What counts as appropriate workplace attire has changed pretty drastically through the years. While Zoom-first work cultures may have normalized casual clothing in professional settings, it is still so that each individual — not to mention each HR department and office in general — probably has a different idea of what clothing is fine to wear to work and what is definitely not.
One FGB’er, who specified that her office is “very casual," reached out to the FGB Community to ask whether or not it’s acceptable to rock a strapless top in the workplace. And women had some pretty strong opinions on the matter.
The majority of women who deemed themselves 'old-fashioned' responded to the post felt that strapless tops are a no-go in the office — no exceptions.
The above FGB’er, for instance, doesn’t think strapless shirts should be worn at work, ever. Other women in the FGB Community, who said they also have more conservative approaches to workwear, weighed in similarly, saying that strapless tops could show too much cleavage or accidentally fall down on you while you’re in the office.
Other women, however, felt strapless could be appropriate if you styled it right.
One woman in the FGB Community suggested wearing a cardigan over the strapless top. A blazer or a jacket of some kind could also work — so long as your shoulders are covered, these FGB'ers said, professionalism would be maintained.
When in doubt, one FGB'er suggested, check to see if other people in your office wear strapless tops.
Another FGB’er recommended gauging others’ clothes to see if a strapless top would feel appropriate. This is good advice — all offices are different, after all, and if you work for a more modern company, strapless tops might be completely normal.
And if you’re really concerned, ask HR first.
One FGB'er recommended checking with HR before wearing something that could be too risque. HR is supposed to help you with questions like this, and it could be an easy solution to this wardrobe question.
What else could be deemed inappropriate in the workplace?
1. Crop tops
Most workplaces probably prefer that your stomach isn’t hanging out in the middle of an office meeting. Crop tops are cute and casual at happy hour, but they’re probably not OK on a conference call.
2. Jean shorts
These are also way too casual for an office job. In a more relaxed environment, shorts of a different material that aren’t *too* short could be worn in the summer. But jean shorts are likely a no. Again, every workplace is different, so feel it out or check with HR before you rock your favorite pair of jorts.
3. Workout clothes
A lot of more modern offices allow their employees to wear workout clothes, which is completely fine. But it’s not a good idea to assume your office will allow it. You should probably assume they won’t, and if you see a few people rocking leggings and dry-fit tanks, then go for it!
You can definitely rock a nice pair of sandals in the summer — you should never be expected to wear heels every single day, regardless of how formal your office is. But flip flops are 100% out. Flip flops are for pool and beach settings and don’t belong anywhere near the office.
5. Graphic clothing with inappropriate wording
This should be obvious, but there are a lot of t-shirts out there with some pretty racy sayings printed loud and proud. Save those for your nights and weekends, as you never want to wear anything that could be viewed as offensive when you’re in the office.
For all other workplace wardrobe questions, reach out to the FGB Community to get advice from FGB'ers everywhere.