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?

trinity0097 Thu 11-Jul-13 04:11:07

Wide straps yes, thin straps no!

I used to work in a classroom that got up to about 35 degrees plus in the summer, and with it being on the 2nd storey restricted opening windows! They didn't prepare me on my PGCE for dealing with a 15 year old girl that was too hot so took off her school shirt and stripped down to her bra!!!

rabbitlady Thu 11-Jul-13 04:13:14

you should be fully covered in school, no strappy tops, no strapless tops, no cleavage in any direction and a skirt that reaches your knees (top of knee is fine, any thigh exposure isn't). nothing lycra.

MidniteScribbler Thu 11-Jul-13 04:20:53

What about teaching PE rabbitlady? Or when we take students swimming?

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Jul-13 04:29:31

When considering my workwear I like to think along the lines of 'Would a man be ok dressing like this?' For that reason I don't wear sandals or expose my underarms. I do wear short sleeved tops/dresses. I always wear tights or stockings too. I don't want men to ever think they can expose their feet, underarms or not wear socks.

PeriodMath Thu 11-Jul-13 04:32:17

Good point. Imagine a male teacher showing up to work in a wife-beater.

I think it dies depend on your workplace but in a school? Go conservative I'm afraid. If you're exposing more skin than your pupils, you need to rethink the outfit.

imademarion Thu 11-Jul-13 06:43:31

YABU. It's school not the beach.

You don't need to provide any unnecessary distraction.

Shoulders have been 'sexy' for centuries. Winterhalter?

What's wrong with dressing professionally? Teachers in the tropics do it daily. In my school, they also wore black academic gowns!

katydid02 Thu 11-Jul-13 06:46:41

It's against the dress code at the school I work in.

nkf Thu 11-Jul-13 06:52:39

A strappy top is a bit beach wear, I think. What about bare arms? I have been wondering about this. Other people in my workplace do, but the very senior people seem to keep their jackets on at all times.

HoratiaNelson Thu 11-Jul-13 07:40:20

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having your shoulders out - it depends on the item of clothing. I wear dress suits for work, and the dresses are sleeveless, in this weather, if I'm in the office I take my jacket off and voila! I have bare shoulders. It is neither problem or unprofessional. If you wear either a properly tailored sleeveless dress, or you can get sleeveless tops which don't have so much of a strap, but quite a substantial width, then you'll be perfectly acceptably dressed.

MrsMelons Thu 11-Jul-13 07:50:05

Sleeveless is fine but not strappy.

I work in an office so it can be a bit more flexible but unless I know I am in the office with just one or two people I wouldn't usually wear a strappy top but often wear sleeveless ones as it looks a bit more formal.

Helpyourself Thu 11-Jul-13 07:56:16

I've worn a vest top at school. However it was in a v hot classroom, reception and I wore a jacket outside the classroom.

orangeandemons Thu 11-Jul-13 07:59:02

Absolutely not. Inappropriate. In our school, the 6th formers aren't allowed to wear them.

I used to wear strappy tops at work all the time, so I suppose it depends where you work. This was at a big London office where the men had to wear suits. I really struggled wearing anything else because I suffer from a form of Urticaria. I get overheated incredibly easily (even in winter) and come out in big horrible itchy hives, which were pretty debilitating until I finally managed to get taken seriously by the doctor and get some proper medication. Even walking into town in a t-shirt would make it happen, and a hot bath used to make me swell up so badly I could feel my throat closing.

I think if worn in the right way they can look professional, but I can understand people not agreeing with me. I just had to make do with what I was physically able to wear and be comfortable at work. My boss never had an issue. But obviously this wasn't a school so I can't comment there.

soontobeburns Thu 11-Jul-13 08:23:41

Oh guess im unprofessional then. Oh well its only a temp job grin

ThreeMusketeers Thu 11-Jul-13 08:29:38

Not a professional look for teachers.

echt Thu 11-Jul-13 08:35:25

I think the flesh revelation is less about the arms, as sleeveless dresses seem acceptable, but the strappy top exposes chest, shoulders and back, and is usually, though not always, cut lower in the front.

I wouldn't do it myself.

Bonsoir Thu 11-Jul-13 08:37:42

Sleeveless blouses and dresses are fine in very hot weather but strappy tops are very unprofessional. As a rule of thumb, if you uncover one normally covered area of your body, be reasonably modest with the rest.

imademarion Thu 11-Jul-13 08:38:40

If you really cannot cope with the heat, something loose in linen has been proven, for centuries, to be your best bet.

2rebecca Thu 11-Jul-13 09:25:29

It doesn't look seductive, it just looks sloppy and unprofessional. Why do so many people think they have to take their clothes off to be cool? A loose cotton long sleeved top will be cooler than a tight strappy one.

OctopusPete8 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:37:18

I don't think a strapless maxi dress with like a necklace would look too bad.

echt Thu 11-Jul-13 09:40:08

Strapless maxi? In a school?? Trying to imagine the moment the teacher puts her foot in the hem and pulls the top of the maxi down.

orangeandemons Thu 11-Jul-13 11:02:26

Heh heh at strapless maxi! All those adolescent boys and their rampaging hormones...

happygirl87 Thu 11-Jul-13 11:05:40

When I worked in retail (in last 5 years) tops had to have straps which were minimum 1.5 inches thick, and the bosses would measure with a tape measure.......

meganorks Thu 11-Jul-13 11:12:35

I have a vest top that I think is suitable in the office - wide straps, high neck, loose linen type fit. But thin straps I would say no, and strapless definitely not! That said in my office you can wear what you want so would probably be ok.

BadRoly Thu 11-Jul-13 11:15:24

I wouldn't (and didn't) in a secondary school but I have an ample bosom and wouldn't want to make hormone ravaged teenagers lives any more awkward!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now