It’s summertime and the living is easy. Many companies have a more relaxed, casual dress code in the summer but it is important to maintain your professional image. Check out some tips below and read some of my pointers in Annette Richmond’s advice column with more advice on How to Stay Cool and Professional This Summer. She recommends some great places to shop whether you are looking for moderately priced work wear, trendy dresses for young professionals, or high-end fashion without the high-end prices for the Fasionistas out there!
- Know the Culture — Critical to know the culture and follow the lead of the managers in your group or division. Some companies have no relaxation of the dress code in the summer and any attempt to be more casual would be frowned upon. In some companies summer casual means no neckties. Before you head to the office in capri’s, shorts or a golf shirt, be sure you understand what the expectations are in your specific office. You do not want to stand out negatively from the crowd.
- Stay Professional – Your goal should be to always appear professional while on the job. Even with a more relaxed summer dress code it is important that you still project a professional image. Focus on professional looking business casual attire.
- Be Modest and Conservative –Think about whether you would want the president of the company or an important client to see you in that outfit. If the answer is no, don’t wear it to work. Think about whether it projects the image of the company or your own personal brand.
- Forget the Beach Attire — If you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to work.
- Leave the Flip Flops at Home – The most frequent complaint I hear from employers if flip flops. They are very noisy in the office and most employers consider them unprofessional. Do not wear flip flips in the office.
- Cover Up – Underwear is meant to be under your clothes at all times, not visible to your co-workers. Midriff baring or plunging necklines are also not appropriate for the office.
Protect Your Reputation
Your reputation at work is your personal brand. You work hard to known as a capable, competent professional who does great work in a timely manner. Do not ruin or at least tarnish that reputation by dressing unprofessionally in the workplace. It is not worth it.