A “business casual” dress code can be dicey, especially when office rules relax in the summer.
And if you’re looking to land a promotion, those Friday flip-flops won’t help, says Barbara Pachter, business etiquette expert and author of Greet! Eat! Tweet!
Here’s how to keep your wardrobe raise-worthy:
Don’t be sporty. Avoid Capri pants (too relaxed); tank tops (too skin-baring); and be cautious with the new thong sandals (see below).
Be fit. Clothes that fit well are crucial. If your weight fluctuates or you’re tempted by a slightly tight skirt that’s on sale, don’t try to make ill-fitting items work.
Toes exposed? Open-toe policies vary, but avoid shoes that can be worn to the beach. And if your foot is going to be visible in the office, it’s got to be well-groomed.
Pull it together. Lose the scuffed shoes and worn-out handbag. Favor bold jewelry? Pick one piece to highlight—and avoid dangling earrings or stacks of bangles, which look (and sound) distracting.
Bottom line: Your look sends serious signals to your boss. If you’re climbing the ladder, dress for it.