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As the summer starts to heat up, the swimming pool beckons, fireworks flash, and backyard barbecues become a regular routine, it might be awfully tempting to bring that relaxed sense of being to work in both demeanor and dress.

Take a Break

Regarding demeanor, there’s nothing wrong with toning down anxiety and stress. Take the break. In fact, relaxing and being rested will probably improve an employee’s productivity and performance.

From Project:Time Off, they report that permitting vacation reinforces the value of time at work. In other words, projects tend to get expedited and there’s a willingness on behalf of employees to give a little extra time to get projects completed. They also noted that a recent study of small business owners showed that 82% had a personal increase in job performance. “That renewed energy and positivity is contagious and can help the entire team be more productive,” reports Lisa Evans of Fast Company on the results.

However, regarding dress, for both men and women, there’s a right way and a wrong way to show up to the office.

It might be comfortable to show up in flip-flops and t-shirt, but there are still some basic rules that should be followed.  What someone might wear to the beach or nightclub is definitely different from what is considered professional attire.

Dress For Success

First of all, check out the slideshow from Forbes on their “do’s” and “don’ts” (Bazaar reinforces the argument).

On the “don’t” list of things to wear are the aforementioned flip-flops (any sandals for a man is a no-go), tank tops, shorts, t-shirts, spaghetti –strap and strapless dresses, open backs, plunging necklines, exposed midriffs, rising hemlines, and mesh are all frowned upon.

That said, we all know summer brings +90F temps outside (and potentially warm temps inside, if the AC isn’t keeping up). For women, you can wear a tank-top or even sleeveless blouse, namely if you pair it with trousers and accessories. Just don’t wear anything sheer. Women can also wear sandals/open toe shoes – but always remember safety! Always wear closed-toe shoes to any industrial location. Be vigilant of safety requirements for whatever job site you are going to.

Fast Company reminds us of a couple of accessories you’ll want to avoid too: Sunglasses indoors, men should avoid sandals altogether – but, if permitted, definitely wear without socks, and yoga pants and headbands.

It’s pretty simple, really:

  • Wear lighter colors
  • Women – if you choose a short-sleeve or sleeveless shirt, make sure you wear slacks or a skirt (mindful of the hemline). Again, no spaghetti-straps, halter tops or any exposed midriff
  • Men – always a collared shirt. The most relaxed being a polo/golf-shirt. Always closed toe shoes and slacks.

Summer is supposed to be fun and dressing for work shouldn’t be complicated.

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