Dressy Sandals?


Okay, I’m a guy so what do I know about fashion right?  But when it comes to an office dress code for “business casual” what are dressy sandals?

That was the latest debate in our office this week when one of our managers reminded everyone of the office dress code.  When reminded that business casual is slacks, collared shirts, shoes and no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, sandals or flip-flops, it stirred up folks.  In fact, when people are supposed to be working, I walked into the mailroom to hear a heated debated about sandals and flip-flops.

The lack of common sense amazes me.

If you are working in a professional office, you should look professional.  I don’t think a lot of people get what “business casual” means.

Business casual NEVER includes jeans.  I will also add leggings in here too.  If the term was simply “casual” yes, but not BUSINESS casual.  As far as sandals or flip-flops, they shouldn’t be allowed.  I worked in an office once where my neighbor wore flip-flops daily and the “flip flip flip” sound drove me crazy.  Some say that dressy sandals are okay.  What exactly are dressy sandals?

To clarify the official dress code for business casual:


  • Long-sleeved shirts of conservative colors
  • Short-sleeved shirts such a polo shirts are acceptable
  • Ties are optional
  • Dockers or dressy khakis pants
  • Loafers or conservative footwear.  No athletic shoes.
  • No jeans, shorts or sweatpants


  • Tailored shirts, knits and blouses with solid colors
  • Long or full short sleeves
  • No tank tops or t-shirts
  • Skirts or pants.  Skirts should reach the knee while standing.
  • No jeans or leggings
  • Opened toed shoes as long as they do not veer into sandals

In a professional business environment, you have to be dressed appropriately because you never know when you will have to meet with a client at the last minute or someone walks in the door.  I am often amazed at what people wear to the office.  I am left wondering where are the adults?  This is work, not play time or time to hit the honky tonks downtown.  Always consider the nature of your business and consider your work environment.

I worked in an office several years ago where management had to spell out every detail of clothing that could and could not be worn as business casual.  When you have to remind the staff that they can’t wear jeans with holes in them or t-shirts with suggestive messages then something is wrong.  If you are a manager and you say something is not allowed as business casual then stick to it.  Don’t let employees debate it and wear you down to change it.  If you don’t think it’s appropriate in your business setting to allow sandals or flip-flops then stick with it.

Dressy sandals?  Are you kidding me?  Don’t leave your common sense in the closet.









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