The bright and sunny days of summer are almost here! And with them come the most enjoyable work perks – such as Summer Fridays, company barbecues, exciting vacations, and see-through tops for those who like to show off in style. With summer comes an abundance of opportunities for relaxation and leisure, so it’s imperative not to forget that a workplace still demands professionalism even in the warm months.

Indeed, the weather may be heating up, but one should never sacrifice style for comfort. Shorts can get shorter, fabrics lighter, and tops smaller (although we aren’t sure if they deserve to be called “tops”). However, there must still remain a line between fashion-forward and tasteless. Even though the office may be relaxed, chances are your colleagues do not want to take in a show of all the beachwear you possess. In an office with a casual dress code, why not take advantage of the opportunity to wear shorts and T-shirts if you feel comfortable in them? If you’re uncertain of your wardrobe options for a casual Friday at work or new to the professional sphere (hello, fresh graduates!), we are here to help. This guide aims to provide helpful tips and guidelines on what attire is appropriate in this less formal environment.

1. Crop tops

    It’s time to face the facts: this trend is here to stay. Sure, Kim Kardashian wears them with a pencil skirt all the time – but it isn’t like she’s working in an office! Unless you’re employed by one of the most fashion-forward companies out there, we can confidently say that you should steer clear of these items if you want to maintain your workplace dress code. We aren’t alone either; many industry experts agree with us on this one! In their popular work fashion blog, The Politesse, the founders wrote a piece on the ever-trendy cropped top:

    “As a young woman embarking on her career, we want you to be taken seriously and given the respect you deserve. While we like to think the workforce is progressive and appreciates personal style, some people will look for any excuse to reprimand. Don’t let a simple top be that reason.”

    2. Flip-flops

      Every summer, the thought of liberation from confining footwear always stirs up excitement. Our feet deserve to feel as unconfined and unrestricted as possible! Flip-flops have come a long way since they were initially viewed as only beach and shower shoes. During the ’90s, when trends began to shift more drastically than ever before, flip-flops quickly rose in popularity amongst college students across campuses nationwide. Without a doubt, the Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse team donning flip-flops to the White House solidified its place in history as one of the most iconic moments for this summer staple. They donned stylish skirts and tops, along with the casual alternative of flip-flops when posing alongside President Bush. This sparked a plethora of individuals believing they could dress up on top while rocking some flips below—but this fashion faux pas doesn’t fly in the workplace. “Can we please all agree that these are for the beach and backyard BBQs, not the boardroom?” In an interview with Levo, Dianna Baros, the Founder of The Budget Babe, shared her insights.

      3. Overalls

        Ah, yes, the nostalgia! For anyone who grew up in the 1990s and remembers overalls fondly – they are back with a vengeance. Although they may be stylish enough to carry you through your next park walk or beach trip, overalls remain inappropriate for most office settings. However, if you are invited to a hoedown-themed party, this would be an appropriate time for some classic 90’s style!

        4. Flimsy dresses

          Ultimately, the dress code varies from office to office. Nevertheless, we all recognize that a flimsy piece of clothing and one of good quality differ greatly – especially when avoiding any wind-induced Marilyn Monroe moments! Moreover, offices tend to be refrigerator-cold in summer, so that you will have no choice but to layer up despite your attire.

          5. Birkenstocks

            Step into the spotlight with Birkenstocks! These ’90s favorites have been revamped and are now available in fresh, stylish designs. So show off your new look on the weekend and make a statement! Baros exclaimed to Levo, “ Another fashion trend that’s big this summer is the “ugly” sandal. I’m all for this trend (they’re comfy!), but it doesn’t look polished and professional, so stick with closed-toe flats or pumps and rock your fugly sandals after the 9 to 5. Unless you work in fashion, in which case, by all means, wear them to work.”

            6. The sporty look

              This year is the return of an updated and classy spin on a classic sporty look. Think mesh tops, tennis-style skirts, and bomber jackets: it’s sleek and chic with a hint of edge. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to rock this style in your office -unless you’re hosting a sports-themed getaway!

              7. Shorts

                Shorts have become completely revolutionized! Nowadays, they are no longer just for the beach or physical education. Express your style and sophistication like never before by donning a pair of shorts transformed into a chic blazer suit. To learn more about the popular “great shorts debate,” click here! Of course, it depends on what’s appropriate for your workplace, so be sure to verify with colleagues first. But if you get the okay to wear them, flaunt those fashionable legs!

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