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Fashion Crimes Podcast

May 23, 2024

What is up, Fashion Besties! Holly Katz, your favorite personal stylist for women over 40—and we mean, way over 40—is back with another fabulous episode of the Fashion Crimes Podcast.


This week, we're charging into the chaotic world of office dress codes as many of us have returned to "Back to Work in the Office."


Based on an insightful article in the Wall Street Journal recently, we're breaking down the do's and don'ts of workplace attire in 2024.


In this episode, Holly addresses the great debate about 'crop tops' in the office. Are they appropriate? Who can wear them, and how should they be styled to keep them professional yet fashionable?


Holly shares her expert advice, drawing from personal experience and the latest fashion trends. 


Spoiler alert:

Holly has been rocking crop tops since she was 12 and continues to do so fabulously at 50. I mean, the crop top has gotten longer, but still a crop nonetheless! MUST DO: Find Holly's specially curated Pinterest board just for you, for this episode.



Key Highlights in This Episode



The Article that Sparked It All:


While researching the topic of dress codes, Holly came across a great article written by Jessica Roy of the Wall Street Journal titled: "Your Intern Is Wearing a Corporate Crop Top. Should You Say Something—or Join Her?"


How’s that for an eyeball-stopping headline? It certainly got our attention!


Office Dress Code Apocalypse: What to do. What to wear?


So, Holly started wondering: What is the current state of office dress codes post-pandemic and how are different industries adapting (or not) to the changes?  


Well, it depends on where you work:


Tech Industry:

Casual wear like jeans, rec sneakers, and t-shirts can be the norm, but adding a stylish blazer can elevate the look for meetings. And accessorize!


Finance and Law:

Stick to traditional dress codes with modern twists, like a sleek suit in a bold color or a dress with a fabulous printed shoe. Texture and pattern can go a long way for a stricter dress code.


Creative Fields:

More flexibility allows for expressive attire, such as distressed fabrics, body art, logo tees and non-traditional work attire. Bold colors and clothing with more 'personality' is usually widely accepted. 


Holly shares her views on why it's essential to redefine workplace attire standards to match the modern, flexible work environment.


Pushing past your comfort zone and expressing yourself through fashion, even if just a little, can be appropriate in a business or work environment if done tastefully.



Crop Tops in the Workplace – Yay or Nay? We know what we think, what do you think?


Are women now wearing crop tops to the office?

What are people saying about that?


Well, if the comments at the end of the WSJ article are any indication, this subject seems to have caused a bit of a debate.


Holly shares her take on how, yes, you actually can style a cropped top that will accentuate your waist - AND – look professional without having half of your stomach showing.

In fact, if you are worried about your midsection, wearing a shorter top or jacket will actually help you look thinner. It's fashion law.

That is a fashion fact, and you can quote Holly on that all day long. Here’s how to pull it together:


1.) Pair a cropped blouse with high-waisted tailored trousers and a structured blazer for a chic, office-appropriate look.  #yyaasssss


2.) Opt for a crop top that just grazes the waistband of a high-waisted pencil skirt, adding a fitted cardigan for extra coverage and sophistication. #sllllaayyyy


3.) For a more conservative approach, wear a slightly longer crop top that overlaps with high-waisted wide-leg pants, finished with a statement belt to define your waist. #ffieerrce



Pinterest Alert!

Don't miss out on Holly's specially curated Pinterest board for this episode. It's packed with style inspirations and wardrobe ideas to help you nail the crop top trend at work.



Side Bar: Party Invitation Dress Codes Decoded


With the swarm of spring and summer celebrations in full swing, are you getting party invitations with dress codes mentioned?  


Do you know what words like “Chic,” “Cocktail” and “Day Party” mean?


Yeah, we don’t either.


Party hosts must BE SPECIFIC if they have a theme or dress code style in mind for their parties.


Most humans (not our Fashion Besties) are unclear on what proper party attire is on a good day...and can commit a fashion crime if not explained and broken down. 

Party Hosts: Please tell guests in plain English what you want them to wear.


And then add a 1-800 helpline if they need clarification, because it’s brave of them to ask for help in order to ensure you have the perfect party. They want to get it right. Help them.


In this part of the episode, Holly offers her insights on interpreting and adhering to dress codes on party invitations, with examples like "Aloha Chic" and "Fabulous." Here are some fashion clues for your guests:


1.) "Aloha Chic"

Hawaiian shirts for men and tropical print sundresses for women. Add floral accessories or leis to complete the look.

2.) "Fabulous"

Sequined dresses, statement jewelry, and sky-high heels for women; tailored suits with bold ties or pocket squares for men. Think glamorous, bougie, and over-the-top.

3.) "Cocktail Attire"

Chic black dresses or elegant jumpsuits for women...(and evening jumpsuit!) paired with evening, beaded shoes and a coordinating bag. Men can opt for dark suits with crisp dress shirts and stylish shoes.

Final Thoughts

At the Fashion Crimes Podcast, we are here to help our Fashion Besties stop making common fashion mistakes.


Whether it's navigating office dress codes or dressing for a party, we've got you covered with tips and tricks to elevate your style game.


Remember, we are the best fashion friend you never knew you needed.


For more style tips and to join the fashion conversation, visit Holly's Pinterest Board and follow us on social media.


Catch you next time on the Fashion Crimes Podcast! Find us (subscription-free) wherever you get your podcasts, and find us on YouTube.


Stay fabulous, Fashion Besties!


- Holly Katz

Your favorite personal stylist, and the hostess with the mostest.