HR Strange But True!
May 03, 2007

Tank tops and visible undergarments are the biggest fashion faux pas in the workplace during the spring and summer, according to a survey by Monster.

More than 18,000 people responded to the survey, which Monster conducted online. Fifty-five percent of respondents cited tank tops and visible undergarments as the biggest fashion no-no during the spring and summer.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents agreed with this HR Strange but True! editor that flip-flops are the biggest fashion blunder when the temperature rises.

What's our objection to flip-flops, you ask? First, we just cringe at the sound the flip-flops make as they slap against the wearer's feet. Second, foot hygiene seems to be missing from many a flip-flop wearer's daily routine. Third, but most important for HR professionals, flip-flops offer little protection from injury in the workplace. Strike three.

In the Monster survey, 7 percent of respondents said Hawaiian prints are the biggest faux pas in the workplace, the same percentage that cited shorts.

Monster offers some advice for workers who want to avoid committing a fashion faux pas in the workplace.

"Workers should observe trends among co-workers and familiarize themselves with the items that fit nicely into the "business casual" category: chino trousers, pencil skirts, relaxed button-down shirts and linen, polo or knitted shirts. These clothes are generally made out of breathable fabrics--perfect for warmer weather."

Have you encountered an employee who showed up for work wearing flip-flops, a tank top, shorts with a Hawaiian print, and had his or her undergarments on display for the whole office to see? We invite you to tell us your workplace fashion faux pas stories. If we get enough good ones, we'll include them in a future issue of HR Strange but True. Just send an e-mail to sdean at and indicate how you would like to be identified, if at all.

Source: Monster

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