How to Avoid a Flip-Flop Flap in the Office

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By now most of the world has heard about the "flip-flop flap" -- the controversy the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team caused when they wore flip-flops to their photo-op with President Bush. However, if flip-flops are a no-no at the White House, does that mean that they are a yes-yes at the office?

By now most of the world has heard about the "flip-flop flap" -- the controversy the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team caused when they wore flip-flops to their photo-op with President Bush. However, if flip-flops are a no-no at the White House, does that mean that they are a yes-yes at the office?

"When I was a child, flip-flops were attire for going to the beach or the pool only," says certified etiquette and protocol consultant Leah Ingram. "You might get away with wearing them to the mall or the movies but you would never enter a house of worship or a government office wearing them. Unfortunately, flip-flops have become so ubiquitous that frequently I see young women wearing them to church, to special occasions, to the office and now, as the national media has recorded, to the White House."

With Labor Day right around the corner and the official end of summer, workers everywhere could use a fashion refresher from a good manners point of view. Ingram has developed three tips to help employees avoid a "flip-flop flap" in their own offices:

1.    Show respect with how you dress at the office. "Nearly 75 percent of what determines a person's success in the business world is his social skills, including knowing how to dress," says Ingram, author of the forthcoming book "The Everything Etiquette Book: A Modern Day Guide to Good Manners." "If you respect yourself by dressing professionally, others will respect you, too."

2.    Business casual should be a mix of both - business looking clothing that is casual in nature. Pressed khakis and a crisp shirt get Ingram's thumbs up. Jeans and t-shirt are a no go, even on casual Fridays.

3.    Wearing something that might be worn to the beach, (i.e. tank top, short shorts, or flip-flops), is not appropriate for the office. "I don't care if you forego stockings when you wear a dress and strappy sandals," Ingram adds, "but for heaven's sake, please choose the strappy sandals over flip-flops."

About the Author

Leah Ingram is a media-savvy author and speaker as well as a certified etiquette and protocol consultant. She is also the author of "The Everything Etiquette Book: A Modern Day Guide to Good Manners" (Adams), "Gifts Anytime: How to Find the Perfect Present for Any Occasion" (ASJA Press); "Buying & Selling Your Way to a Fabulous Wedding with eBay" (Thomson); "Plan Your Wedding In No Time" (QUE Publishing); and "The Complete Guide for the Anxious Bride" (Career Press). Ingram has offered lively advice on all kinds of sticky etiquette situations on television, radio and in print interviews. For more information or to schedule an interview, visit http://www.leahingram.com or call 215-862-8256.

Leah Ingram

Certified Etiquette and Protocol Consultant

106 Summer Lea Ct.

New Hope, Pa 18938

Phone: 215-862-8256

Fax: 215-862-8257

http://www.leahingram.com

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