Summer's #1 Office Wardrobe Mistake

Last Updated Jul 14, 2011 10:57 PM EDT

Are strapless tops okay for "summer casual" office attire? Nearly half of men say yes-but women don't agree.

A new survey from staffing firm Adecco shows that as much as office dress codes may have changed, men's and women's attitudes are not likely to ever come out of the stone age. Men tend to be a lot more accepting of skimpy clothing (worn by women, of course) in the office. What both sexes agree on: It's okay to dress more casually for work during the summer, but keep the flip-flops at home.

Here how the survey says office workers should be dressing for summer:

  • Flip-flops are the biggest "don't." 71 percent of people said they shouldn't be worn to work, even though only 31 percent say they object to open-toed shoes in general.
  • Miniskirts don't fly, but more men than women say they're okay. 80 percent of women say miniskirts are inappropriate for the office, but only 60 percent of men feel the same way.
  • Strapless tops get a thumbs down, with 66 percent of people saying they should not be worn to work. Not surprisingly, men are more likely to think they're okay. 76 percent of women say they're inappropriate, compared to just 55 percent of men.
  • Shorts are creeping toward acceptability. Just over half of people still think they're inappropriate for work, though.
The survey also asked office workers what summertime perk they'd most appreciate, and the answer is clear: Flextime or summer Fridays. That was the answer chosen by 60 percent of workers, beating out even more vacation time (the number two answer).

Would you wear flip-flops to work? How about shorts? How casual is too casual?

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Image courtesy of flickr user Nicki Dobrin
Kimberly Weisul is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/weisul.
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    Kimberly Weisul is the co-founder of One Thing New, the free email newsletter for smart, busy women. She was previously Senior Editor at BusinessWeek, responsible for all coverage of entrepreneurship and for launching BusinessWeek SmallBiz, a bimonthly magazine. She is also a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant.