How Low Can You Go? Low Necklines at Work?

31 Mar

Issa Silk-Jersey Knot Dress,, $405

Is it just us or are necklines getting lower and lower on dresses and tops nowadays?  We were browsing in the dresses section of and were shocked – no, appalled – to see the dress pictured above listed as a “work dress.”  Exactly what kind of work did Net-a-Porter have in mind when they decided this dress fit into the work category? 

If we walked into a law office wearing a please-look-at-me (no, let’s rephrase that to “please-look-at-us”) neckline like this one, our reputation at work would be totally ruined.  Who can take someone seriously when their C -cups are half exposed?  Is this a joke?  A mistake?  Did Net-a-Porter truly intend this dress to be categorized as a work piece?  Even a camisole or scarf could not save this plunging neckline.

Perhaps some smaller-chested women can get away with slightly low necklines (and we would not characterize the neckline pictured above as slightly plunging, by the way – with any more plunge, the model’s belly button just might be exposed).  However, we would advise staying away from low necklines altogether in the office unless you’re able to use a scarf or camisole to raise the neckline a bit.  If you’re the teasing kind, feel free to wear your sexy, cleavage-baring pieces on nights and weekends when you’re out on the town, but please leave those pieces in your closet when headed to your day job.  Low necklines send the wrong message in a professional environment.  No one has an excuse to try to check our your assets (that’s what sexual harassment lawsuits are made of), but please don’t encourage anyone to do so either by wearing something inappropriate that screams “check-us-out”! 

Perhaps our friends over at Net-a-Porter are marketing to some, ahem, “working girls” who aren’t exactly in conservative fields.  We’re thinking that we’re probably preaching to the choir here, so we’ll stop now.  Just had to get this off our chest (no pun intended)!


7 Responses to “How Low Can You Go? Low Necklines at Work?”

  1. J March 31, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Say that!!!

  2. Terri March 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Agreed. Definitely not for work.

  3. PetiteAsianGirl April 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Net-a-porter is more fashion forward so I would not expect them to define “work-appropriate” the same way you or I may. Agreed that that dress is not appropriate for work in a business casual or formal environment, but for those jobs with more leeway, I suppose this could be worn with a tank or tee underneath.

  4. Bonnie April 2, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    I have noticed this trend as well. Most of the dresses I see in stores are either very low cut or have very dowdy high necklines. It’s frustrating that there is very little in between these extremes. When I’m not in trial, I often wear dresses to work. Most of them require a tank or camisole. This dress would be work appropriate with those modifications.

  5. Nicole April 6, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    A supervisor at work has worn plunging necklines, and it’s just so darn distracting! Thoughts scrolling through my mind, “Wow– is that what happens when you turn 50?” “Are those freckles or sun damage?” “Is she testing me?” “If I feel uncomfortable, how are the men in our office going to feel?” “A nice camisole would do her well.” “Note to self: this is what not to wear.” “Oh crap–I have no idea what she is talking about.” “Get me outta here.”

  6. Joyce Lau May 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    I love Net-a-Porter, but they are definitely in outer space when it comes to work-appropriate clothes.
    I just blogged on what they filed under their “creative industries” work outfits — very short shorts paired with very high platform heels. I think of “creative industries” as media, art, etc., where even the fashion-forward don’t go to work in anything that looks like hot pants! (These shorts are above mid-thigh)
    Maybe they meant “creative industry” in a different way. 🙂

  7. John October 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Last week a new employee started at work. I work in a federal office building. This lady isn’t wearing anything nearly as low as the one pictured above but she is still showing some cleavage. I’m no prude, but when I’m at work I don’t want to see it. I find myself looking away after just a second when speaking to her due to both my not wanting to see it, but more so because I don’t want anyone filing a complaint that I was staring.
    If some women can complain that they are made to feel uncomfortable by conversations in the work place I wonder how come some women can get away with wearing tops that show cleavage.
    I’m about positive if I complained I would be labeled a trouble maker or a jokester. Either way my career would be damaged.

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