Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Right to Bare Arms: A Snappy Little Spring Wardrobe Forum

Ahhh yes. Spring is in the air. The snow has melted, the weather is warming up, the sun is staying up later, and the feisty little geese are honking like there’s no tomorrow.

As much as I love the season of baby birds and bright blossoms, it seems to present the greatest number of wardrobe challenges. At least that’s how it is here in the Midwest. It’s a bit too chilly for light spring dresses, but it feels wrong to keep wearing dark winter wool. Not to mention the fact that I might blind my coworkers if I show too much skin too early. Right now, I’m about as white as a Cullen (yes, I just watched New Moon…squeal!) and there’s no hope for a tan in sight.

Which is why I’m now turning to you in sort of an unofficial open forum. Since spring work wardrobes are such a fascinating topic (in my opinion at least), let’s open it up for discussion. I present the following questions to you, dear Working Girls, to hear your thoughts/opinions/two cents on the subject.

• When is a suitable time to ditch the tights and start flaunting those fabulous (and oh so white) bare legs?

• When can you roll out the sleeveless dresses out…if ever? The stores seem to show a ton of tank dresses, but are they even office appropriate?

• Spring clothes mean short sleeves are back in business, but if your office is like mine, it’s ALWAYS cold. So naturally, it’s cool to keep a sweater at your desk. But how many times can you re-wear your “desk cardigan” before it gets gross?

• It’s almost time for toes to run amok. When is it okay to unleash the tootsies and celebrate the season of sensational sandals, peep toes and wedges?

Feel free to add your own. I know many of these depend on where you live, but I bet there’s a general rule all of us follow when it comes to busting out the spring clothes. So let's hear it. Happy commenting!

Sidenote: Is it sad that the title of this post amused me to no end? Even more amusing is that I got the idea from an older man who worked at The Hall of Presidents in Disney World. No joke.


Grace said...

I think it's early enough for no tights. As long as you are warm then go for it! Sleeveless in the office is ok as long as the top/dress is modest in every other way. As for shoes, I think it needs to be warmer before breaking out the sandals.

Angeline said...

Funny you should bring this up...I'm wearing no tights and some peep-toes today! It's not quite warm enough here for short sleeves, but I will go sleeveless in the summer if the should straps are wide enough (anything that can't hide a bra strap and its daily wanderings gets a sweater tossed over it).

Anonymous said...

I love this post because this is an interesting topic to me too. My sweaters are boring the crap out of me but how do you know when it's time? Here are my thoughts.

• I personally didn't think I would reveal my porcelain legs until after I got back from Florida, but when there was that first day in Columbus where it was 66 degrees and my body was dieing to get into a dress, there was no way I was wearing tights. You just gotta feel it. And if your legs are THAT pasty... Benefit sells the best self-tanner EVER and it comes off with soap and water.

• It's my personal opinion that sleeveless is not appropriate for the office, but it might also be because I have choir teacher arms and need to start doing more push-ups. If wearing sleeveless is appropriate for someone else's office, I would just wing it with the whole leg exposure thing.

• I wear my office cardigan almost every day. I don't think it's gross because people understand how ridiculously cold a high rise building can get. And it's not like we're putting the sweater on and then sweating bullets into it... odds are we are just sitting at our desk for eight hours. It's not gross. It's crucial.

• The peep-toed shoes are on the same rule as the tights. 66 degrees or higher... slip them babies on! The only thing holding me back from wearing the brand new peep-toes that I bought over winter (love summer deals out of season... BARGAIN BUYS!) is that I'm afraid I will wear them and it will get cold again and I will have to miss them lol. I know. I'm weird.

Legally Fabulous said...

I don't think it's early enough to go without tights. And I NEVER feel comfortable without sleeves. I'd say wait til at least May to go sans tights!

BarelyVogue said...

I can soo relate to what you are saying. We live in Sunny San Diego and still my work place is always cold. Visit me http://barelyvogue.blogspot.com/

Corporate Chickee said...

Great post! I'll share my 2 cents!

I've already started many of what you're thinking about! At a meeting last week I wore a tank sheath dress (granted it was a darker shade and of a light wool material) paired with closed toe pumps and a super light 3/4 sleeved cardigan. No tights! I bared my bright-white legs - it was a sunny, warm day and I was nervous ... but in the end SO much more comfortable that I just didn't care!

I've also already begun sporting some peep-toe pumps, with natural-colored (beige) pedicure. I think it's a bit early for the bright spring pedicure shades (at least for me). In fact, I'm sporting some peep-toe pumps as we speak!

As far as the desk-cardigan, I would say a once-a-month washing is fine. You're probably not wearing it all day long - but maybe in the morning when it's chilly, or at certain times when meeting in especially cold conference rooms, etc.

I personally don't have a desk-cardigan just yet. I haven't been able to find one I like that I'm happy with wearing with nearly any outfit.

Anonymous said...

Alright. I'm in Alabama, so in the mornings, it's about 35-40 degrees, and by lunch, it's 75 degrees. So typically, I wear flip-flops/sandals to work, as well as capris. I'm not wearing sleeveless yet (just short sleeves and a jacket), but I don't think it's too early, as long as you wear a cardigan. And maybe pants instead of capris or shorts.

And I typically wear my desk jacket/cardigan for a week before I wash. I tend to think people look at me funny if I wear it more than that. LOL. I never wear pantyhose, even in the winter! I think it's too warm right now for tights, but not leggings!

Also, I have long ago gotten over the fact that I have super white glowing legs! I just try to wear colors that accent the porcelain color, if that's possible!

Ellen said...

Ditch the tights...NOW! Even if it's chilly, I think it just looks weird wearing tights when it's sunny. Plus, it's officially spring, so I think it's safe to bare your stems. I'm NOT excited about sleeveless dresses—gotta put in double time at the gym!


Shayna said...

Hmm... open toes are ok if the shoes are appropriately dressy but not until after Easter (probably closer to Memorial Day), sleeveless might be but my office is way too cold - I bring a cardigan each day - I can't pick one to strand in my office!