Since I started this blog a short time ago I have received many questions from friends and readers regarding “work appropriate clothing”. While the answers to many of these questions may depend on knowing your own work environment (many may not have as strict/formal dress codes as my work), there are also some standard rules to abide by.
Review my post on appropriate skirt lengths.
Maxi dresses/skirts- I say never, unless your office has a loose casual Friday policy. While I love this look for the weekend, during the week, especially in my office, the boho look does not exactly fit in with the standards of office sophisticate.
Bandage skirts- NEVER. This is something to be worn in your free time. I have seen many tour guides at the Colorado Capitol sent home for wearing these skirts, usually because they are too tight and too short. And, since they are the first people to interact with visitors in the Capitol, I can’t say I blame their supervisor.
Open toe shoes and wedges- Honestly, this depends on your work environment. I think open toe sling backs can be acceptable, but if they are shoes your would normally wear on a date or night out then don’t wear them to work. As for wedges, I personally don’t wear them to work, but as some of you may have noticed from my photos, I have a tattoo along the side of my right foot. I usually opt for shoes that will at least cover part of it so it isn’t so obvious, and most wedges don’t do that.
Boots- Again, this depends on your work environment. Condoleezza Rice got a lot of heat from the press a few years ago for pairing knee-high boots with a skirt. Honestly, due to its history as the “Wild West”, cowboy boots are considered formal attire in Colorado. It is not uncommon to see people in the capitol pairing them with suits and dresses. Also, because of the harsh winters here, knee-high boots are generally acceptable as long as they are conservative (meaning no excessive buttons, zippers, buckles, or slouchy styles).
Sleeveless Styles- Think about the rules from high school: anything wider than 1.5 inches is okay. This may depend on your workplace, but I have found this is a good rule to live by, even though I prefer to wear nothing less than cap sleeves.
See-through shirts- ALWAYS wear an undershirt/camisole under them! This will ensure you can NEVER see your bra through them. I cannot tell you how many women I have worked with, in many different work environments, who have been sent home because you can see their black bras through their flimsy white shirts… NOT CLASSY. This is a universal rule.