Whether it’s appropriate to wear sleeveless dresses or shirts to the office is a hot debate. With many offices becoming less formal than in previous years, it can be difficult to tell where the line is. This is especially true if your office doesn’t have a handbook with a clearly laid-out dress code. So, what are some of the guidelines about going sleeveless to work in the middle of the summer?
“Your bra should never be visible at work.”
What industry do you work in?
Conservative offices are likely a little less open minded about sleeveless outfits than offices that house people in more creative professions. If you’re a lawyer or banker or work in politics, it may be best to err on the side of caution when wearing sleeveless dresses. That’s not to say they aren’t an option. Just consider keeping a blazer or cardigan at work. After all, it’s never a comfortable temperature in an office!
Consider the straps
If you’re considering wearing a sleeveless blouse or dress to work, pay attention how the straps look. The wider the shoulder strap, the more likely it’s acceptable for the office. Be sure that your bra straps don’t peek out. Your bra should never be visible in an office setting. Luckily, if you’re shopping for your work clothes in a more conservative store, many fashion-forward, corporate-friendly lines take caution regarding the size of arm holes to ensure you don’t have any wardrobe malfunctions.
And the material
A blouse made of chiffon will be a lot more office-friendly than a ribbed beater tank that was 2 for $20. Use your best judgment when deciding whether you should wear an outfit to the office or not. Sadly, many offices don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to the weather and women’s dress codes, so never leave a store without scouring the racks for a work-appropriate sleeveless top.
What does the rest of the dress look like?
It should go without saying that if you’d wear it to a nightclub, you should not wear it to work, no matter your industry. Keep your bandage dresses and spaghetti straps reserved for the evening. It’s also important to be sure that the dress or blouse at hand won’t expose any cleavage either. There are plenty of tailored, conservative options like a sleeveless sheath dress that are appropriate in just about any office.
If other people wear them – go ahead!
The upper arms are a “problem area” for many ladies. A lot of women feel as if young ladies with toned upper arms are the only ones who can wear sleeveless shirts or dresses to work. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. If one person can wear it to work, everyone can. We can’t all be Michelle Obama, so don’t let any insecurities get in the way of being comfortable this summer. You look awesome!
Have an option to cover up
Most offices pump the AC a little bit too much in the summer to offset the high temperature outside. While your commute to work may be a scorcher that calls for going sleeveless, keep an all-purpose cardigan or blazer with you that goes with most of your outfits in case you feel a little bit of a chill or want to dress your outfit up for a meeting.