Work it Wednesday: Avoiding summer office wear mistakes

9:04 AM, Jul 14, 2010   |    comments
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Career Coach Amanda Guralski with advice on office wear

Amanda Guralski is a career coach, public speaker, and co-founder of, an online magazine for young professional women.

She says while summer can be a time to have fun with color and accessoriesm, it's also a time when women can run into real trouble trying to stay cool, but professional-looking in an office setting.

For one thing, summer-weight material can be far more see-through than fall and winter garments.  Guralski advises women to do a quick check in the dressing room before making a purchase.

"Kind of take a step apart when you walk, so you can see if light is going through the skirt," says Guralski, who also says you should sit down in that skirt or dress to make sure it doesn't ride up so far as to be distracting.

She says the hemline itself can be an issue for younger women used to mid-thigh lengths for more casual wear.  "Mare sure that it's (the hemline) and inch to an inch and a half above the knee," advises Guralski.  "Anything else, mid-thigh, unacceptable, and you need to put it back on the rack because there's no place in the office for short skirts.

While a more casual work environment might permit bare arms, other offices don't.  Guralski says there's no need to be caught off guard.

"My rule of thumb is always to have something at your desk, whether it's a jacket or a sweater or a scarf, because not everyone wants to look at bare arms," says Guralski.

She says a jacket is handy for client meetings, and also gives you the option of removing it later if you need to be outside the office in the summer heat.

Guralski also likes separates like jackets, sweaters and more trendy accessories that can change up an outfit for the office to one appropriate for an after hours event.

Guralski says job seekers who are preparing for an interview want to make sure whatever they wear is not distracting. 

LinkedIn might be one way to find employess to ask them what the office culture is like.

Still, a general rule for a job interview, and the workplace in general is, no low necklines, or otherwise revealing outfits. 

Find out what the company policy is regarding bare arms, pantyhose, even shoes.

"I like to stick with the totally enclosed, possibly a peep-toe shoe," says Guralski, who says strappy sandals aren't appropriate for office wear.

For more information on office style for the young woman, interview tips and other job-related advise, check out Guralski's online magazine,

 Fashions shows by Amanda Guralski came from White House/Black Market, Macy's and Ann Taylor.


(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All rights reserved.)

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