In most parts of the United States, September marks the beginning of fall weather. In San Francisco, the month marks the beginning of Indian summer—also known as the best time to visit San Francisco. It is the period that runs from September to early November, where our weather is warm and sunny, and most akin to Southern California. For me (and to a certain extent my daughter Ilse), it’s just too warm. Our top floor apartment takes hours to cool off after work. All the places I’d want to go to cool off are swarming with other city dwellers. Dressing for work becomes a chore because everything feels hot, particularly wearing dark colors. Lately, thanks to my current pregnancy, wearing my daily nude pantyhose or nude knee highs is just unbearable. So, I’ve decided to take a break from the hosiery this summer and go bare, with a few caveats. Earlier this year, I wrote about the “shave if you feel like it” trend, and if you dare to go bare at work this Indian summer, here are a few rules of engagement to consider.
Read your employee handbook on dress code and expected grooming.
If you work in an office environment like me, you probably read your employee handbook on your first day of work and forgot about it. Now is the time to re-read it and understand how bare you are permitted to be before you show up in your airy linen skirt with bare legs and sandals. No one wants to get on the naughty list in the office for inappropriate work wear.
Modesty matters in the workplace.
Mind the length of skirts and dresses. Not all skirts and dresses are work appropriate. As a rule of thumb, I stand and sit in any potential skirts or dresses I plan to wear to work. I am also wary of anything that shows off too much skin. No breasts. No bellies (no matter how taut your abs are!) No butt cracks.
Shave, exfoliate, moisturize
Once you have a green light to go bare, prepare your skin to be seen. Shave, exfoliate, moisturize! People still judge. Showing up to work with ashy, dry skin is just as sloppy as showing up with soaking-wet hair. If you’re feeling extra, do a little self-tanner for that “back from vacation” bronze glow.
Shapewear or slips
Last rule. If you have worn hosiery to work like I have, you understand the power of control-top pantyhose. Without the hosiery, consider Spanx or other shapewear to smooth out your body while you’re going bare. As an added measure, I always do one last check in a full-length mirror to make sure I didn’t miss a random food stain or that my skirt/dress is not hiking up my backside.
For the few months of summer weather in San Francisco, going bare-legged is quite the luxury, especially at work. It’s one less item I have to wear, and more importantly, one more way to stay cool. How do you stay cool at work during San Francisco summers?