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Can I wear shorts to work?

Men's Chino Shorts


Britain is in the midst of a crisis. Our ciders are warm! Our ice lollies are melting! There’s a shortage of barbecue coals across the nation! We’re currently in (what feels like) week 23 of the summer heatwave, a difficult time for a nation that loves nothing more than complaining about meteorology.

Fortunately we're a resourceful bunch, so in in the last few weeks a new national pastime has emerged: complaining about the sheer discomfort of it all, especially when at work. What to wear to the office in this heat can be tricky for some men, especially those for whom a shirt, tie and trousers are non-negotiable, leaving desk fans and iced lattes as the only escape.

Luckily for others, especially those working in the creative industries, many workplaces no longer bat an eyelid if you turn up for the Monday meeting with calves proudly protruding from a pair of (not too short) shorts. It's a relatively new development, meaning that many aren't sure what works as office attire and what should be consigned to the beach. With that in mind, here are a few quick tips.



How should men’s shorts fit?

Men's Chino Shorts

You may as well be asking "how long is a piece of string” for what it’s worth, as it entirely depends on the man wearing them. Generally speaking, steer clear of anything that's too slim. Shorts are usually cut with a few extra inches in the leg so that the hem doesn’t strangle your thigh, meaning DIY cut-offs are best avoided. On the other end of the scale, wear your shorts too loose and you could veer into 'dad on holiday’ territory, entirely unironically. Stick to a pair that skim – but don’t cling to – the thigh, in a medium weight fabric such as cotton or linen.



How long should men’s shorts be?

Men's Chino Shorts

This is one area where size does matter. Taller gents will, naturally, need a longer pair of shorts, while those with muscular thighs will also want to make sure they choose a more generous fit. Those who are slighter of build can get away with a shorter length, or might want to roll up their hems once or twice. The best rule of thumb is to go for a pair that finish just above the knee.



What shoes to wear with men’s shorts?

Men's Chino Shorts with Jacket

If yours is the type of workplace that doesn’t bat an eyelid at a bare kneecap, we’re guessing that you’re probably ok to wear a fresh pair of sneakers (just be sure to remember your socks). Desert boots make a surprisingly good companion to sand-coloured shorts, as do loafers (think chunky penny loafers over fussy, tassled styles). If you’re brave enough to try sandals, keep them simple and functional, and remember that there’s nothing wrong with a quick pedicure on the weekend.


Shop shorts and casual trousers


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