10 Things Not To Wear To Work In The Summer

We’re as sick of the heat as you are. But that’s no excuse to wear shorts in the office. Or any of the other sartorial sadnesses on this list. And Summer Fridays are not a free pass!

As you may have heard, it’s hot outside.


We know. We’re hot, too.

If you’re lucky, your office has some form of air conditioning. But you’ve still got to get there without becoming a melting blob of sweat. So how do you deal with the heat?

Maybe you’re thinking about wearing a little bit less, or only certain fabrics to beat the heat. That’s a fine strategy, as long as you do it right. Just like a stinky lunch can ruin a perfectly good office environment in an instant, a few questionable wardrobe choices can do the same.


And you don’t want to do that. Trust us, you don’t.


Sorry about this one. No, you know what, we’re not sorry. We’re proud members of the anti-shorts brigade. Go show off your calves walking around town, or at the beach, or really anywhere where it’s okay to wear shorts–anywhere but the office. Break this rule and you risk ending up here.

Sunglasses (indoors)

Okay, sunglasses make you look cool. But only when you’re outside and actually using them.


The second you step inside you’ve got a two-minute window to get them off your face. Otherwise:

1. You’re not mysterious.

2. You’re not cool.


3. We’re looking at you because you look stupid.

Socks with Sandals

As much as it pains us to say this (because socks and sandals are one of the most comfortable clothing combinations in existence) they have no place in the office. Why? Well, for one thing it looks ridiculous in a productivity-sapping way. As soon as the day’s over, it’s a different story. Yeah, even Zuck needs to heed this one.


We can see your toes. That’s not good.



Oh you, fashionably misled men. Sandals are one thing, but big, leather, I’m-a-’90s-dad mandals. Quick tip: There is no such thing as a “dress sandal.” Also: See above vis a vis toes.


Did you have fun at the party that apparently has moved to the office because you’re still wearing mesh last night?

Ripped T-shirts

It’s really cool, that you’re so cool. But:


“Oh, my god. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, why do you ask?”

Because you look like you got into a fight with a bear.


Yoga Pants

You like to work out–that’s awesome. Exercise is great for creativity and makes you smarter.

And who doesn’t love yoga? The only difference is, we don’t wear pants specifically designed for physical exercise in the office.

You also might be showing off a bit more than you’d like.


Crop Tops and Tank Tops

“Hey Mary, nice stomach!”

“Hey Mike, nice arms!”




Everybody sweats, but go wipe yourself off in the bathroom, or stick your head in the fridge for a few minutes–nobody wants to see a sweat-soaked cloth sitting on your head. Unless you are John McEnroe and your job is tennis.

This list is by no means complete, so please, share your office wardrobe Don’ts with us in the comments!

[Image: Flickr user Daniel Oines]


About the author

Former Editorial Assistant Miles Kohrman helped run Fast Company's homepage and completed miscellaneous tasks around the newsroom. He is a 2013 graduate of The New School.


Call for Most Innovative Companies entries! Apply now.

500+ winners will be featured on Final deadline: 9/23.