It’s time to check your wardrobe: Dress codes for summer

As summer nears and you start changing your wardrobe from the darker colors and longer lengths of winter, everything starts to look brighter. But, just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean your company’s dress code needs to go out the window.

In fact, if you’re a manager, it’s probably a good idea to send out a little dress code reminder before it gets too hot. It’s easier to remind people than it is to have to send someone home for wearing something inappropriate.
And what is inappropriate in the office? Well, of course, that is going to vary from place to place. But, the reality is, with the advent of air conditioning, most offices aren’t warmer in the summer than in the winter. So a good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t wear something with this length and this cut during winter, you shouldn’t wear it in the summer. (Color is a different thing!)
If your company’s dress code is vague, or merely based on looking around at what the boss wears, here are some general guidelines for summer dress code wear.

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5 thoughts on “It’s time to check your wardrobe: Dress codes for summer

  1. In my jurisdiction, it is illegal to have different workplace standards for men than for women, and I imagine this would apply to dress codes as well. “Women can wear sandals but men cannot”? All of our dress codes are expressly gender neutral. I am surprised that the States would be different, as I thought the US was one of the more litigious societies (I presume this advice is intended for an American audience), but I guess everywhere is different.

    1. Where are you located? In the US dress codes can be different, but similar. For instance, you can require men to wear a tie, but not require women to wear a tie.

      1. Canada.

        A different dress code for genders is just so bizarre for my sensibilities. How is requiring men to wear ties different than saying employees over a certain age must wear ties? Or even that one specific race must wear ties? We would consider all of these things to be adverse differentiation, if an employee of x class would be disciplined for something accepted in an employee of y class. Instead, my employer just goes with neutral dress standards.

        Practically, how does a differing dress code apply to employees who are transgendered, of XXY chromosome type, or whose gender is just not apparent upon a first appearance? These edge cases would not be very fun either. Of course, I work for an extremely large employer – a small employer could probably just hope it never came up.

  2. One way of assessing that your attire is acceptable is if nobody, especially bosses and/or customers, comments on your attire. Blending in, neither attracting more than maybe a little nor offending, can be a desirable objective.

    I do mention to employees if their attire is not up to par. At one job, an accounting clerk came to work in short shorts. I told the controller to correct the situation. He pushed back wondering what the problem was. I repeated my directive and he fixed the problem. At another job, a HR generalist was wearing jeans with fashionable holes in them. As I was the acting HR director at the time, I said something. She went home during the lunch break and changed clothes, Months later she confided that she felt embarrassed that she wore the wrong things.

  3. If you’re a nurse, you get to go to work in pajamas. One of the many benefits….:)

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