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What Not to Wear to the Company Picnic

Kimberly Law, AICI CIP


The lazy days of summer are here at last and with them, out-door activities such as picnics and barbeques. For many of us these activities provide an opportunity to wear casual, comfortable clothing such as shorts and t-shirts. Although these items can work well for casual gatherings, expectations for the company picnic may require a little more thought.

Sexy & frumpy have no place in the workplace. They also have no place at business gatherings, even at the park. When dressing for work or any work related activity it's important to appear credible. Consider style, fabric and appropriateness.

How casual is too casual? Just because it's comfortable it doesn't mean it's suitable. Consider the condition of the garment as well. Well-worn, wrinkled, stained or dirty clothing appears sloppy and reflects on your personality.

Although shorts may be appropriate for the occasion, it's important to recognise that not all shorts are created equal. Cut-offs and short-shorts may be worn for socializing with friends, but not business acquaintances. Opt for walking shorts, Bermudas or Capri's instead.

More skin - less credibility. For women, sleeveless tops may be warranted by the heat. However tanks, cropped tops, backless and halters are not. Appropriate styles for men include quality t-shirts and polo's.

Lightweight fabrics are cool - sheer is not. Always be aware of what is showing under the clothing.
Fabric can dramatically alter the look of a garment making it appear casual, professional, sexy or dressy. When choosing fabrics consider how credible you appear.

Watch what you say! Advertising and novelty slogans on clothing can say a lot about you and your personality. The wrong logo or slogan speaks louder than words and may damage your company's reputation and yours. Your company's logo proudly displayed advertises the company and you as its representative.

Choose clothing that fits. Clothing that is too small will emphasize your body shape, diminishing your credibility; Clothing that is too big adds bulk and makes the wearer look frumpy. Well fitted clothing looks more expensive and well put together.

To 'dress for success' at the company picnic, credibility is the key. Use these tips and choose your wardrobe accordingly.

Kimberly Law, AICI CIP is a Certified Professional Image and Etiquette Consultant and principal of Personal Impact International founded in 1999. She is an author and a speaker, and works with companies, men and women helping them refine their look from head to toe and enhance professional communication, to help her clients look and act their very best, always! She is one of only 125 image consultants world-wide and was the first in Western Canada to receive international recognition as a 'Certified Image Professional' through the Association of Image Consultants International ( She was elected to serve as AICI's President Elect for the 2010 - 2011 term. And has been has been featured as a personal image expert across Canada through the media. For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberly Law at tel: 604-298-7228, mobile: 604-626-3907, email: visit or see Kimberly's Media Kit.