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Summer Dress Code: Do We Really Have to Wear Pantyhose?


At some companies, the dress code is, essentially, “Please be dressed when you come in to code.” At others, well, the only way you can tell you’re not on the set of “Mad Men” is that everyone has a computer. This causes quite a bit of debate during the summer months, when the usual business attire starts to look less like a charming nod to the past and more like punishment. For working women, the real question is, “Do we still have to wear pantyhose when it’s 80 degrees outside?”

Melissa Henderson at Levo League asked three experts for their take on the issue, and got every answer from “absolutely” (admittedly, from the owner of a lingerie store) to “nope.” (OK, we are paraphrasing, but the answer in the negative was from a senior executive at PricewaterhouseCooper — not exactly a casual work environment.)

From our perspective, the answer to this question is the answer to all academic questions: it depends. The best rule of thumb is always to look around your office: if everyone else is wearing hose, you’re pretty much stuck. If the boss is bare-legged, you can save your nylons for colder weather.

Regardless, the most important thing is to remain business-appropriate — not beach-appropriate — in the warmer months. That means skipping the flip-flops and strapless sundresses. Remember that the purpose of business attire is to make other people comfortable, whether it’s clients or coworkers. Keep an eye on what others are doing, and you’ll have a sense of what’s right for your office.

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(Photo Credit: herlitzpbs/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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