Ask Belle: Sleeveless Tops for Work
May 28, 2013
I’m getting ready to start on the Hill as a staffer this summer and I was wondering if you always need to wear a blazer or sweater with sleeveless blouses. And I mean conservative borderline short-sleeve blouses. Thank you so much!
After questions about nylons and tights, whether you can wear a sleeveless blouse without a jacket is the question I get the most. My thoughts on the subject are multi-pronged.
1) Do your boss or your co-worker peers (not the employees below you in rank) ever wear sleeveless or cap sleeve blouses to work sans sweater/blazer? Then, the answer to your question is yes, you can.
2) The blouse, however, should come all the way to the edge of your shoulder or at the very least, be more than three finger-widths wide. This DKNY blouse, this Calvin Klein blouse and this Walter blouse would fit the criteria.
3) You should always bring a sweater or a jacket just in case someone drops by the office unexpectedly or your Boss asks you sit in on a meeting that wasn’t previously on your calendar.
4) You know your office, and if you are at all hesitant to wear the outfit to work without a jacket or sweater, then don’t. It’s not worth feeling uncomfortable all day.
5) Lastly, I think it’s easier to wear a sleeveless dress than a sleeveless blouse with separates. Why? A dress is, for lack of a better word, dressier than separates. However, I think the same width rules apply to dresses, so make sure they come all the way to the shoulder or are at least three finger-widths wide. This peplum dress, this coral jacquard dress and this teal dress all meet the criteria.