The work appropriate bathing suit: an oxymoron, yes or no?
Much like the company pool party, travelling for work to sunny destinations is a sartorial minefield, particularly when there’s water involved.
Work trips to Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia necessarily mean beaches and swimming pools. And, if you’re lucky enough to jag accommodation at a hotel like Marina Bay Sands, you won’t be able to resist a dip in the infinity-pool-of-all-infinity pools. Even if it’s just a quick swim before meetings kick off.
But, on the flip side, do you want to be sprung looking fabulous in a bikini by a work colleague or counter-party hours before you step foot into negotiations? Which brings me to modern work travel conundrum #158, ‘The bikini: to wear or not to wear (around co-workers)?’
Danielle Dobin at Forbes says, “There is nothing to be gained by exposing your navel to the speculative gaze of your male co-workers – and trust me, they will surely if subtly be checking you out… bikinis are inevitably sexualising. They mimic lingerie and they leave very little to the imagination. Don’t go there.”
One female partner at an Am Law 100 firm in New York says, “I don’t think anything good comes from parading in a bathing suit in front of one’s colleagues, and certainly would question the wisdom of wearing a bikini in a business social context–no matter how young or fit one may be.”
I’d have to agree with these ladies on this one. During my work travels, once I establish that the bumping-into-a-colleague risk factor is acceptably low, I stick strictly to a one-piece, kaftan and leather sandals.
There’s no need to go all ‘Great Burkini Cover Up’ a la Nigella Lawson, but it’s probably best to leave the string bikini at home. I’m sure you look amazing in it, but you don’t want those in the meeting room thinking about anything other than your very clever and convincing arguments.
Monokinis and flattering plunging necklines are also off limits, in my book, due to the heightened wardrobe malfunction risk.
It’s a tricky balance to strike, so I got straight down to business and found eight one-piece swimsuits which pass for semi-professional and won’t leave you or your boss red faced if you bump into each other on deck.
8 work appropriate bathing suits, coming right up…
Attention to detail is your forte. Eres
Your very own wearable Greek flag by Solid and Striped
You won’t get Board with this Mara Hoffman cozzie.
‘I run my own company and knit my own swimsuits. Don’t mess with me.” Kiini
This one-piece by Marysia is elegant, understated and to the point. Just like you.
Sleek lines and corporate bow ties by Hunza G.
Peggy Olson + corporate pool party = Zimmerman.
Pink is powerful. Own it. Hunza G
Seal the deal with this Lisa Marie Fernandez One Piece Swimsuit.
Finally, throw on a kaftan by fellow lady boss, Camilla
…And a pair of simple sandals by businesswoman extraordinaire, Geneva Vanderzeil
The key is strategic timing
Timing is everything. Be strategic about when you head to the pool or beach. I usually go when I know my colleagues are at dinner, on a conference call or sleeping. So, unless they’re in training for a triathlon you’re less likely to bump into them in the early hours. Go just before pool opening time or for sunrise and you’ll be in the drink before everyone else arrives.
Is the ‘work appropriate bathing suit’ an oxymoron? Would you wear a swimsuit around your work colleagues?
The work appropriate bathing suit: would you wear a bikini to the office?
Cover image: @ring_chu