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Can You Wear Shorts in the Office?

Categories Fashion

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If there’s no official dress policy, who’s to say you can’t… but keep the following in mind before you short up.

The weather’s warming up and the temptation to wear a pair of shorts on casual Friday is hotting up, too. The issue of naked knees in the office splits opinion — but if you’re going to take the plunge, here’s a few tips.

Rock it

If you’re asking how to ‘get away with’ wearing shorts to work, don’t bother. Your outfit should fill you with confidence, so if freeing the knee makes you too self-conscious or its clearly not part of the job description, then stick to trousers in the office — a lightweight chino is perfect for the sweltering summer months.

Follow the rules

Many companies issue a dress code and if it says ‘no shorts’, don’t push the envelope. And don’t just rely on the letter of the law to judge whether or not shorts are appropriate — if you’ve got a big meeting with key clients or a pow-wow with your department head then it doesn’t take a memo from HR to tell you how to dress. On the other hand, your boss is out of town? There’s a little extra leeway.

It’s personal

Dress for your personality, dress for your position, and dress for your environment. Creative industries like advertising, marketing, and media are a little more open to shorts — especially in the Australian heat. But how many exposed legs do you see in the lobby of a big accounting or law firm?

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Still be stylish

Wearing shorts isn’t a licence to dress like a slob — short-sleeved shirts and visible toes are still a no-no. Pair a tailored pair of dark shorts — baring your knees at work is a big enough statement without loud patterns, gaudy colours or dodgy denim added to the equation — with a smart dress shirt (tucked in or not, up to you) and a classic Oxford, brogue, loafer or moccasin.

Take care of your legs

You’re showing off your pins to the world so make sure they’re looking sharp. It mightn’t be the day to don shorts if your shins are covered in bruises from a game of touch footy or little nicks from a bike ride.

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