15 office clothing choices you should never make in the summer

Even though we live in an increasingly casual world where yoga clothes or post-yoga class or you-walked-by-a-yoga-studio-and-thought-about-it-but-got-frozen-yogurt-instead-clothes are the norm for everyday wear, there are still a few lines you cannot cross in offices.

Now, yes, many office environments like startups have literally what seems like zero rules when it comes to attire and in the summer, boundaries are especially pushed because of the higher temperatures which some people view as an excuse to wear ANYTHING.

However, there are a couple of cardinal rules you should always follow in a workplace setting. After all, you never know when an unexpected and important guest, like the CEO, or big meeting is going to pop up and you look like an extra in a Miley Cyrus video.

Plus, a recent survey OfficeTeam found that 86% of workers and 80% of managers feel clothing choices affect a person’s chances of being promoted. So consider the following guidelines.

For women

1. Short shorts

Especially of the denim variety. “Stick to a smarter denim pick if your workplace allows jeans, and save the frayed short shorts for the weekends,” said former Teen Vogue editor Mary Kate Steinmiller to Who What Wear. And even if they aren’t denim and cost a lot of money, some workplaces still have no shorts rules (even if they are as long as some of the skirts you wear) so definitely check before you bust them out.

2. Tube tops

First of all no matter what, you end up spending half your day pulling your tube top up so it is super distracting for you and everyone around you. Strapless is always just a bit tricky in an office setting. If you’re desperate to show off your shoulders op for a cold shoulder top like this one.  Halter tips fit under this umbrella as well. 

3. Crop tops

Yes, they are all the rage and congrats on having a midriff area you are comfortable sharing with the general public, but Dan in accounting doesn’t need to see your naval. “In my opinion, the biggest fashion faux-pas would be wearing crop tops at work. Keep these pieces for going out with friends in the evening or on weekends!” PR Coordinator Simone Kuhfal for FORWARD by Elyse Walker said to Who What Wear. 

4. Leggings

There will probably be some arguments on this and even though most brands tout “Leggings: They’re almost like pants!”, they aren’t. Unless you are a workout instructor, save these for yoga class or the walk by yoga class to fro-yo.

5. Rompers

Now after some research it seems that a formal jumpsuit is OK for some offices and maybe if you work in fashion overalls are acceptable, but even women who work in fashion say rompers are a no-no. First of all, you have to get naked when you go to the bathroom which just feels wrong in the workplace. Second, they confuse people so you may become the center of attention in a bad way and thirdly, they somehow come across as more casual than shorts.

If you work in a fairly casual office but still aren’t sure about certain items, see if your boss or someone higher up is wearing them (definitely not the intern) and then assume you can wear them.

For men

1.Tank tops

Nice guns but just no.

2. Shiny Shirts

It’s work, not a nightclub.

3. Deep v-necks

Just like women have to be careful with how much cleavage they show off at work, men also need to be aware of their décolletage.

4. A suit jacket with shorts

Even LeBron James couldn’t pull this off. Suits need pants.

5. Sandals with socks

If you’re too cold to wear sandals then just wear regular shoes with socks. You can’t have both!

For everyone

1. Flip flops

Yes, these have become a staple of society in the summer and people do wear them for fine dining, but they really should be kept out of the office. Plus, walking in them if you live in the city is terrible for your feet and relatively unhygienic.

2. Mesh or sheer anything

Nothing transparent should be in the office. “There are many things I would not wear to the office, even in the casual fashion-friendly environment I work in. The first would be anything sheer. The office is not the place to test the boundaries on the level of coverage your clothing provides you,” Lauren Eggersten, Editor for Who What Wear said.

3. Anything stained, dirty or wrinkled

This one seems like common sense but you never know. You always want to do your best to look professional and not show the world that you haven’t had time to do your laundry or ironing.

4. Anything you wear to the beach

A simple rule of thumb: If you would find this at the beach, don’t wear it to work.

5. A giant floppy hat

This falls under the beach category somewhat but really any kind of large hat is a solid no.