Dear Carson: I hope you'll address the topic of business attire for women in more formal office settings, particularly in the summer.
Here are my suggestions: If you spend your day in an air conditioned office, dress for 72 to 75 degrees, even if it is 98 degrees outside. If you are in and out of the office, wear a jacket that can be taken off in your car. Sleeveless dresses and blouses, tank tops, sundresses, low-cut tops and sandals are inappropriate in a formal office. Stockings are essential, even in midsummer.
A good guideline is that if the men in similar positions in your office wear long-sleeved shirts and ties, then you should not show up with bare arms and open-toe shoes. If the men dress in short sleeves or golf shirts, then the standard is more relaxed. -- An Augusta Executive
Dear Executive: I could not have expressed it better. Thanks so much for writing.
Hi Carson: I have a bet with a friend over this one. At a small social gathering, is it polite to leave without speaking to your host and thanking him for the invitation? Thanks. -- Departing Guest
Dear Departing: One should always thank one's host and hostess before leaving. An exception to this rule would be when your early departure might start a mass exodus. It is not necessary to say your goodbyes at a wedding reception or other massive social gathering when many people are gathered around the hosts.
Dear Carson: We got married this weekend. Upon opening gifts my wife and I realized there weren't even cards from a few relatives. We know these people would have at least given us a card even if they couldn't afford a gift. A check with the reception hall determined that nothing was left behind.
We have two concerns: One, if they gave us money or a check it may have been stolen; two, do we send a thank-you note for a gift we never received? Is there a way to find out if they left something on a table or something is in the mail? -- Concerned Newlyweds
Dear Newlyweds: I would advise against assuming they sent a gift and thanking them.
Any good thank-you note always mentions the gift. To assume that something may have been lost or stolen would be presumptuous. However, do alert your parents so that if these relatives mention to them that they haven't received a thank-you note you may deal with it at that time.
Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O.Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call INFOLINE at 442-4444 and press 4422. Carson's Web site is at www.theproperthing.com.
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