01 June 2007

Office don'ts -- warm weather edition

After Monte spotted a woman walking in front of us who was in the commission of committing all but two of these warm weather professional style crimes, I thought it was about time he and I climbed back up on that high horse of ours (we got off at one point to get soft-serve and chat up a guy who might know a guy who lives near Mitt Romney) and laid out a few easy-to-follow guidelines to help keep you from becoming the office trollop this Summer.


Here they are, my warm weather professional don'ts:

Just because it's the color of sunshine doesn't mean it needs to accompany you to your cubicle. If you choose to wear bright Spring/Summer shades, make sure to do so in small complementary doses and to compensate with an at least knee-length hem, a higher scoopneck and a slightly longer pair of sleeves. On the weekend, go as nuts-o with bold prints and fluorescent yellow tiered eyelet skirts as you want, but in the office, get away with only that which you know you can get away with. Don't ruin casual Friday for everyone else.
DC humidity makes even the driest skin shine-saturated. Dewy is desirable, greasy is not. If your face tends to fall into the latter category, pick up a 100-pack of Shiseido Pureness oil-control blotting paper. I think we can all agree sleeveless tops are not universally flattering. This won't win me any popularity points with the readers who already think I'm "harmfully" judgmental, but I truly believe arms past a certain girth and that possess a certain ham-hock quality need to stay under wraps -- pun intended.
A nice tan alone does not a work-ready face make. Well, not in 99% of cases. Ladies, Summer-kissed skin is great for requiring less makeup - I've already buh-byed my foundation until October - but not no makeup. On the weekends, do whatever you want, but during the work week, blotchy spots, dark circles and ripe blemishes should still be tended to with at the very least a few pinpoints of concealer.
If you're going hose-free and/or sleeveless multiple times per week, that means you need to carve out a few extra minutes in the shower for some razor action. Not once a week, not whenever you can remember, but the day of, or, if you shower in the evenings, the night before. You might score a point or two in the to-wear-or-not-to-wear makeup argument, but when it comes to leg and pit whiskers, there is only one determination -- unequivocally unacceptable. And no, Europeans are not granted immunity.
I've railed against the special occasion shoe in a number of previous posts, but here I am again, because you - DC women - don't seem to be listening. Every single day, whether I'm on my way to work, on my way to Cosi or on my way home, I see dozens upon dozens of pairs of these jewel-accented strappy stilettos. In all honesty, I'd rather you were lazy with sneakers than grossly inappropriate with prom shoes.

Ah, the comfort sandal. A favorite of Peace Corps volunteers and soccer Moms alike. A good test is to ask yourself whether you'd wear these to Costco on a Sunday afternoon -- if the answer is "yes," they don't belong in the law firm.
If you keep your jacket on at all times, the bare-back halter might be an acceptable selection. My only suggestion is that if you do take this risk, purchase a bra - not petals, not pasties but a bra - that will allow you to wear your work-to-bar transition top without letting your hasn't-had-sex-in-43-days boss get a peek (or four) at the pointed effect the AC has on your sensitive bits.

8 comments:

dc girl said...

comfort sandals should be banned across the board, not just in professional situations. they are ugly with a capital "U" and make even the prettiest feet look clunky.

tom h said...

Jo you just hit a home run again I couldn't agree with you more especially about the sandals...uugly for sure.....

msu guy said...

The no makeup issue is an interesting one. As a man, I'm pretty open to women doing whatever they want in this area, but you're right, when a woman walks into a meeting looking like she hasn't seen a tube/stick of concealer in her life, it's really quite distracting. Likewise, though, for one who walks in with inch-thick war paint.

Not saying that's right or wrong, but it's a fact.

I'd also like to throw my hat in the ring on the comfort sandal point. My daughter wears them at 5 years old, and that's the only age group I believe who can pull them off. Those things on a grown woman is an immediate turn-off.

nyc belle said...

you are too funny ... yes i agree with all points made today ... hell no for those ugly sandals.

Anonymous said...

Can I make a request for a ban on flip-flops as well? Just keep 'em to the beach.

Lady Tiara said...

what i don't get is the vast chasm between the awful comfort sandals and the awfully inappropriate evening shoes. i see so many women in their work clothes with one or the other, and i just don't understand why they can't find a happy medium. you know, something not clunky or bejeweled.

wanting input said...

in terms of work skirts, how short is too short?

Johanna said...

"wanting input"-

no matter how laid back your office is, I wouldn't go any shorter than two inches above the knee. And remember, if you do push the envelope down below, compensate up top with a higher neckline and a blousier fit.