It's summertime, and the weather is hot and humid. Weekend wardrobes highlight shorts, breezy linens, sandals, and t-shirts. And, sometimes, let's admit - the day-off outfit energy seeps into the workweek. I know I have stretched work attire rules by wearing rompers, glitzy sandals, and sleeveless shirts. But some items, to me, are just off-limits. I've wrestled with sporting them. But after evaluating the criteria surrounding practicality, safety, and office cultures for this article - I've come to these conclusions. Now I present you - these same pressing and not-so-dire questions - finally answered (by me, at least!). Should I wear flip-flops to the office? Drum roll please...a resounding no. If you work at the beach or a pool, maybe. If we're talking about the office, I don't think so. Here's why:
  • Safety: They can easily fall off if you're in an active environment. Your toes might be stepped on. The shoes could come apart. The list goes on.
  • Durability: These shoes are only made to last if they're sporty, high-quality flip-flops. I have experienced too many times the SNAFU of a shoe falling apart while merely walking or at the pool. If your flip-flop comes apart in the office, one must have other footwear replacements, which can be annoying.
  • Sandals are not flip-flops: I need to make this clear. Some sandals can be worn in the office, especially if they are made to last longer and have some more formal flair. This article refers to rubbery flip-flops that you might wear around the house.
Frayed denim with holes - yay or nay?  Again, it's a nay for me. I DO think denim has its place, depending on the office culture and work environment. However, there are better options than frayed, holed denim. Here's what I think:
  • Safety: One of my many fears is to have a loose denim thread get caught in something during a work commute or in the office. I don't think that it will actually happen, but it could!
  • Practicality: Frayed denim has a life of its own. It shreds at its own pace, and denim holes get larger. You might come to work thinking your knee hole is the perfect size. At the end of the day, your pant leg might be falling off!
Can I wear a T-shirt to work? It depends on the work environment and style - so yes. But there are some types of T-shirts that one should not wear, especially divisive ones both in the office and virtually. These are not exactly unsafe by design, but the messaging itself can make others mentally feel unsafe. Being a part of a team and community means making others feel welcomed, heard, celebrated, and like they belong - this is essential. A divisive t-shirt with an obscenity can be incredibly disrespectful and make others feel excluded. This guideline applies to all environments. Additionally, you're the face of a company or organization when at work. Keep this in mind when wearing t-shirts that reflect your interests and views. If you work at a Flip-Flop store and wear a t-shirt that says, "Flip-Flops are the worst shoe to exist," - that might not help you get customers or sales. Also, I swear I don't hate flip-flops. All offices and workplaces are different, so these rules are not hard and fast. However, dressing for safety, practicality, and respect for others is essential in creating a welcoming and safe environment.