The business world is having some trouble adjusting to modern fashion tastes, especially in warm-weather months. In some industries, traditional dress codes are still in place, while in others a more casual approach allows employees to dress for comfort. Of course, most companies are somewhere in-between. And many HR-issued dress codes aren’t that specific, which leads us to a question posed by Motto: What’s the deal with shorts at work?
Shorts generally sit right at the dividing line between the button-down and free-flow fashion worlds. We say “generally” because there are some more formal shorts options available, like Matt Lauer here.
Last year, the #FreeTheKnee campaign sought to ensure the rights of working men to free their gams and gain the ability to express themselves through fashion — oh OK, they probably just wanted to be more comfortable.
InStyle endorses shorts, culottes, etc. at work for women, as long as their wearer adheres to certain principles that just make good sense:
- Do find shorts of an appropriate length
- Don't wear short shorts
- Do look for shorts cut from an elevated cloth
- Do seek out special detailing
- Do go for neutrals
- Do style them with dressy pairings
Of course, as we said before, every industry has its personality and your decision should make sense for the kind of work you do. Here’s a good yardstick, from Kate Weiss, HR VP at Time Inc.: “Ask yourself: If you're called into a meeting with senior leaders, would you feel comfortable wearing shorts?"