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by Abigail Van Buren

Aunt Welcomes Big Family but Not All Their Friends

DEAR ABBY: I am trying to find out what "business casual" means. The dress code for men has just changed in my office, and ties and suits are now optional. Most wear dress shirts and khaki pants. Some men are sporting necklaces. Where do you draw the line? -- FASHION-CONFUSED IN L.A.

DEAR FASHION-CONFUSED: You've asked an intelligent question. Everyone would be better served if some guidelines were issued. The problem lies in the hesitance of many employers to issue a specific dress code, which has left many people confused. What is or is not acceptable attire is a line that must be drawn by the employers.

Whether employees wear a suit and tie, slacks and a sport coat, or khakis and a casual shirt, attire in the workplace should always look neat and professional. While some employers feel that casual dress improves productivity, I have received mail from readers telling me just the opposite.