Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What to wear to the company picnic

Yesterday afternoon was AMT's annual company picnic. This event is always a lot of fun. There's delicious catered BBQ, games like croquet, horse shoes, softball, and even Bingo! We eat and drink and socialize and it's a lot of fun for everyone. It's a family event, so a lot of people bring their children, and overall it's just a fun way to kick off the summer. Since we opened California Soul on Friday, it was also a nice way to relax and enjoy celebrating the newest show on our stage. It did get me thinking, though, because the subject came up about what would be an appropriate outfit to wear. Since it's not actually work but still a work-related event, what is the protocal on dressing for this type of event? Since this was not my first AMT company picnic, I had a good idea of what to expect- a casual dinner at picnic tables at a local public park, followed by games out in the sun- definitely a very casual affair. But some companies host their company outings at country clubs or fancier venues than a local park. What do you wear in that type of situation?

Just as in dressing for work, when dressing for a company event, whether it's a casual picnic, or an important function, look to the higher-ups and model your attire after them. Because even though the event is not technically at work, you are still there representing yourself to your company and if the HR director is there seeing you in dirty cut-off jeans and an old "Budweiser" t-shirt, it's definitely NOT a good thing. So, that being said, the first step to dressing for a company event is to find out what to expect. Where is it located? What will be happening there? Ask your coworkers how people tend to dress for the event. It's okay to ask- it's far better to feel a little embarrassed about asking that question than it is to show up dressed completely wrong and sticking out like a sore thumb. Once you know a little about the event, you can make an informed sartorial decision.

AMT's company picnic is very casual as you can see from some of these candids I snapped yesterday:

The most important thing for nearly everyone in attendance was that we wore sunglasses and comfortable clothes that would keep us cool in the hot summer sun. Dressing up was not a necessity for this event. However, if you work somewhere that hosts a little more formal summer event, such as a boating trip, or even if the event is simply held at a country club or resort-type venue, then you need to be more concerned with your attire. You can still wear jeans and a t-shirt, but make sure they are clean and wrinkle-free, not to mention stain-free. An even better choice for guys would be a pair of khaki or seersucker shorts with a polo shirt. "Mandals" (Man sandals) are a great choice to finish off the look. They almost always look better than sneakers, but I'm certainly not completely opposed to sneakers, especially if they are low-top Chuck Taylors. Ladies, as always you have far more choices for your attire for a company function, so just be careful to choose something that is tasteful and doesn't show too much skin. If you wear your favorite cut-off short shorts, then avoid the crop top. And if you choose to wear a sundress, particularly a strapless one, keep the hemline at or around the knee. This season, rompers are very "in" but if you choose to wear one, pair it with flat sandals, flip flops or even fabric oxfords to keep the look appropriate.

I think a summer event for your company is a good opportunity to show your personal style a little bit, especially if the corporate side of things has a strict dress code. It's just important to keep it appropriate and professional even if it is a casual event.

Here I am with my friend and co-worker Julie, who really nailed the perfect AMT picnic outfit. She balanced the short short with a cute button-up shirt that was long enough that she never showed her belly. Also, she added a pop of fun and quirkiness to the outfit with those amazing pink cowboy boots. Not only do they show her personal style, but they even managed to reduce the amount of leg she was showing so that those cut-offs were not the least bit questionable.

Bethany (left) and Missy (right) also put together great outfits for the event. Bethany sported an adorable dark chambray romper, in a loose, comfortable fit. Missy paired a simple white top with cute denim shorts and a wide belt. Both ladies donned gladiator sandals and aviator sunglasses and they also kept the accessories simple and casual.

This picture just cracks me up! We kept saying these guys were having a "Dude-Off." Whatever that is. They were being "dudes." Most of them did a pretty good job, but I'd say Jacob (in the yellow) really nailed the right look. Khaki cargo shorts and a bright polo shirt, topped off with a worn-out baseball cap and finished with a pair of flip flops. Mike and Chris, the guys in black t-shirt and jeans, were probably really hot all afternoon. It was a sweltering day, so they probably would have been a lot more comfortable if they'd chosen shorts instead of jeans and worn a lighter-color t-shirt. But they're musicians, used to wearing head-to-toe black nearly all the time, so we can hardly blame the for not stepping out of their comfort zone. (P.S. I love how the three guys are posing with their horse-shoes as Chris- in front- is about to toss his. Hilarious!)

I hope this has been helpful to you for any future company events you may have to attend. Have a fabulous week! I'll be back later today with a Shoesday Tuesday post, so stay tuned!

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