Can’t Bare it Anymore? A ‘Cover’ Story Told By Jayne Bonilla

June 16, 2015 at 10:30 am Leave a comment


Has the summer heat got you sweating the small stuff? I don’t know about you, but for me, sweating is a daily ritual, (gym not included.) I haven’t even backed out of my driveway and I’m cranking up my air conditioner even before I crank up the volume on my radio. All dressed up and someplace to go, I shed my bolero jacket or cardigan before I buckle up and hope that I cool off before I reach my destination. Most days, I arrive perspiring profusely with once-flat ironed hair all curled up.  The great news, is that I’ve replaced all jackets, cardigans and cover-up’s with my chiffon Sleeves 2 Go Shrugs and Attachable snap on Sleeves. Then to avoid wearing pantyhose, I add our half-slip Skirt/Dress Extenders so I can keep cool while exposing my favorite part of my legs (below my knees.) “Exercising my right to not bare arms has become liberating, especially with so many more options than ever before.”

Work It Girl  Women and young professionals beginning summer internships and careers may ask what is most appropriate to wear on the job? USA Today, and individual Corporations will suggest “What to Wear” and more importantly “What Not to Wear” when making wardrobe decisions. So, the age old question reemerges: Can you have bare arms at work? Are shells and tanks acceptable to wear under jackets? While summer is upon us and fall is around the bend, it’s always in season to talk about fashion rules.

Fashion Rules  Take it from Fashion Ruler, Kat Griffin, the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Corporette. Kat recalls that she had to learn fashion truths the hard way: by showing up to her conservative Wall Street office in outfits that seemed perfectly fashionable and normal when she left the house, only to realize upon arrival to the office that they were either horribly frumpy or incredibly inappropriate. In May 2008, she finally decided to take matters into her own hands and start Corporette. Kat Griffin reflects: “I graduated law school in May, and am currently a federal law clerk. My mother, who is an attorney, my sister, a law student, and I have been debating whether sleeveless tops are appropriate work attire for attorneys. I have an ivory silk blouse/shell/tank that I love, but my mother feels is only appropriate if I never take off my suit jacket. I wore it to chambers with a black skirt suit last week. Normally I wear my suit jacket throughout the day, but that day it was over 80 degrees in chambers…so naturally, I shed the jacket while working. The judge came to give me something while I had the jacket off and while I would have liked to have the jacket on when interacting with him, I shrugged it off considering his office was uncomfortably warm as well.” “What do you think of the top? Is it appropriate for work? With or without a jacket or sweater over it?” For the record, Kat Griffin prefers wearing sleeved shirts under jackets — in addition to sidestepping thebare arms” conundrum, “it also makes laundering easier by protecting the underarms of your jackets or sweaters.”

To Bare or Not to Bare? That is the question. Fashion guru’s will advise business women to build wardrobes that include tops or dresses with sleeves, or garment companions. Avoiding shoulder, arm and too much skin exposure is advice women can wrap their arms around. So as a woman, consumer, shop-til-I-drop kind of gal, and the Brand Ambassador for Sleeves 2 Go, I was curious to see what has historically made sleeveless tops so offensive. I gathered my information through research and by looking through the lens of Kat Griffin, several other Fashionista’s and the Corporate Fashion Police.  The consensus is based on the level of inappropriateness in the workplace (aka the distraction factor) and consists of several factors: how much strappiness is there? Is the bra showing? Is there a “this is underwear” vibe to simple camisoles? Lacy camisoles and skin-colored camisoles should only be worn underneath.  Cami’s, worn as a layer to raise the neckline, look too much like underwear for the office and are off limits. There are other dimensions to ponder when choosing appropriate attire.  Consider the looseness of blouses and tops and the fabric content. Common sense, professionalism and good judgement reflect in all that you do on and off the job. Know before you go, is an all-important caveat, by familiarizing yourself with your company’s dress code policy.

The Heat Is On  As summer heats up and fashion trends become even more laid back, employers are wrestling with how to adopt dress-code policies that encourage both productivity and professionalism. “Casual Fridays seemed to get out of hand ” says June Webb, in Alexandria, Va., a fashion consultant. “Now companies are starting to clamp down a little bit. They’ve found women have a tendency to show off too much skin, and men tend to show up in clothes that are wrinkled and not ironed.” “The pendulum has swung,” says CEO Jonathan Bloom. “We went through a too-casual period. … In the aftermath of the dot-com bubble, we tightened things up a little. When we were very casual, the quality of the work wasn’t as good.” “As society has changed, so has IBM,” says Donna Riley, a human resources vice president at IBM. Today’s dress code policy says we trust our employees to use good judgment.”

My take: “Work is not the place to work it.” The bottom line is to not show off your bottom and always remember to trust your gut, by not exposing it !”

Readers, what are your thoughts re: being bare-armed in the office? What factors matter when deciding whether a top is acceptable (other than know your own office?)

Jayne Bonilla, the Blogger for Arm Candy, is a passionate mom, freelance writer, motivational speaker, and the Brand Ambassador for Sleeves 2 Go.  You can reach Jayne at:


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Sleeves 2 Go ~ Rolling Up Our “Sleeves” “Even Lady Liberty Wore Sleeves” by Jayne Bonilla

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Welcome to my blog!

"It is better to improve than it is to prove"
- Jayne Bonilla

Since the road to success is always under construction, this blog is intended to serve as a visceral compass empowering readers/writers to find their own direction along the way.

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