It feels as though the dank winter season has lasted an eternity by the time March rolls around. Retail stores tantalize shoppers with spring wardrobe teasers beginning in mid-January, students plan spring break trips as February passes by and the days slowly get warmer and longer. With the onset of spring, the office dress code is often overlooked, particularly in the earliest warm days when employees are thrilled about the weather change.
And then come the flip flops!
And never-before-seen tattoos now revealed by spaghetti strap tank tops and sundresses. A more casual, golf-friendly look for the fellas who are heading to the course or track with friends after work. With the emergence of warm weather, office dress policies are often disregarded and what’s worse, management may address some violations while letting others go unnoticed. It’s important to be consistent both as an employee and as a manager; while at work, avoid potential visits to the HR office by following dress codes regardless of the temperature outside, and as a supervisor, ensure that all employees are treated equally in terms of enforcing policy.
Stay cool, look seasonal and feel professional by following these tips:
Men should opt for:
- lighter fabric pants and jackets
- slightly roomier and lighter colored dress shirts that are still crisp and ironed
- Tan or brown cap-toe dress shoes and thinner dress socks which pair well with the season’s khaki-colored pants.
Ladies can show off spring pedicures and glowing skin while still following most dress codes with:
- peep-toe heels or sandals that aren’t too strappy or casual (check with your HR department for detailed descriptions of shoes that are deemed appropriate.)
- chic sheath dresses that pair nicely with a light cardigan or short-sleeved jacket
- light fabric, brightly colored blouses worn underneath 3/4 sleeve suit jackets and appropriately-styled skirts
A few years ago, I worked at a non-profit organization that followed a business casual dress code; the HR director regularly stated that if employees were unsure about whether or not their outfit of choice was appropriate, it probably wasn’t. Go with your gut instinct and remember – if you’re respecting the company dress code, you’re respecting yourself and those you serve, as well as ensuring you’re safe on the job (no one needs a sprained ankle from wearing flip flops!)