Are bare shoulders acceptable in work?

(81 Posts)

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?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 10-Jul-13 23:17:11

I think any expanse of flesh looks wrong in a professional situation. Legs, chests, arms....male or female.

Shoulders have always been seductive but for me it's about armpit exposure! I don't want to be in proximity to colleagues pits!

thismousebites Wed 10-Jul-13 23:18:40

I think that, as a professional, you are expected to "maintain a certain standard".
However, as it has been unreasonably hot lately ,then a bit of leeway should be given.
what do thy expect you to wear......a cardi?

lessonsintightropes Wed 10-Jul-13 23:18:45

I don't think it's that acceptable to be honest, and I work in a charity head office. It just looks unprofessional and as if you are on holiday rather than at work and setting an example to the kids - particularly if they are sweltering away in (uniform) shirts/tie etc.

maddy68 Wed 10-Jul-13 23:19:26

no when you bend down too much flesh is on show - wide straps woud be more acceptable I think

thismousebites Wed 10-Jul-13 23:20:28

And when did shoulders become sexy? They'v obviously not seen mine.

thismousebites Wed 10-Jul-13 23:22:16

Also, I don't really care what the teacher wears just so long as they teach my DCs the curriculum.

AnyFucker Wed 10-Jul-13 23:22:23

It looks unprofessional

A t shirt with short sleeves would be ok, but not strappy, assuming your bra straps would be on show

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 10-Jul-13 23:22:37

Depends on your shoulders and your job.

echt Wed 10-Jul-13 23:25:30

I tend to agree that lots of skin on view at work is not good, though the fact that a standard of dress has been set by a senior member of staff means you can go ahead and wear the strappy top.grin

I also work in a school, and while I do not accept that staff should dress as the students do, I'm mindful of the fact that their uniform covers a lot and is strictly enforced. For this reason I have clothes for work I'd never wear at home, and vice versa.

Lj8893 Wed 10-Jul-13 23:26:39

I work in retail and we have an allowance of our current fashion stock to wear as uniform, so my general uniform could consist of casual wear such as leggings, jeans, etc but I would not be able to wear a strappy top at work without a cardi.

Something with thicker straps is ok (espessially in this weather!!!) but as a pp said, if bra straps can/could be seen then i don't think its professional or acceptable.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 23:31:45

I've been thinking about this lately. At my work it seems to be ok if the straps are wide enough that it's mostly arm on show, but anything too strappy that shows the back of shoulders would be seen as inappropriate.

I have spent many too many hours this week wishing I could remove a little cardigan.

SanityClause Wed 10-Jul-13 23:32:39

It doesn't look professional, IMO.

Short sleeves would be okay, but nothing too low cut, or too short. Your male colleagues would be wearing a shirt and trousers. Possibly a jacket and tie. I think you could cope with short sleeves, TBH.

BOF Wed 10-Jul-13 23:34:17

Yes, inappropriate for a teacher. Especially as the students usually have to be more covered up.

mikkii Wed 10-Jul-13 23:34:27

Like others, I don't mind sleeveless, but not with bra straps showing.

Sleeveless, eg a shift dress is fine, strappy not, I would say.

SinisterBuggyMonth Wed 10-Jul-13 23:39:31

Please, all my body fat is unevenly distributed below my boobs, my shoulders are the only thing I can actually show off! blush

RainbowRabbit33 Wed 10-Jul-13 23:57:42

I work in a fairly free and easy office work-wear wise (we don't see much of the outside world!), and I think only the very young and very slim would get away with it. And then only just. As soon as you're management it would be a no no.

Mind you, I'm the one almost vomming over the number of feet on show this week, so maybe not the best judge!

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 10-Jul-13 23:59:06

We have a very "straight" work dress code. Sleeveless dresses are acceptable. Strappy ones are not.

ilovesooty Thu 11-Jul-13 00:09:23

Not acceptable for school I'd say. In my job casual wear is the norm, but no one would wear something strappy or showing bare shoulders. Before now I've had a quiet word with a couple of members of staff who were showing a bit too much when bending down/leaning forward.

allaflutter Thu 11-Jul-13 00:13:34

what about sleeveless not strapless, but slightly see-through? I've noticed that lots of shops this nowadays sell stuff made of very thin fabric - Topshop has great cuts but again thin fabric, it's the way they keep their prices down maybe. So if it's not clingy or strappy but the (black, solid) bra shows through the black or coloured fabric a bit - is that ok on a 35+yr old? not a teacher, I hasten to add, as that's obviously a no.
But even not at work, but say gatherings with older relatives? I'd be horrified to know people think it's inappropriate as quite a few of my tops are like this. I'm not busty though, so it's not like it's in anyones faces grin but still - maybe I'm past it due to age! It's something you'd definitely wear on holiday, but this weather is so unusual here, that it's a grey area re what's acceptable.

MidniteScribbler Thu 11-Jul-13 01:38:17

Sleeveless is ok at our school, but strappy with exposed bra straps would not be. We regularly teach in temperatures over 30 degrees, even up to 40, so wearing a sleeveless dress or nice top wouldn't be an issue here.

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 11-Jul-13 02:12:20

It looks sloppy, and therefore unprofessional. Also, wearing straps will not make you warmer than not. I would have thought that anybody in a professional position, no matter how minor, would wish to present themselves in a professional manner.

garlicsmutty Thu 11-Jul-13 02:36:38

Flutter, more expensive tops in very fine fabrics come with a little vest, don't they? I think if you're keen to look 'together', then you need to find a suitable underlayer - or a smooth bra that actually matches your skin.

I think I understand what you mean about being 35+. It can be frustrating when you and your skin are still in good shape, but your status dictates more grown-up outfits than you could get away with ten years ago. It's certainly do-able; just think a little more upmarket!

Then you can look forward to rapid ageing around the menopause - to my own surprise, I am relishing my crinkly, unevenly-coloured chest & upper arms ... nothing's going to make me look smooth & chic in this weather, so I'm cheerfully revealing my flaws along with all the other older women grin

EugenesAxe Thu 11-Jul-13 02:38:37

I think a camisole-type strap would seem a bit casual. I'd have no problem with a blouse that cut off at the shoulder, or a cami under a light cardi.

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