My boyfriend works downtown and constantly complains about what the women in his office “get away with wearing”. Usually, it is the ribbed tank tops and flip flops that get him going. I work in a nearly identical environment, where a lot, but not all, of the men wear suits. This can vary day to day depending on scheduled events, but on an average day it is “business casual”, and sadly no jeans on Fridays (a perk I took for granted at my old job in Chicago!). I have found in my “research” that even the most conservative firms have “business casual” dress codes, but unfortunately for the guys, this still offers them limited options.

Personally, I love the business casual dress code, and I am sure that I stretch the limits at times, but while I on occasion wear flip flops too work, you will never find me in a meeting, or at the water cooler wearing them largely because I have a killer shoe collection I need to show off. I love dresses and skirts, but I never wear minis to work, I do wear tanktops & camis but only as layering pieces. I do want people to take me seriously in the work place, and even if I did have a sleeveless top that I felt was appropriate for the work place I usually don’t wear them because my office is an icebox! Nevertheless, some women blatantly abuse the policy and take the “casual” part a bit too literally, or they simply look like they are about to hit the clubs. I only violate the dress code when wearing “city shorts”. My office policy states:

“Women’s capri pants which end right below the knee or mid-calf are not considered business casual wear and should not be worn in the office.”

I am currently violating this policy as we speak. I am such a rebel. The reason I feel totally confident in doing so is the fact that my co-worker, a 50 year old lady, who wears bright blue mini skirts and skin tight scoop neck tank tops, has paved the way for me to wear pretty much whatever I want. Admittedly, she has a rockin’ body for 50 and she has worked here for some 30 odd years. Still, I have no concerns over my cuffed, perfectly pressed city shorts paired a short sleeved sweater and office appropriate heels. I don’t feel that I am dressing inappropriately for the office, maybe just a tad more casual than the electric blue mini.

In any event I couldn’t help but laugh at this New York Times article, and well the misfortune of all New York male professionals: “I wore shorts to work and they all laughed”- by Eric Wilson.

What do you wear to work? Are City Shorts Ok? Do Flip Flops & Camis annoy you? What do you think is & isn’t appropriate to wear into a “Business Casual” environment?

Some other press/videos about What Women Wear To Work:

The Today Show talks to US Weekly Fashion Editor about What Is or Isn’t Too Sexy For Work

iVillage Video–“Too Sexy For Work?”

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