Dear Tina,

My job is having our first company picnic next Friday.  Since we've never had one before, I'm not sure what I should wear, etc.  Do I just treat it like a bbq at a friend's house? It's a pretty conservative company so I want to be sure that I don't mess up.

Kim in Chicago

Dear Kim

A company picnic - or any company event for that matter is a way to you and your coworkers to relax away from work, but remember that it is still a WORK event.  So that sexy little sundress that you're saving for your best friend's big end of summer BBQ bash - not appropriate for a work outing.

You want to dress as you would on a Casual Friday, but shorts may be acceptable as well (so long as your shorts don't make your colleagues think you've changed your name to Daisy Duke).  Avoid low cut, halter and tube tops as well as anything sheer. Gentlemen should wear a polo and khaki shorts or if you intend to participate in a quick pick up game, wear basketball shorts (circa 2011, NOT circa 1982) and bring an extra tee shirt in case you break a sweat. Avoid shirts with logos and/or phrases that may be offensive to others.

Final words of wisdom:
  • Don't skip the event. Sure spending an optional Friday afternoon with coworkers may not be your idea of a great time, but showing your coworkers and management that you are a team player is important
  • If alcohol is served - give yourself a 2 drink MAXIMUM.  No need to let Drunk Kim run loose
  • Don't gossip or get too personal in your conversations with coworkers, but be friendly
  • Keep your unruly dog, unruly children and/or unruly spouse at home unless the company encourages that you bring guests (but feel free to shake your finger at them in the car before the event so that they all behave)
  • If you participate in a sporting event/activity avoid trash talking or using profanity. Showing good sportsmanship is ideal

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