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Are bare shoulders acceptable in work?

(81 Posts)
nothingbyhalves Wed 10-Jul-13 23:15:20

Am a teacher in a comp. today I considered wearing a strappy top. Nothing see through . Just a top with thin straps. I didn't wear it because my shoulders would have been exposed. But did think to myself what is the problem with shoulders?
In work a colleague was spoken to about wearing a strapless top by a senior member of staff who was wearing a dress with thin shoulder straps.

So what is acceptable? And when did shoulders become something seductive?

Trills Fri 12-Jul-13 10:18:29

Sixth forms in schools (as opposed to separate sixth forms) generally have an "office wear" dress code.

I was mainly asking the OP, since she was asking what was appropriate dress code for a teacher.

flipchart Fri 12-Jul-13 10:05:57

I read this thread before I went to work yesterday.
I went into a staff meeting and checked out what everyone was wearing.
Bloke 1 shorts and polo shirt
Bloke 2 jeans and a superdry t shirt
manager knee length skirt and sleeveless vest top with sequins
deputy manager 3/4 pants with spaghetti top vest
women 2 had white trousers with t shirt tops, 1 had denim mini skirt and vest top. I had a Sundress on and another had a White Stuff skirt and linen shirt

Everyone looked good.

alemci Fri 12-Jul-13 10:01:05


not sure if you were asking me. 6th form is ultra scruffy. they are allowed to wear most things.

I dress conservatively but on a couple of days I wore a sleeveless top which came up reasonably high on the neck so no cleavage. I think i still looked fine.

also some schools are like greenhouses with lots of glass and no air con as in some offices.

Birdsgottafly Fri 12-Jul-13 09:53:15

My DD (15) isn't allowed to wear, or do PE in a strappy top, the same rule should then apply to staff (except make up).

It is about looking professional.

How hot it is has nothing to do with needing to wear less clothes, it is the fabric that is important and the fit, people manage to be fully covered in other countries, Eygpt, India, Rome etc, in work (and about), wearing cotton/linen etc, which keeps the body cooler than a clingy vest top.

Trills Fri 12-Jul-13 09:43:09

Does your school have a sixthform? Do they wear uniform, or "office wear"? If they are supposed to dress smartly but not in uniform then the rule would be "would you be happy for them to be wearing it?".

alemci Fri 12-Jul-13 09:38:50

Kras for me it was better to wear a sleeveless top as I outlined earlier. otherwise I take 2 similar tops and change them over. I don't like anyone to see my cleavage but where I work you do see some sights from Staff.

thank goodness I am not in work 'til September especially not this week. i

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 11-Jul-13 22:34:14

Sleeveless shift dresses/blouses are fine. Thin straps not so much. The company I work for has a relaxed dress code but specifies no strappy vest tops. Most ignore it granted but I suppose it's there because of perception of what is sti work wear and what is not.

reggiebean Thu 11-Jul-13 18:57:52

Yes, I think a strappy top is unprofessional. If I wear a sleeveless sheath dress, I'll bring a cardigan. If I'm at my desk, I'll have it off, but if I go into meetings or am meeting with clients or anything, my cardigan goes back on which is so annoying in this weather.

Bluestocking Thu 11-Jul-13 18:51:05

OctopusPete, I suspect the general reaction among teenagers at school to a teacher in a strapless maxi would be total revulsion - which would be just as distracting as if it was seductive. Totally inappropriate for school!
There's a woman at my workplace who's been turning up for work in a range of desperately inappropriate shoulder-baring outfits. Yes, we all get that you got very brown on your recent holiday and have no strapmarks in your tan - now put your acres of flesh away, please!

sparkle12mar08 Thu 11-Jul-13 18:48:14

As others have said, in our school, strappy camilsoles would be a no go, as would strapless. A smart sleevless top or dress with wide straps and a neckline that exposes no cleavage, only the collarbone area, would be absilutely fine.

NotAQueef Thu 11-Jul-13 18:47:14

I don't like seeing armpits so prefer a covered shoulder/top of arm <weirdo>

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 11-Jul-13 18:45:26

Covered shoulders at work, especially a school.

Also no maxi dresses, or hippy dippy clothes if you want to be taken seriously!

Smart tailored dress, with no sleeves, yes.

krasnayaploshad Thu 11-Jul-13 18:42:28

Bare shoulders at work - no, it's unprofessional.
The excuse that's hot doesn't wash with me because I can't see how strappy top is cooler than a short sleeved t-shirt or shirt once it gets hot.
As someone else said, men will be wearing trousers & shirts (maybe short sleeve) so why should women be allowed to have bare shoulders?

PeriodMath Thu 11-Jul-13 17:31:31

Are students allowed to wear sandals and maxi dresses?

OctopusPete8 Thu 11-Jul-13 16:07:29

strapless maxi's aren't that sexy neither are shoulders really, I'm sure it won't cause a lust riot grin

samandi Thu 11-Jul-13 16:01:38

And it's nothing to do with shoulders being seductive confused

samandi Thu 11-Jul-13 15:59:42

I don't think it's particularly professional, especially for a school. I wouldn't wear bare shoulders to work and I've worked in some pretty relaxed places, dresscode-wise. But then I can be a bit of a prude when it comes to workwear.

allaflutter - see though tops are just as bad in my book, if not more so. I really don't want to see women's bras under their clothing. Would you expect to see a man wearing a see-though top in a professional environment?

theredhen Thu 11-Jul-13 14:30:25

Boob tube - sorry. wink

theredhen Thu 11-Jul-13 14:25:24

I work I'm an office in a traditional profession (ie not funky) and my colleague turned up in about tube yesterday! shock

KevinFoley Thu 11-Jul-13 13:08:57

Not in a million years. Don't like to see feet on display in birkenstock or similar either. looks unprofessional.

alemci Thu 11-Jul-13 13:01:33

I used to work in mixed secondary but the school got so hot it was awful. I still tried to look reasonably covered. dont think strapless maxi is a good look but people may get round it in schools by wearing cardi or shirt in corridors.

I think the men there were peeved as the dress code wasnt fair on them in tie and shirts or the students.

always wear sandals though but not flip flops.

DoveDovePigeon Thu 11-Jul-13 12:58:03

I work in a school and always have a scarf to wear in case I'm feeling a little too exposed. ( big boobs). I wear sleeveless shift dresses

MotherofDragons82 Thu 11-Jul-13 12:56:51

Strapless - Never.
Strappy - No.
Sleeveless smart top/ tailored dress - Fine (though I would team with smart shoes rather than sandals/flip flops).

ZZZenagain Thu 11-Jul-13 12:52:36

THere is nothing wrong with shoulders IMO but a top with thin straps would give you a vulnerable, fragile look IMO which isn't the image you need as a teacher. In my work environment I can pretty much wear what I want but I wouldn't wear a strappy top or dress even in the heat because I am kind of the boss so to some extent, I have to reflect that in my clothes (although not to the extent a lawyer in the city has to). As everyone else has said, a tailored dress or top with wide straps can look professional, a tshirt or sundress with wide straps which is not low cut might also be fine if you can generally wear more casual things.

alemci Thu 11-Jul-13 12:51:31

I must admit I wore a sleeveless top to work which was like a shell top so highish round neck as I found that if i got too hot my underarms would be wet on top which is embarrass ing but not in sleveless ones.

however not comfortable with strappy or vest tops unless thick straps and higher neck and desperate, a few years ago we were allowed to dress casual in another workplace as it got so hot 1 summer. did help

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