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Is it ever okay to show a little skin in the office?

Style expert Amy Verner suggests layering a sweater or blouse overtop a dress with sexy cutouts to make it office appropriate.

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The question:

Cutouts are a big trend and I bought a cute dress that shows a bit of ribcage. Never okay in the office, right?

The answer:

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Correct, assuming that you mean a conventional office, or even a somewhat creative one, and not your upstairs studio, a corner café or a retail setting in which you are trying to sell this rib-cage dress.

If you sat near me at the office, your peekaboo patch would make me want to reach out and poke it, especially if you were wearing on the dresses with kidney-shaped cut-outs that Guillaume Henry designed for Carven this spring. And we don't even know each other. This is not an appropriate dynamic for a professional setting.

If you want to don the dress for work, why don't you layer a sweater or blouse overtop. Sure, it won't have the same impact, but the office is no place to provoke a poke.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @amyverner.

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