SOURCE: dressbarn

July 26, 2011 11:14 ET

Tips From dressbarn on Preventing a Summer Fashion Meltdown

Fashion Retailer Offers Advice to Help Women "Breeze" Through the Workday With Office-Friendly Style

SUFFERN, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2011) - Scorching temperatures around the country inspired fashion experts at dressbarn to create a "do" list of warm weather office looks to help local business women sail through the summer looking cool, stylish and professional.

"No one wants their reputation around the office to be based on dressing inappropriately," says Vivian Behrens, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of dressbarn and maurices. "Your appearance can have a huge impact on how you are perceived and even on how your ideas are received in the workplace. Quite simply, dressing properly is a sign of respect for your company, your employer and your job."

With so many fashion points-of-view to choose from, Behrens says that it can be difficult to identify the workday look that accommodates the rising mercury while saying, "I'm here to do my job, and I'm good at it." Here are some guidelines for building a working wardrobe without sacrificing style for comfort.

Corporate offices often enforce a strict dress code, regardless of weather. A sure-fire strategy for dressing appropriately is to take your wardrobe cues from your superiors. "Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have," advises Behrens. "And follow the rules. If the employee handbook mandates pantyhose, wear it, but choose summer-sheer styles that match your skin tone."

Behrens offers these additional wardrobe pointers:

  • Opt for a lighter colored suit. Light grey is a great summer look that's a feminine take on the corporate standard.
  • Pair a pencil skirt or lightweight dress pants with a floral cotton top and a blazer to keep your look summery and tailored. (You can shed the blazer after work to keep your cool.)
  • Opt for breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton.
  • Avoid strappy sandals and flip flops, even if the dress code allows opened-toed shoes.
  • If Casual Friday is an option, opt for a simple sleeveless sheath dress, draped with a lightweight cardigan.

Casual Offices typically have relaxed dress codes that allow for trendier looks, but this doesn't mean a pass on professionalism. That dress you wore to the beach on the weekend is probably far too casual to pass muster in the office. And ditch the flip flops for more stylish -- and professional -- strappy sandals and wedges.

Behrens adds these summer fashion suggestions for less rigid dress codes:

  • Show off your summer style with bright colors, not bare skin.
  • Make sure your skirt passes the 'Sit Test:' if your undergarments touch the seat when you sit down, your skirt is too short. Generally speaking, your skirt should reach your fingertips when you stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
  • Go sleeveless, but avoid spaghetti straps or cover up with a cardigan.
  • Think 'Casual Chic:' pair sleek capris with bold, flowy tops and stylish strappy shoes.
  • Embrace bright whites, but make sure they aren't see-through.

"Follow your own fashion instincts and you'll usually make the right choice," says Behrens. "If you have to ask yourself if something is work-appropriate, it probably isn't."

The trained associates at dressbarn are available to help women create a versatile wardrobe that will carry them through the workday and into the evening with style, while helping to keep their feet firmly on the path to success in the workplace.

For more information on dressbarn, please visit

About dressbarn
, a brand of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), is a leading national women's specialty apparel retailer offering quality casual, career and special occasion fashions. dressbarn stores carry styles in sizes 4 to 24, as well as shoes and accessories. Today, dressbarn operates over 830 stores in 47 states. For store information and to shop online, visit