Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wear to Work

Yesterday, my friend Stephanie and I were discussing the difficulty in finding work-appropriate tops in stores crammed full of warm weather gear. A lot of women give up and give in, assuming that if a store is selling a slew of low cut beaded tank tops, it's ok to show cleavage at the office.

It's not. Unless you're a showgirl. In which case, by all means.

A few other "Uhmmm, no's" to consider when dressing for the office in the heat of summer.
  • Flip flops (unless we're talking leather)

  • Bra straps (even clear bra straps; they're not invisible, we can still see them)

  • Mini-anything: skirts, shorts, tops

These all seem pretty logical, some might even say common sense, yes? And yet, I've seen each of these items in my corporate office. Today.

The key to my work wardrobe is lightweight, three-quarter sleeved (or short sleeved) jackets and cardigans. They can be tossed over sleeveless tops to up my professional quotient, and then taken off at my desk or when I head outside for lunch.
Liz Claiborne Faille Raglan Jacket, $129. This jacket is really cute over a denim skirt and sky-high sandals. Dress up an otherwise casual tunic, featuring a very trendy tribal print like this one, by pairing it with suit pants. Elevate it further with tasteful jewelry (think small, gold/silver) and serious shoes (closed toe and pointy, or patent peep toes for example). Take it one step further by pulling your hair back into a sleek ponytail. It's all about the presentation. I love the versatility of this crisp, safari-style shirt. It's from Babyphat and is available up to 3XL. Wear it as shown, by itself, or slip a brightly colored tank underneath. The cuffed sleeves, strong buttons and tie belt are very office chic.
Summer is very often a more relaxed time of year, both at home and work. Just don't take the casual vibe too far at the office. Get a little creative to create outfits that will keep you cool and employed.

Photo credits: LizClaiborne.com; Macys.com

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