Summer is finally here, which means that Summer Fridays are coming into play. For adults, Summer Fridays are pretty much the equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (minus all that gratuitous killing of innocent children). Some employers let their employees take every or every other Friday off, some leave work at noon, and others have a more relaxed dress code. Let’s discuss how to gear up for Summer Fridays, but before you splurge on a new wardrobe, we need to cover what is and isn’t appropriate to wear to the office on casual Fridays.

The problem is, “casual” to some people means “my audition outfit for The Jersey Shore.” And let me assure you, I am not trying to demean you. one fateful summer day when the temperature was up, and I was in the middle of moving so exhausted, all I could find to wear was this little flimsy sundress—which is quite generous to call a “dress.” The clothing item I chose to wear that day wasn’t appropriate for the office, but surprisingly my boss didn’t seem to care. He was more concerned with my choice of footwear: a gold thong sandal. This demonstrates that dress codes can be different in every work environment. Wearing a bralette with jean shorts to work is probably not going to be well-received in most professions, but if you work in fashion, it’s more than likely acceptable.

If you’re undecided, we recommend sticking to this list:

1. Please Keep Your Sunglasses Off While Inside.

Aviators and Wayfarers might be trendy, but they should only be worn by celebrities – not lunching businesspeople trying to look casual. If you’re anything like me, once you need your glasses, it’ll take five minutes to find them because you forgot they were on your head.

2. Flip-Flops

Devoted might be an understatement when it comes to my feelings toward flip-flops. I even wear them for fine dining in the summer! But if you think about it, they are the most casual of shoes–too much so to even earn the name “sandal.”

Flip-flops have become an integrated part of our culture. In the past, they were only associated with the beach or shower, but in recent years they have been seen more and more on college campuses. The most influential moment for flip-flops was when the Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse team all wore them to meet President Bush at the White House. They were photographed in skirts and tops with their feet decked out in flippers (because saying “flip-flops” would have been too difficult, apparently). From that point on, people believed that as long as you looked nice on top, it was okay to wear flips downside.

“Flip-flops are for the pool, the beach, and barbecues. I’m all for comfort, but there is plenty of comfortable, stylish shoe alternatives that will help you look polished and professional. Your co-workers will thank you,” says Diana Baros, founder, and editor of The Budget Babe. In addition, flip-flops can create a lot of noise and sometimes give off a scent. I remember when I used to work in New York City and the moment I left work, I would put on my flip-flops and walk around for hours. Unfortunately, this led to me getting a stress fracture and toe infection.

3. Short-Shorts

There will always be” The Great Shorts at Work Debat,” but with shorts, you need to read the environment of your office. If it is a hip, young startup, go for it. But I would recommend making sure they are nice-looking shorts and not your jean cut-offs. If you are worried, maybe try wearing a longer Bermuda short instead.

4. Crop Tops

Crop tops are currently in fashion, but that does not mean you should wear them to work. If you have a flat stomach, congratulations; however, there is no need to show it off inside the office!

5. Any See-through Clothing

The summer heat is upon us, and we all know how that can affect our choice of clothing. Instead of wearing something revealing to work, try to focus on your professional assets instead.

6. Rompers

woman wearing floral romper holding a camera near rock wall

In the last few years, summers have become synonymous with rompers. It’s almost as if somebody said, “Hey, you know who always looks chic? Babies in their onesies. Let’s make them for grownups.” While a few brands make very cute rompers, they still occupy that strange middle ground between a little dress and small pair of shorts.

In addition, there are a few key issues with rompers. Most people don’t understand how the shorts and top are connected, or why anyone would want to wear something called a romper. This shouldn’t be something that you have to explain during a business meeting.

Additionally, you have to disrobe almost entirely every time you use the restroom. This makes any outfit that requires you to strip down impractical for work.

7. Low-Quality Dresses

The sturdiness of a dress also matters in an office setting – you don’t want to be caught in a Marilyn Monroe moment if a gust of wind comes along. Moreover, offices are often freezing during the summer, so you might have to wear a coat over your dress anyway.

What are some other fashion mistakes you should avoid on Summer Fridays? Let us know in the comments section!

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