The season for office summer dress codes is upon us, and leading the way is this extremely impressive in-house email from Martha Stewart Omnimedia that came our way this afternoon.
Subject: Summer Wear (including Jeans) - Brought to us by the Editors of Blueprint.Tips! Yes, Martha-bots, yes!
As the weather warms up, it's natural for your wardrobe to lighten up—but not all of these laid-back items are office-appropriate. Here are some tips on how to make some summer staples work for work any day of the week.
How to Wear: Jeans Save ripped, stained, bleached, whiskered, or otherwise overly distressed denim for the weekend. Ditto for any styles that sit so low that they reveal flashes of your midsection when you reach up to grab a book, or your bottom when you bend down to grab your bag. Sometimes, wearing a longer top can be the solution. But the basic rule is, no peeks of skin between the top of your jeans and the bottom of your shirt. Pair jeans with a nice shirt and shoes (not a T-shirt and sneakers).
How to Wear: Sundresses
Many summer skirts and dresses are made from gauzy material, so make sure the fabric's not see-through (don't forget the back view). Coworkers should never be aware of what color/cut of undergarments you are wearing. Wear a cardigan over a dress that's strapless or low-cut. Bra straps should never be visible. Putting on leggings does not make a super-short hemline any more appropriate. Keep hems somewhere right above the knee, or lower.
How to Wear: Sandals
Feet should be clean, well-groomed, and generally presentable. If you aren't sure what this means, stick to closed-toe footwear. Flip-flops can be worn in a fashionable way, but the rubber kind—generally associated with the beach, the pool, and the dorm shower—should be saved for the weekend.
How to Wear: Tank Tops
Those tight, ribbed cotton tanks are usually better as layering items than as stand-alone tops. Bra straps should never be visible. Wear a cardigan over a strapless top.
How to Wear: Shorts
Capris and "city shorts" (the type that reach the knee) are fine, especially when paired with nice flats or heels. Short-shorts, cargo shorts, board shorts, and pretty much any other kind of shorts, are not.