Many companies recognize that the pace changes a bit come summer and offer a summer dress code. While it is great be cool and comfortable in the hot, hazy days of summer it is important to protect your professional reputation.
Summer Dress Code Do’s
- Know the Culture – It is critical to know the culture of your organization and to 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. Remember while it may be fashionable, it may not be appropriate for the office.
Summer Dress Code Don’ts
- Forget the Beach Attire — If you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to work. Modesty and professionalism should be the determining factors in identifying attire for work.
- Leave the Flip Flops at Home – The most frequent complaint I hear from employers is flip flops. They are very noisy in the office and most employers consider them unprofessional. Do not wear flip flips in the office if you want to be taken seriously. If you want to wear them for your walk to work fine, but be sure you have shoes in your bag to change into as soon as you reach the office.
- Cover Up – Underwear is meant to be under your clothes at all times, not visible to your co-workers. Midriff baring attire 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. Stay professional this summer to ensure your future success.