Each week, Inc. staff writer Nadine Heintz (Miss Management) will help you tackle office etiquette problems both big and small.
Dear Miss Management,
I love wearing sleeveless sundresses to work, even in the winter, when I pair them with tights and cowboy boots. I usually throw on a cardigan in the morning, but, by the time the afternoon rolls around, the office temperature heats up and I feel the need to bare my shoulders. Is that inappropriate?
Bare in Boston
While tube tops are a no-no at work, sleeveless dresses (especially those with tank straps) aren't strictly off limits, as long as you follow a few rules. First, don't let your bra straps show. That may be fine for Britney Spears, but it screams "unprofessional" in the office. Second, avoid halter tops. They tend to dip down in the back and bare a lot of skin. Third, refrain from spaghetti straps unless you plan to swelter in your sweater all day. In other words, stick to a plain old tank dress. There's just something about the extra inch of fabric on a regular tank top that makes going sleeveless seem respectable. With your straps firmly in place, you'll be free to run around the office cardigan-free whenever you please.
Have a dilemma for Miss Management? Send her an e-mail and check back here Tuesdays for the answer.