the comments — a lot of bosses have earned their right / have enough credibility to get away with dressing however the heck they want — just because they feel ok about wearing something doesn’t mean they’d want to see a summer intern or first-year wear it.)
  2. When in doubt, stick with classics. If it wasn’t commonly worn as workwear five years ago, question whether it’s appropriate at your conservative office — classic styles and prints tend to go over best. Track pants, culottes, ballerina-style lace up shoes… these are in a different ballpark than pencil skirts, button-front blouses, sheath dresses, and blazers.
  3. If it makes noise at all, it isn’t appropriate for the office. Cheap fabric — arm parties — loud necklaces — any sort of a shoe that makes a loud sound: be wary.

(Pictured at top, in case you like them for the weekend or evenings, clockwise: romper / eyelet cami / maxi skirt with slit / pencil skirt with slit.)

My list of “please do not wear this to your conservative office” would include:

  • short shorts or rompers (hahahaha)
  • miniskirts, or skirts with a very high slit in front or back. The sweet spot for a flattering but work-appropriate length is just above or at your knees — the fingertip test does not work for conservative offices.
  • maxiskirts or maxidresses, barring some good reason (e.g., religious reasons)
  • spaghetti straps or anything else that shows your bra / requires you to wear a special bra (halter tops, strapless tops, etc). At least, this is true when they’re worn by themselves, not as a layer under a cardigan, blazer, or as a layering piece under a blouse or dress.
  • flip flops, even if they’re leather — they may be fine for commuting shoes but I’d change into proper shoes immediately upon getting in to the office, if not just outside your office
  • anything exposing cleavage or cutouts (or, hahahaha, croptops)
  • pants of any type that are skintight, whether it’s leggings, ponte pants, or ankle pants that are skintight

My list of “know your office really well before you wear these to work” would include:

  • sandals and peep-toe styles
  • sleeveless tops and dresses, worn by themselves without a cardigan or blazer over them — this includes sleeveless vests and blazers (see our last discussion on whether sleeveless is professional)
  • lace / eyelet / sheer blouses or details
  • jumpsuits — I still think jumpsuits are best kept for weekends, but there are a ton of workwear companies showing these as a new suiting separate.  My best advice here: if it is readily apparent you’re wearing a jumpsuit, don’t wear it to work.  If it just looks like a nice blouse and pants that is super-neatly tucked, go right ahead . . . after you know your office really well.
  • anything denim – I’ve seen some really cute denim suiting separates and (ahem) have even recommended denim blazers here for outerwear and casual offices — I wouldn’t wear these around a conservative office until you’ve seen a superior do it.
  • any five-pocket style of pant that is cut like jeans (e.g., twill pants, some linen pants, etc)
  • short boots in the summertime — I’m sure they look adorable! But know your office really well before you try them for workwear.
  • bermuda shorts, culottes, track pants, skorts — be very, very wary.

Finally: I think ankle pants should be fine at this point, because they’ve certainly hit market saturation — but I’d still think of them as best for casual days until you see how and when your boss wears them (e.g., with heels only, with a really tailored top, etc).

Ladies, what are your thoughts for what not to wear to work? Do you agree with my two lists — would you move anything from my “please do not wear this to work” to the “maybe you can wear it to work” list? 

what not to wear to work at your conservative office

Comments

  1. The biggest wardrobe fail I’ve seen on a woman in the office was side boob. I should not be able to see side boob.

    The biggest wardrobe fail I’ve seen on a man was a shirt so shiny that I felt like I was at a disco in Budapest with Derek Zoolander.

  2. Anonymous :

    The new crop of summer students just started at my very large company. Some of them are dressed SO inappropriately, and I’m sorry, I think it’s inappropriate to be carrying a LV Neverfull when you’re a 19 year old in your second year of college.

    Today, I saw a regular employee wearing a shirt with a very deep back (like down to the top of her pants, it was like a keyhole but down the entire length of her back). 100% a beautiful shirt, but not for work.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have so many questions. Was the shirt otherwise appropriate, like maybe she intended to wear it with a blazer but somehow forgot her whole back was out? Could you see her bra strap in the back? Or was she braless? And mostly…. why??

      • Anonymous :

        Haha, she was not wearing a tank top, and yes, you could see her bra (it looked like one of those black lace long-line ones- the strap was probably four fingers wide, but is not a camisole, and you could see her skin through the lace)

        I ran into her in Starbucks in the lobby (our company has the whole building with several dozen floors), so I don’t think she forgot her blazer….but yes, it would be appropriate with a blazer on.

        Absolutely a gorgeous shirt for a dinner out, otherwise, not so much.

    • Anonymous :

      She was wearing a tank top with the shirt, right? I see those in my frumpy-business casual-pleated khakis office and don’t bat an eye. They’re a pretty mainstream look (AT or Loft has probably sold them at some point), so long as they’re worn with a tank under them.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, no tank under it… if there was a shirt underneath, I wouldn’t have batted an eye either!

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I don’t understand the judging of a 19 year old college sophomore (or really, any adult) carrying an LV bag. What does that have to do with anything?

      • anon in sv :

        Flashback to the thread on the Intern with the Birkin.

      • Agreed. I wouldn’t even be able to identify a LV Neverfull in a lineup.

        • Wildkitten :

          It’s the big tote bag. It’s very practical and classic and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone (a mom/aunt/etc) lent it to her for her professional summer internship.

          I’d never spent $1000 on a bag, but if someone is going to do that, I think it’s a fine bag to get. A birkin costs ten times that.

          • I’m in Boston and crazy expensive purses are definitely a thing for young, wealthy college kids. I see the LV Neverfull on the T all the time on the kids sporting their $800 Canada Goose parkas.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Agreed

      • Everyone and their mother on public transit has an LV never full. I wouldn’t think twice about it. LV is the new coach.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          I agree. They’re rampant on college campuses, so seeing a college sophomore wear one to a professional internship would not offend me at all.

    • Do you think it would be appropriate for a first year associate to carry the neverfull. asking for a friend…

      • Neverfulls were so common around my Biglaw office that I wouldn’t even notice.

        The Birkin thread (how many years ago was that?) was exacerbated by the circumstances — a much more expensive, and unusual-for-law, and impractical to boot (for what you need to carry as an associate).

      • Wildkitten :

        Yes. It’s a perfectly practical bag. Especially if you’ve already gotten your first year bonuses.

      • Anonymous :

        Maybe not in NYC BigLaw. But we have one this year (BigLaw branch office) and it is noticed.

        The other Neverfull in the office belongs to an equity partner. Know your office.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          Really? Do women in your firm just not wear designer bags, or do they avoid carrying the more conspicuous designer, signature bags?

          • In many places LV comes across as super tacky.

          • And I hope you guys all know you can buy the never full sans logo — and in leather. ihave the never full in plain black.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            Right, Runner 5. I’m trying to figure out if the “inappropriateness” of it is the cost of an LV (as Anonymous at 3:33 made a point to say the only other peron to carry a Neverfull is an equity partner) or that it’s a logo bag, which can also be frowned upon.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            There are both monogram and non-monogram, and I think those can be viewed differently by some.

        • Financial district, Boston, here – they are EVERYWHERE and just don’t feel all that special. So, it does feel silly to judge someone for it. Could be second hand, could be a good knockoff, could have been a gift…who knows.

          • BTW I also find them tacky (see thread re: being a walking advertisement for the designer). That said, tacky does not always mean inappropriate.

        • Anonymous :

          I think that it is a combination of both: expensive and notably so. Major employers in our city have had waves of layoffs starting with the crisis and shed more jobs when the #s don’t meet projections, so as cost centers, many don’t want to be outspending clients (and obviously so). Like I’m not in Houston, but that’s a city where I might not flash one around these days.

          In my city, I think a Neverfull would be OK if you were 50+. Goyard doesn’t seem to be as obvious as a Neverfull, but I never see them at work, only on moms about town. I’d also not wear anything obviously Chanel or Hermes (the big H belts). Ditto real Rockstud items.

          I see a ton of mall-store bags even on staff (Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Coach) and that doesn’t raise any eyebrows. It’s “market,” if that makes sense. I think about getting a Frank Clegg dome satchel. I know one other partner (younger, not equity) who has a Chloe bag that I see frequently (but not as much as work as on the weekend in some zip codes).

          I have to say that female lawyers at my firm and in my city are workers first and don’t dress as if they care much about fashion. Some, bless their hearts, are just not dressers. And that extends to purses.

          Again, bigger cities may care much less. We’re big enough to have an NFL team, but not NYC/Boston/LA where the rules may be different.

  3. At least for summer associates or internships that may lead to offers of full-time employment, I would be wary about wearing something questionable just because you’ve seen someone senior wear something similar. At my conservative office, people sometimes dress less formally than our business-formal dress code, either because they’re planning a day of brief-writing with the door closed or just because they can get away with it (we don’t have a dress-code police). Remember that the people you work for already have jobs. If you’re trying to get one, the whole summer is one long interview process, and you have less leeway. And you’re more likely to be interacting with senior people or be invited to walk to court for a hearing or sit in on a deposition than I am on a shut-my-door-and-work day.

    • TO Lawyer :

      +1 – I dress less formally and a bit funkier than I used to in my first year or two (still professionally but not as formal/boring), but it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily appropriate for a summer.

      And your point about being invited along is key. I know what my day looks like so if I wear something to work that’s not court-appropriate, it’s because I know I’m having an office day. But students often get asked along on the spur of the moment (but not if you’re not appropriately dressed).

    • This. The only female partner at my firm has a style that can only be described as “roller derby Barbie”: big bleach blonde hair, bright dresses, neon cardigans, patterned leggings, stripper heels, blue eyeshadow.

      Yeah. She is bad-@$$. She’s earned it. The lowly female associates and staff? Not so much. We stick to conservative business casual.

      • Wow! She sounds great. I ‘d love to see her take on a lot of the comments and fashion here.
        Does her personality match?

        I used to work with “biker babes” at an activist nonprofit…

      • Anonymous :

        WAIT — I think I know who you mean. Like Dog The Bounty Hunter’s wife looking? If we’re thinking about the same person, she is professionally great and personally awesome.

        If not, there are two of them and I’d love for them to somehow meet. Roller-Barbie-Twins: activate!

    • jumpingjack :

      A few years ago I worked at a high profile government entity where the dress was business formal. All of the women grudgingly dressed appropriately, except for one intern. Her clothes would have all been adorable – for a summer BBQ (i.e., strapless dresses, miniskirts, shiny sandals, fancy tank tops and skirts). Not only did none of the senior folks call her on it, because of her position she got to staff and even occasionally travel with the head of the entity (all of us coveted face time with the head), while much more senior people were hidden away in the office. It still fills me with fury.

    • I think that the summer associate should be counseled on day 1 as to what is and what is NOT apropriate. To many young ladie’s think that they can dress provocativeley and get the attention of the manageing partner. That is what I see on TV, like on the new TV series with Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, called “the Girlfreind Experience”. There there is a young female attorney who also has sex for money on the side and she had sex with the partner also. The clotheing she wore made it VERY easy for her to have sex, so that is something younger women should NOT think to do in real life. We are getting a summer associate this summer to work with me, so I will be able to counsel her accordingly. There is no way that OUR manageing partner will want to have sex with anyone in the office. He has Margie for that. YAY!!!

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        New life goal – I want to see one of those “is this normal?” letters to AAM from Ellen’s summer associate, describing how her new boss likes to give her life advice that makes her uncomfortable. (I know, I know, Ellen’s not real, but a woman can dream, can’t she?)

  4. HAHAHA, there are people at my office that wear 80% of what’s on both of these lists. What I haven’t seen (yet): crop tops or rompers/short shorts. I’ve seen variations of everything else – FWIW I work at a large international company with over 70k employees.

    I’ve worn a jumpsuit to work with a cardigan and I was more professionally dressed than most. I’ve seen hair band tees paired with shiny track pants. Flip flops are a staple in the summer, as are maxi skirts and maxi dresses.

    I enjoy being one of the most professionally dressed because it means I can wear fun things on casual Fridays (like my parrot top, albeit with a blazer) and stretch it a little once in a while on non-casual days. It also pays to be friends with the C-suite admin to know who will be in and when.

  5. I’m surprised to see peep toes on the tread very carefully list. I wouldn’t wear them to an interview, but they seem pretty normal in most situations to me. I’ve certainly seen a lot of attorneys wear them in court (myself included).

    (Maybe it’s a regional divide? I’m in the south and we don’t do enough city walking around here that open-toes are a problem the way they can be in NYC.)

    • Anonymous :

      Totally agree. Would never even occur to me that peep-toes are borderline inappropriate. I’m in CA.

      • I’m in NYC and I wouldn’t think they’re a problem in 98% of all situations.
        I’d also say eyelet can be appropriate in the summer depending on the styling and situation. I have a very simple lined eyelet shift dress in navy that I wear when temperatures are above 90 with a linen blazer and I think it’s fine in that context. Also would never wear to an interview but I think it’s fine on any occasion where ankle pants wouldn’t be out of place (in different weather).

    • I think this just depends on how conservative the office is. Peep toes were not permitted at my first job out of college, on Wall Street. Women’s footwear has trended more casual in the past decade or so.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I would not wear peeptoes in my office (business formal/finance).

    • Anonymous :

      I’m work in a government law office in San Francisco and peep toes are on the unspoken banned list since the head of our office is very old-school (and a man). I will wear then on a day where I plan to be in my office most of the day but I also keep closed-toed pumps in nude and black under my desk in case I need to swap my shoes. I’ll add D’Orsay shoes as also frowned upon as too risky.

  6. Sleeveless is the mistake I see summer associates making the most (and if I recall correctly I was definitely an inadvertent offender a few times at that age!). Probably because most of the above list is fairly obvious to law students, but an otherwise-appropriate sleeveless sheath dress doesn’t feel wrong? Summers, bring a cardigan or jacket with you to work!

    If you are the Girl That Is Always Cold, this goes double — spending the summer rubbing your hands along your arms in every “all summers” meeting (yep, turns out all conference rooms are equally freezing!) doesn’t make you look particularly proactive.

    • Anonymous :

      I think this may be regional too. I am in SoCal and wear sleeveless sheath dresses probably 50% of the time. I keep a jacket in my office because I get cold but no one has ever batted an eye.

      • Fair point – this was in Philly. Regular workday where you’re pretty much just in your office? Not an issue, as long as the top is otherwise conservative. Routinely sleeveless in meetings — dangerous — but adding being routinely, visibly cold for 8 straight weeks? Nope.

    • I have never worn sleeveless, but I am pretty senior now and I’ve been working out. I have “guns” and plan to show them off this summer. Yes, I can probably out lift many of the guys at work and it’s time they realize this.

    • I wear sleeveless stuff all the time (Biglaw partner in the south) and would not blink at a summer associate doing so.

  7. Caveat to when your boss wears it :

    FYI

    I am your boss. What I wear in the office is whatever I want to wear in the office. Do not let that be your guide! Mimic me only when I am in front of someone senior to me (like the firm chairperson) or a client not at a firmwide outdoor outing. I violate a lot of these rules b/c I can. But that doesn’t mean that I think it’s OK for a summer intern.

    • Interesting to see all the caveats to the boss rule — I took out a whole sentence or two to that section about how your boss can get away with MORE than you can, especially if she’s a heavy hitter with billables or serious connections, like the former SCOTUS clerk or some such. But then who do you think summer associates should look to for “know your office” guidelines, in the absence of clearly written rules?

      • Mid-levels. Not the most casual or most fashion-forward mid-level, but if multiple mid-levels wear peep-toe shoes, they’re fine for summers. But really it’s only 12 weeks (or even less). Can’t summers just keep it simple and safe for one summer?

      • I would suggest observing multiple mid-level associates (3rd to 5th years) — they’ve been at the firm long enough to know what’s appropriate/not, but aren’t yet senior enough to pull off the “what are they going to do, fire me when I’ve just billed my third 2300-hour year in a row?” summer-drafting-day-casual looks.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep, I agree with TBK. Look at the people a level or two above you.

      • It’s not that *I* think an intern shouldn’t dress like me, but that all office partner and other permanent employees get that I’ve earned my eccentricities (which often follow an all-nighter or running in while home with a sick kid or some such). If I were junior or worried that my dress weren’t offset by proven substance, I’d be working hard not to be remembered first for my attire.

        So: 3-5th years are your rabbit.

      • Agree with mid-levels, but the majority of mid-levels, not the quirky one. And emulate what they wear on their more formal days. Don’t emulate the mid-level who looks like she just pulled an all-nighter and is phoning it in today – that’s probably exactly what’s happening, and now’s not the time for the intern or summer to phone it in.

  8. legalcanuck :

    In our office, peep toe is acceptable. Maxi dresses are acceptable. sleeveless is acceptable (sleeveless, not spaghetti strap, halter or anything else but just straight sleeveless is acceptable.), capri and ankle shorts are acceptable if they are dressy. Shorts, denim, mini skirts, flip flops not acceptable.

  9. I don’t agree that something is okay to wear if you’ve seen your boss wear it. Probably a better rule of thumb is if you’ve seen multiple other senior employees wearing it. I used to report to a woman who wore wildly inappropriate clothing – skin tight, cleavage bearing, short skirts, etc. She was very much outside of the norm for our office and everyone (men and women) commented on her attire behind her back. If I had followed her lead, I would have been dressing to go to a club, not an office.

  10. Anonymous :

    I wear maxi skirts to work for casual Fridays at my business casual office. Everyone else wears jeans, but I find maxi skirts more comfortable. I at first wondered if it was appropriate, but in the end decided that jeans are no more or less casual than a maxi skirt, so I feel like I’m not breaking any rules. No one batted an eye and I kept doing it.

  11. Shopping challenged :

    I also wonder who people can look to to know their offices of not their boss.

    I forget what culottes are. Are they the same as a split skirt, or what we used to call gauchos?

    • Senior Attorney :

      As above, look at the mid-level associates.

      And yes, culottes are split skirts and were sometimes called gauchos back in the day.

  12. I once had to send an entry-level staffer home because she was wearing shorts to work, which were specifically prohibited in our dress code. Her excuse was “but they’re capris!” (They were above the knee.)

    • Were Capris ok with the dress code, anyway?
      I’ve seen dress codes explicitly say, No Capris.

  13. My problem with intern dress is that it technically meets the requirements but is still widely inappropriate. Tight pencil skirts, with button-downs opened too far and very high heels that they can’t walk in.

    • Senior Attorney :

      LOL reminds me of when my son was in Catholic high school and the girls would wear the prescribed uniforms all right, but with skirts rolled up to here and shirts unbuttoned down to there…

      • Ha! I think all Catholic school girls do that. You roll up the skirt and roll it down if you’re getting inspected.

    • Ooo, my favorite is the pencil skirt worn so tight that the slit in the back has to stretch out in a wide open V. PSA: that skirt is too small.

    • I think this is by far a bigger problem than particular items of clothing like rompers or shorts. If you look like you’re in an adult film set in an office, you’re doing it wrong.

      I would even say that the transition from student wear to workplace wear means you need to get comfortable with presenting yourself as a professional and not necessarily leaving the house looking “hot.” The pants and top that show off your curves to their greatest potential are probably not appropriate for work. You might feel like you don’t look “as good,” but you’re not there to look alluring.

  14. I question my wardrobe choices on the regular, but they are usually more tame than anything listed here or in the comments. My biggest challenge is that I am the lone female and the least tenured in a financial advisor office, and not a receptionist/admin, but also not an advisor/partner. The men typically wear dress shirts with no ties, suits with no ties for client meeting days and suits with ties for really big client meetings (maybe 6x a year). I tend to fall in line with a suit and nice blouse for client days, but go back and forth on what the equivalent of the more casual dress is for women. I’d prefer not to wear a blazer every day but I do feel it is on the safe side. We are in a midsize city in the southern Midwest. Any rules of thumb you all find helpful?

    • Anonymous :

      I would say if the men in your office aren’t wearing blazers, you don’t have to either. I would switch it out for a cardigan, as I find them more comfortable and I’m always cold inside anyway.

    • Shopping challenged :

      I like dresses & wear them a lot. I’d probably wear sheath dresses and the occasional fit n flare in the situation you describe. If you don’t like dresses, then blouse and dress pants.

  15. Anyone else work in a super casual environment? Denim, sleeveless, peep toe, sandals are all worn. It’s mostly t-shirts and jeans for the guys. Most of the women wear jeans. The majority of people sit at their desks on conference calls all day and there’s no outside client interaction.

    • Anonymous :

      I work in a “business casual” environment where some of the senior folks wear mom jeans every day, the president’s secretary wears maxi dresses, and some of the men regularly wear Birkenstocks with black socks. Most of the women appear to have last purchased clothing in 1992. I am midlevel and have decided that this entitles me to wear nice dark-wash jeans with blazers.

    • Anonymous :

      yup, people walk around without shoes.

  16. Anonymous :

    A friend of mine lost her baby a few months ago, and they’re having a remembrance service for the baby. I was thinking instead of flowers, I might do a donation to the local children’s hospital – is that weird? I’ve already sent flowers and food several times, I think flowers might be getting old.

    • jumpingjack :

      A donation is a wonderful idea.

    • Perfect.
      Other idea is donating a tree or similar to a local park.
      You’re a good friend.

      • Shopping challenged :

        You could also head up getting a park pavillion, bench, or something similar in the child/family’s name, but you’d want to talk to them about it first.

  17. Anonymous :

    Don’t wear “any sort of a shoe that makes a loud sound”? That rules out pumps and requires rubber-soled shoes. Sorry, rubber-soled shoes with suits are only for the VA bar exam.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yeah, I think click-click-click high-heeled pumps are fine as long as you can walk in them.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that that guideline was in response to the horrible black platform mules from the mid-90s. And slipdresses are making a comeback, so the mule can’t be far behind.

    • Ha! The VA bar exam … where everyone north of Richmond wore sneakers and everyone else showed they were actually Southern by wearing ballet slippers. (Which were so cute, btw, and I wished I had thought of it! Not judging at all!)

  18. I found Monday to Thursday relatively easy during my internship, once I’d got into the routine of pencil skirt, nice blouse, and cardi or blazer. What I found more difficult was casual Friday, where the only rule was ‘no football shirts’. I really wanted to avoid looking too studenty. I ended up wearing a Breton tee, blazer, and good jeans (dark wash, slim bootcut) with Chucks most weeks, I think. Some interns wore uni hoodies which I wasn’t sure about.

    • Anonomous :

      No, with the Chucks.

      • Everyone else in the office wore them on Fridays. I promise you, I was on the edge of being overdressed (and even got feedback in that direction from my manager)

  19. This has possibly been covered elsewhere but as someone who has only been pregnant mostly in the summer (August and September due dates), I think a black maxi skirt is a staple in the summertime! My office is fairly business casual (but no jeans ever) and I wouldn’t consider it while not pregnant but no one here is going to begrudge my long skirt in my current state.

    • I don’t think you will have a problem with the black maxi, it should keep you a bit cooler. I carried my son during the summer months and I wore mostly long dresses to be comfortable.

  20. Catholic Church :

    Has anyone re-joined the Catholic church as an adult? What does that process look like? I would like to do this. I received sacraments up until confirmation (not confirmed) and DH was baptized. Where do we start? Among other reasons, we want our children to be baptized and brought up in the Catholic church.

    I appreciate this process likely varies from parish to parish, but I’m wondering where to start. (BTW the “Catholics Come Home” s!te is not helpful). Just a call to the local rectory? TIA!

    • Catholic Church :

      gah. Posted in wrong place!

    • In the Pink :

      Each parish should have an RCIA program. Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. The point person can give you an overview. I believe you’d both take the course and then, next Easter Vigil, if you are ready, you receive the Sacraments which you have not received to date as an adult. You can receive as many as appropriate all that one night. If you are not “ready,” then it rolls over to the next Easter etc. If you are starting now, you might have sufficient time to go through the weekly courses/meetings … Welcome Back!

      • The formal RCIA process typically starts with inquirers’ classes in the fall (sometime around Michaelmas). There will be a rite for official acceptance into the catechumenate (which may vary slight for both of you, as you’re both baptized), which is typically after Christmas, but well before Lent (around Annunciation Day). So you should have plenty of time to complete the process for an Easter 2017 date – Ascension Day is this week, so the post-Easter mystagogia period (the time when the candidates that were baptized/confirmed this past Easter are specially honored/prayed for by the church) isn’t even over yet.

        (Not a Catholic, but dated a guy for four years whose mother ran the parish RCIA program, and completed a portion of RCIA in another parish before deciding I was an unrepentant Protestant, albeit of the very high church variety.)

    • Faith2014 :

      “I received sacraments up until confirmation (not confirmed)”

      I was like you. However, I attended a CCH class put on by a parish in my diocese.

      I called the church that would be my parish, and after talking with the pastoral associate, I was allowed to skip RCIA. Of course, I had already read the Catechism and was very knowledgeable about the religion and the faith. Of course, you may wish to attend RCIA with your DH.

      Many people have said the RCIA is a waste of time, so be aware that your experience can vary tremendously across your diocese. Welcome Home, btw.

  21. I would also add to check your underwear. With warmer temps comes lighter fabrics. When I worked downtown I would see at least 2 women a day who were wearing a light coloured skirt or pants and dark underwear or underwear with a pattern that you can TOTALLY see through the skirt. Nude underwear please!

  22. Reading this list makes me happy to work in a business casual to casual office as the most senior woman. I can wear whatever I want, pretty much. Yay for the construction industry with offices in the middle of an industrial park just outside city limits. Actually, sometimes I really miss dressing up and going to work downtown, but it has been fun expanding my more casual wardrobe.

  23. I got bit by the “it’s OK if the boss wears it” guideline once when I was a young whippersnapper. I had a temp job working in an accounting office during tax season. The boss wore jeans, so I came in wearing jeans one day after I’d been there a couple weeks. NOPE! One of the permanent staff pulled me aside and said “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you before! SHE can wear jeans. WE can’t.”

  24. Shopping challenged :

    Idk if anyone is still reading this, but if so, what do you think of culottes/split skirts being on the “no” list? I’ve seen some that are really full, are hard to distinguish from a full skirt, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t be acceptable office wear.

  25. I’ve always added a caveat with whether or not leggings are appropriate. I think they’re ok when worn as a replacement for tights, as in with ankle boots under a knee length skirt or dress. But they have to look like they could be tights. It’s warmer and more comfortable in winter. I’m not sure why you’d do this in the summer though.

  26. Stephanie L :

    Check your makeup, young ones! The heavy cat eye, the weird stripe of bright eye shadow… It’s not for the conservative office.

  27. Metallic gold thigh high gladiator sandals. I have NO idea why our receptionist thinks this is okay.

  28. Anonymous :

    This is a great article! Can you do “capsule wardrobe for work”? I’ve seen a million casual ones but nothing I can really use!

  29. I’m starting a job at the county courthouse and was wondering if tunics, not extra long and definitely not sheer are okay for a business casual setting? I would either be wearing them with dress pants or tucked into midi length skirts/pencil skirts, below the knee. Also, are brown/black leather boots okay with tights or dress pants for winter/fall?

  30. Great list! What is it if you are going to office wearing short shorts and rompers? Wah, can’t imagine! But mini skirt seem fine to me. Though it look not professional but it’s okay.

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