Fashion Q & A:
Keeping Warm at Work

Q: I am always cold in my office. Is it appropriate to wear ponchos, shawls and wraps while I am working? I’ve been wearing these for a while and have been getting some weird looks!

A: Although the layering looks you are describing are indeed warm and fashionable, they are still considered outerwear and are not the best choice to help keep you warm indoors, especially in professional business environments.

If you have a job that requires you to interact with others, you want to select apparel that instantly communicates that you are focused on your job and the work at hand. Wearing any kind of outerwear all day long does not set a business tone and can be distracting to others. Since many do not consider this type of clothing to be appropriate, you also risk alienating people you work with or having them question your judgment. Clothing that wraps around your body like a blanket can also look sloppy and can pose safety issues as anything that drapes and falls can get caught in a variety of machinery and office equipment.

To keep warm, think layering traditional office attire — knit tops under blazers, cardigan sweaters over shirts and blouses. We’re also big fans of silk underwear and tights as both provide a thin, warm layer that does not create any extra bulk. Good luck!