Sandal Etiquette For the Workplace

Published: 26th June 2008
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As casual wear becomes the norm at most offices, sandals have begun to be accepted at corporate offices nationwide. However, there are still a few precautions you should take when wearing these comfortable shoes at work. Follow these handy tips to ensure that you are "doing the right thing" when it comes to toe exposure at the office. These tips apply to both women and men.



1. Dress it Up



The sandal that you wear at the office should not be the sandal that you wear on the weekend. They should be dressier sandals that you reserve for office wear only, and be made out of leather or suede rather than any synthetics or any fabrics. Leather & suede make the sandal look more upscale. Avoid flip flops and plastics at all costs, regardless of how casual you think the office is. It is never that casual.



2. Limit Overflows



Your feet should never overhang any portion of the sandal. This applies to the little toe if the sandal is too narrow, or the heel if it isn't long enough. Likewise to feet bulging through straps; it is best to avoid a strappy sandal at the workplace altogether to keep from committing this faux pas. This is not only for appearance, but for your safety as well.



3. Ban The Yellow



You shouldn't have any spots on your feet that are callused or yellow. The backs of your heels are especially visible in most sandals and should be taken care of. Sand down any yellowed portions with a pumice stone or similar implement.



4. Keep It Trimmed



Your toenails should be trimmed and kept clean. Sandals allow more of an accumulation of dirt on the nail, so you should wash and moisturize your feet every night to guard against infections and keep your feet and toenails in good shape.



5. The Pedi is a Necessity



Male or female, you should get a pedicure to ensure that your cracked, sick skin does not show. Do not force the rest of the world to look at open orifices on your feet. It is disgusting, even if it is a part of you. Get it looked after. The frequency of your pedicures should vary with the ick-factor of your feet. If you know you have problem feet, go for biweekly peds. If you have normal feet, once every month or two should do the job.



6. Shave the Beast



This is especially for the men in the crowd. If you have some hair on the tops of your toes, shave it off. It will not make you womanly to do so - it will keep your boss from staring at your short and curlies while you are trying to dazzle them with your quarterly report.



7. When to Not Wear Sandals



If your feet are completely hideous and will not look any better without plastic surgery, or you cannot afford to get regular pedicures, you should not wear sandals in the workplace. They are also not acceptable in colder weather. There is some controversy over whether or not they are acceptable after Labor Day due to the excessive heat Septembers are starting to bring us, but generally temperature dictates the fashion. If you have to wear a jacket, don't wear sandals. Otherwise, feel free to expose those toes.



8. Nylons or Socks With Sandals



You are at work, not at your future rest home. Never. Ever. Period.



9. Fight the Urge to Itch



With access to your feet comes access to the itch on your feet. Keep anti-itching powder in your desk to put on your toes when you feel the need to scratch your feet. If anyone sees you itching your feet and flakes of skin falling off, their urge to visit the bathroom immediately afterwards to lose their lunch may be greater than your urge to stop the itching. Just a dab of powder will do the trick and keep your co-worker's lunches where they belong - in their tummies.



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