General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Can you help me with this work attire problem?

Asked by tinyfaery (42636points) July 14th, 2009 from iPhone

I work in a law office, and I am expected to look professional. I also have very visible arm tattoos, so much so that I must wear long or bracelet length sleeves.

Well, it’s been 100 degrees here where I live, and the button downed, long sleeved shirts, and knit pullovers are not doing it for me. I’m so hot at work.

I have already asked for the temp to be cooler, but I still sweat all day.

What can I do? Any clothing ideas?

I’m going to bed, but I will anxiously be awaiting your responses.

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34 Answers

kenmc's avatar

The best thing I can think of right now is wearing cotton since it breathes.

And see if you can get a desk fan.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There is a woman I work with (also a law office) who has many otherwise visible tattoos.
Apparently breathable clothing is a must. Cottons, linens and such.

wildpotato's avatar

There’s this – but you run the risk of looking a bit odd. Though I wouldn’t necessarily say unprofessional. Searching for that link, I also came across these, which might be more incognito but seem to be somewhat more expensive.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

would a cardigan be acceptable? they make cardigans in really light materials, because a lot of people like to wear them regardless of the weather. i can’t think of any specific places that you could find one, but i did buy a few nice, thin material cardigans at target.

good luck.

Darwin's avatar

What about make up over the tattoos?

Why a knit pull over? Can’t a good quality tailored shirt in cotton with a tailored skirt do the trick? Like this? Or this? You could also look for some solid-color tailored or quietly elegant dresses like this. Add some simple but good-quality jewelry and you would do just fine as well as have one less layer of fabric.

rooeytoo's avatar

The coolest thing to wear in the tropics is cool-max. Here is a link to dress shirts made of it:

They have an excellent of clothing in cool, wrinkle free traveling outfits that would be fine for work as well.

kevbo's avatar

Here’s a link to what appears to be a concealer blog. So maybe look into whether it’s possible to apply concealer so you can wear shorter sleeves.

rooeytoo's avatar

Jeeez, I was thinking TinyFairy is a guy, sorry I sent men’s shirts, but they have nice cool ladies clothing as well. Sorry

kenmc's avatar

@rooeytoo I’m pretty sure @tinyfaery is a guy. Confusing names and avatars, oh my!

Jeruba's avatar

Tinyfaery is a woman.

I don’t see anything wrong with letting the tattoos show. If you had them done where they’re visible, that must have been your intention. I don’t have any myself, but if I did I would not expect to have to cover them up unless they were obscene or otherwise blatantly offensive (they wouldn’t be). Has your employer asked you to conceal them?

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery removed by YARNLADY

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@Jeruba she’s at a law office…

I have tattoos I’m not aloud to show and I work at a restaurant, chances are that wouldn’t go over well at all, tattoos in the work place are still taboo, unfortunately

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Law offices are particularly conservative in general because they feel it is unprofessional to have tattoos visible.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I read the question. I guess I don’t see why they wouldn’t be allowed. They’re not taboo in my workplace, a high-tech corporation in Silicon Valley. I have seen lots of tattoos on lots of working people of all kinds. But if tinyfaery’s employer forbids it, that’s the pertinent point.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Law firms are privately owned and they can make that decision.
If I ever own a law firm, I’ll be ok with my employees having tattoos.

rooeytoo's avatar

I just remembered these too, I love these dresses, nice and soft and flowy. They are reasonably cool to wear and the long sleeves would probably do the trick.

augustlan's avatar

If you have any privacy in your workspace (a cubicle?), would they be ok with letting you wear short sleeves there, with a cardigan handy for interacting with others?

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks for those suggestions.

To confirm, I am a female.

The make-up is not an option.

Yes, I got my tattoos with the intention of me wanting to see them, but as I have aged, I am more willing to wear long
sleeves for a decent job that doesn’t make we want to shoot myself in the head.

Cool shirts, a fan, personal cooler, camisoles with tanks underneath, I will be trying them.

lilgiraffe's avatar

Can you wear more of the black, chiffony material that’s very light but at the same time not very see-through?

JLeslie's avatar

If have your own office, not a cubicle, you could buy a portable air conditioner, Similar to how people buy space heaters in the winter. These air conditioners do not have to be put in a window like the old days. I saw one in Home Depot the other day for $200 but it was for a space 17 X 20, maybe they make them smaller and less expensive.

Also, if you are in an office can’t you wear tanks or short sleeve and just put on a jacket when you have to meet with people? Or, maybe you can do this if you are in a cubicle as long as it is only coworkers in the office.

Cotton is the way to go.

Another thing, if sweating is your concern, Certain Dry anti-persperant is a miracle. You only put it on every 72 hours.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I used to have a black swimsuit cover up, I’m sorry to say I do not know what it was made of, that was long sleeved. It was basically a netting type thing, but you couldn’t see through it. Inside, it’s fairly cool, especially with a fan. Outside it was warm if the sun was on it. As an adult, I currently have something that is basically the same thing but looser and came with a tank top to put underneath it.

Edited to add: The closest guess I can think of was that it was nylon or maybe something similar.

casheroo's avatar

Just to add, make up isn’t a good option…if she’s already sweating, then I’m beting that makeup would run right offf. yikes!

I don’t know if it’d go with your outfits, but I think a nice cardigan over top your outfit might be nice. You can take it off during break and easily cool off after work

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, time to go shopping. Poor me. ;)

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I’m very surprised that nobody has mentioned silk yet. It keeps one cool in warm weather while helping one to keep warm in cold weather. Plus it looks great. A wonderful material.

Judi's avatar

@wildpotato ; I got my mom one of thosee neck things and she loves it!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

How did the cardigan thing work out while at your desk? Would your boss allow it?

bea2345's avatar

The pharmacist I see most of has a magnificent set of tattoos on both arms, from wrist to shoulder – at least it disappears under the sleeve of his shirt. It makes him look quite piratical and dashing and the drug store does good business. On the other hand, I heard the other night about a woman who has passed her police examinations and is being offered a job, subject to her removing her (highly visible) tattoos. The conversation was largely about raising the funds – apparently it is possible to remove a tattoo without removing the skin.

There is nothing wrong with tattoos, but if it is a problem, then cottons and linens are the way to go.

Darwin's avatar

@bea2345 – It is possible to remove tattoos, but if you do not choose your dermatologist wisely, you often end up with a scar afterwards. In any case, your skin is never quite what it was pre-tattoo. A friend of mine refused to marry her sweetie until he removed his tattoo, which he did. However, he ended up with a scar where the laser got too hot.

It runs about $2000 or so per typical tattoo for removal.

@casheroo – There are such things as sweat-proof make-up and concealers, which is a very good thing because so many Hollywood stars have tattoos these days that would limit their roles otherwise.

noelasun's avatar

I’m not sure if its been suggested yet… But perhaps something with wide sleeves would help.
Looking for something akin to pool cover up tops would help, though finding some that look professional might be a challenge.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I work in a climate where 100+ degree days are quite normal and particular business people are expected to not only wear long sleeves shirts but also neckties. You just deal.

skceb1234's avatar

why dont you try wearing a high waisted thin cotton pencil skirt with a vest top underneath. and then to cover your tattoos get a thin cotton cardigan to go over the top.

bea2345's avatar

@Darwin – I did send a message, through a mutual friend, to the would-be policewoman, advising her to see a dermatologist rather than a beautician. I don’t know what was the outcome.

figbash's avatar

Have you ever tried these tattoo cover-up sleeves? They look like you could work them into some of the other attire suggestions – just wear these with a camisole and then put a super-gauzy cardigan over it (JCrew carries some that are really, really light) and it should be more manageable! If you have these on, you could wear something cotton and sheer, too. Investing in two of these may be good for the long-term if your employer is that conservative. Good luck!

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