Dress Codes Deciphered: The Company Picnic

A tisket, a tasket. It’s summertime, so grab your picnic basket! Who doesn’t love a picnic and all that comes with it – an opportunity to relax and play; indulge in delicious summer treats; and enjoy the company of others in a casual environment (which hopefully is not TOO casual if you are attending a company picnic). Even though the event is relaxed, you’ll still be amongst your co-workers and colleagues. That said, it’s important to strike a balance on many levels – including your clothing. So while flip flops, cut offs, and tank tops may work well when picnicking with pals; dressing for the company picnic requires a bit more thought. Here are some helpful guidelines to dress appropriately for picnics with the company crew.

Short Story: By all means, wear shorts, but make sure they are a respectable length. Leave the Daisy Dukes at home and instead opt for a Bermuda or a walking short with a bit of coverage. Capris are also a good choice as they give a nod to summer, but provide more coverage for the modest amongst us. While on the subject, short sleeve or sleeveless tops may be warranted by the heat, but halters, cropped or backless tops are not. Save them for more social situations.

Dress Smart: If you choose to wear a dress, keep it casual. Make sure that it is an appropriate length and that you can sit, eat, and play in it. Pair with a cardigan and some flats to pull the look together.

Denim Days: If you decide to wear denim, opt for a dark or uniform wash. Avoid jeans with whiskering, holes, or busy embellishments that can easily read sloppy or gaudy by a non-fashion crowd.

Game On: Chances are you’ll be playing softball, tossing a Frisbee, or taking part in some sort of relay race. Wear shoes that are comfortable and easy to move aroundin. You don’t want to be known as the company diva and left sitting on the side lines because your shoes have 4 inch heels that sink in the grass.

T-rrific: Nothing says casual and comfortable like a T-shirt. But, let’s face it…there are T’s and there are T’s. The T you work out or sleep in should not make an appearance at the company picnic. Instead opt for one that’s fitted and in good condition. Avoid the T with an ‘ironic’ or ‘funny’ message or slogan, as it may be misunderstood. Your image speaks volumes …your T-shirt should not!

Face Time: Even though you’ll be out-of-doors, put your best face forward by wearing makeup. But since it’s a casual day, there’s no need to overdo it. Just dab will do you with a tinted moisturizer, medium lip color,bronzer/blush, and mascara. And, don’t forget the sunscreen! After all, turning red and splotchy does not send a professional (or well-cared for) message.

The company picnic is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your co-workers – and perhaps even showcase a bit more of your personal style. Just remember to keep it casual, yet credible…comfortable yet chic.


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