You’ve been allowed to wear shorts to the office, so what do you wear?

Whatever you choose, don't go in to the office looking like you should be on the beach!

The prolonged heatwave across Europe and most of the Northern Hemisphere has us wondering. Why aren’t we allowed to wear shorts at work? There are recent examples where blokes have protested about office rules which restrict them from displaying their bare knees, even when their office doesn’t have air conditioning.

There are important reasons for enforcing the no-shorts rule in the office. Most blokes simply do not know how to wear shorts. What happens is that wearing shorts is like being on the beach, so they come into work with a terrible t-shirt, baggy low-hung shorts and, worse, flip-flops. Your boss won’t want you representing the company looking like that – it reflects on the style, image and the brand.

Assuming you have been allowed to wear shorts to work, what do you wear? There are a wider number of options than you may envisage and there’s always something which is to your liking, comfortable and will reflect appropriately with the relaxed office dress code.

Pleated Shorts

Pleated Shorts

Like their pleated trouser equivalent, the pleated short is a great option to retain a formal style within your workplace in order to maintain that office appearance.

You can combine a pleated short with t-shirts or sneakers for a more casual look or you can mix it with any type of shirt – sport or dress in order to make it more formal.  Shoe wise you can keep sneakers or wear some driving shoes or loafers.

Saturdays NYC Gurkha Short in black available for $135.

Drawstring Shorts

Drawstring Shorts

Although drawstring shorts are often represented by sportswear, they are now available in a more formal style. The advantage of a drawstring short is you can tighten and relax depending on your waist and whether you’ve had a large lunch!

Whilst the top of the short is drawstring tied, if you pick the right short, below the pockets, it looks like a formal style.

You can tuck in for a more casual look exposing the drawstring, or you can wear a sports shirt/oxford shirt over the drawstring and it’ll look like a pair of shorts and you really can wear any shoe to combine your look.

Everlane Drawstring Short in Surplus available for $62

Denim Shorts

Denim Shorts

We would only recommend this for a place where it is ok for you to normally wear jeans, but we’re advocating denim as a material, preferably in a darker wash.

Aim for a decent fit, not too tight and not too loose, and make sure it is a lightweight (11oz) denim otherwise you’ll still be rather hot for summer. You can combine denim shorts with t-shirts, longs sleeve or even short-sleeve shirts. A pair of sneakers and you’re set to go!

NN07 Denim Shorts available at Mr Porter for $115

Tailored Shorts

Tailored Shorts

Tailored shorts have the perfect silhouette and you can really combine them with anything. For the workplace we suggest combining with a fitted shirt, and even a blazer if you feel up for something different.

Or you can throw on a tailored polo for a formal summer style. As for shoes, you’d be wise to go with something like a tassel penny loafer in order to keep it formal at work. Although, if you can keep it more casual at work, go for some sneakers.

Short Motivation x OGUY limited edition capsule available for $120.

For all of these options, you mix up a number of upper body and shoe combinations. All we recommend is that you do not wear flip-flops to the office or anything that looks vaguely like you should be on the beach or by the pool!


About Author

Alex is a keen fitness and nutrition enthusiast, residing in the US, and contributes to travel, fitness and nutrition tips, news and other interesting tidbits.