Etiquette expert reveals appropriate office attire in the heat

Would YOU wear flip flops to work? Etiquette expert reveals what is and ISN’T appropriate office attire in the heat (as Ben Shephard bares his toes on GMB)

  • Ben, 43, donned flip flops on the set of Good Morning Britain on Thursday
  • Britain is in the grip of a heatwave with temperatures soaring to 90F 
  • Show debated appropriate workwear in steamy conditions 
  • Etiquette expert Liz Brewer said toes should be covered in the office
  • But broadcaster Emma B – and Ben – argued feet should be allowed to breathe  

With Britain in the grip of a heatwave, many office workers will have found themselves struggling to find workwear that allows them to stay cool while still being office appropriate.

Etiquette expert Liz Brewer argued on GMB today that no matter how high the mercury soars, it is totally unacceptable to don flip flops in the office.

Her views weren’t shared by presenter Ben Shepherd, who sported a pair of sandals with his suit on today’s show and insisted workers should be allowed let their feet breathe in the stifling heat.  

But Liz, an expert on social behaviour and etiquette, pointed out that people should still be respectful to their employers, and said: ‘You don’t really want everybody looking at your toes.’

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Etiquette expert Liz Brewer believes that no matter how hot it gets bare feet shouldn’t be on show in the workplace

She was unimpressed with Ben Shephard’s choice to wear flip-flops to present Good Morning Britain

The presenter complained that for men it was more difficult than women to navigate their work wardrobes because they could wear shorts or loose tops

Presenter Ben, 43, had swapped his usual shiny shoes for a pair of flip-flops on the ITV daytime show, complaining that men in particular struggled with what to wear in the heat.

Liz, who was joined by a broadcaster and sandal-wearer Emma B on the panel, said: ‘Correct attire, first of all, is for your own self-esteem. You get up in the morning, you are not going to go to work in your PJs. 

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‘With respect to Emma and her delicious flip flops, you don’t really want everybody looking at your toes.

‘As an employee you have to pay respect to the person who is paying your [salary]….’

Ben interrupted: ‘Listen, with respect you [women] have very nice shoes that are open-toed, but men can’t do that can they? 

‘Men don’t get to wear sandals or open-toed shoes, men don’t get to wear skirts or tops that are a bit looser.’

As temperatures continue to soar in the UK, talk has turned to what is acceptable attire when heading to work, especially as it’s perfectly legitimate for employers to set their own standards outlining what is appropriate for workers to wear.

Liz was joined by broadcaster Emma B, who was also wearing flip-flop sandals, as they argued over whether they were appropriate for the office

It’s perfectly legitimate for employers to set their own standards outlining what is appropriate for workers to wear

Emma was firmly in the camp of wearing whatever you want: ‘We are so bad in this country about dealing with extremes of weather that on the rare occasion that we have a run of thirty degrees in this country, then let the feet breathe.

‘We’ve got to be comfortable. We’re talking about ordinary working people who sit on hot commuter trains and buses, working 9-5, sitting in badly air conditioned offices. 

‘Who wants to sit in an office sweltering? Most bosses want a productive work force than a hot sweaty employees who can’t wait to leave at the end of the day.’

But Liz disagreed: ‘When we have these weather extremes we seem to go into this downhill panic. 

‘It happens in very much the same way when there is too much snow. 

‘With the heat, there are countries that have heat all the time and they manage, they are used to it. 

‘They manage to present themselves in an orderly fashion. It does depend on what kind of work you do.’

Good Morning Britains airs weekdays on ITV from 6am      

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