Unless you’re a park ranger, a lifeguard, or a professional golfer, chances are you’re among the crowd that assumes wearing shorts to work is a “no go.” And it’s true—in many conservative professional settings you’re better off saving them for your off-duty hours.
However, as trends progress and offices become ever-more lenient with dress code restrictions, we’re finding more and more opportunities to bend those traditional work attire rules and get creative with our 9-to-5 wardrobes. Especially in the summer, the same routine of dress-and-flats or skirt-and-top can feel, well, routine. A pair of shorts and a little ingenuity are just the thing to put some pep in your commuting step. Below, check out our favorite way to wear shorts to work this summer as well as our five best tips for making this look work for you.
Shop the look: Chloe shorts, $521; matchesfashion.com. Vince sandals, $295; nordstrom.com. Babaton vest, $245; artizia.com. Topshop Unique shirt, $180; net-a-porter.com. Jules Smith choker, $98; shopbop.com. Mansur Gavriel bag, $1050; mansurgavriel.com.
1. Length is key for choosing your shoes. Short-shorts are never right for the office, but the longer your long-ish shorts are, the higher heel we would recommend. A safe bet for any inseam? A cool pair of block heel sandals with a 1″ or 2″ heel.
2. Fabric should be fancy. Unless your office is explicitly casual, we would always skip denim shorts for work. Instead, opt for thick crepe fabrics, wool blends, or a printed jacquard. (Think about the material of your work pants and go from there.)
3. Structure helps. Filmy, silky shorts will always look more bedroom than boardroom, no matter what. Skip the elastic waistband, anything linen and all drape-y designs. Opt for shorts with pleats or structure to add polish and a professional twist.
4. The more they look like a skirt, the better. Shorts with a high waist and an A-line cut are a great option for the office because they tend to resemble a skirt (and may even throw a few people off your sartorially adventurous trail.)
5. Tuck in your top. Whether it’s pants, a skirt or shorts, you will always look more put-together with your shirt tucked in.