How to get away with wearing shorts to work

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style

In the thick of summer, skirts and dresses are usually the only work-appropriate option for keeping your legs unencumbered by extra heat-trapping fabric.

Unless you can wear shorts. No, really.

With the caveat that it still might not be appropriate for some workplaces (and you know what your individual employer’s dress code is), wearing shorts in the office is possible.

Here’s how to get away with wearing shorts to work.

  • Pick the right shorts. Unless your office is super casual–in which case you’re probably already getting away with shorts!–this is a fine line to walk. So pay attention to fit, fabric and length. You probably won’t be able to get away with anything shorter than a knee-length Bermuda or walking short. It should fit like a dress trouser does on you: not too tight, not too loose. And choose a dressier fabric, like a brushed cotton or a twill. Clearly denim won’t work here!
  • Make the rest of the outfit as dressy as possible. Pretend your shorts are a pair of office-appropriate trousers or even a skirt and build the rest of your outfit around it accordingly: nice top, blazer or cardigan layer if you have lots of A/C in your office, dressy accessories. You could do a flat shoe, but a wedge heel or even slingback pumps will up the level of professionalism.

The key is to otherwise look like you’re dressed for work. In the right fabric and color, your walking-length shorts will seem to be an expected piece of your ensemble, just like a skirt or trousers.

Your turn

  • Can you wear shorts to work? What kind of office do you work in?
  • What’s your favorite work-appropriate shorts outfit?
  • Do you have any other tips for bringing shorts into the workplace?

Learn more about how to dress for your body shape, clean out your closet and create outfits you’ll love in the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

10 Responses to “How to get away with wearing shorts to work”

  1. Alison

    Our office is pretty laid-back, but it is very clear in the dress code that there can be no shorts, culottes, skorts, pedal pushers, or pants shorter than the calf. Before they changed the dress code, I had a pair of black polished city shorts I wore with blazers and heels that I think looked more professional than many of my other ensembles!


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