In Defense of Office Shorts

A few weeks ago I came across Tiyana Grulovic's article in the Globe's style section advising women on acceptable ways to wear shorts to work. I read the article while perched on a ledge just outside of my work, guzzling an iced tea, cowering under scarce shade. It was hot. Dead hot. Sahara-desert-hot.

As I perspired through my dress shirt, tie and dress pants, I thought to myself, why not me? Why can't I have freedom from office heat-stroke and pit stains? Why shouldn't I have the option to bare skin and enjoy the breeze?

For most of us men, our wardrobes are like our tires: all-season. Our Thursday shirt sometimes blends with our Monday slacks but that's where the creativity hits a wall. Men, unfortunately, have limited options and this becomes a problem during the dog days of summer.

Before I accidentally start a movement of overheated men tossing away their pants in Homer Simpson-like fashion, instead opting for basketball shorts, I should point out that in most, relatively conservative businesses, offices shorts are the exception, not the rule. They should be reserved for those unbearable days during a heat wave.

Here are five rules to follow when attempting the office short:

  1. Only wear them on Fridays. Unless you work in a tech startup or other environment where ratty t-shirts and jean shorts are totally acceptable.
  2. Length At the knee or slightly above. Too long and you look like a toddler, too short and you resemble a marathon runner.
  3. Colours Khaki or Navy. Bright colours are risky so if you have a hesitation, air on the side of caution. Never, under any circumstances, are white shorts acceptable, unless you're actually in the Navy.
  4. You're at work, so wear a collared shirt. Wonder what I mean? Consult the The Style Blogger, he's got the right idea.
  5. Shoes This can be tricky. The Style Guy at GQ recommends a penny loafer but I think you're safe wearing Sperry Top-Siders. Low-cut Converse classics are also acceptable.

via Media Profile

Written by our friend Alen Sadeh from Media Profile. We co-sign everything he said.

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