Shorts are versatile, stylish and most of all, they are very comfortable pieces. Unfortunately for most of us, when the weekdays roll by, we have to pack up these cuties in the dark corner of our wardrobe because of severe office dress code policies but not anymore! Granted, it does not work for every office but if it would work for your office maybe on casual Fridays that allows for a bit of leeway in the corporate dress code department or in work environments that is more on the relaxed side and without a strict dress code, then dare to rock shorts to work! Today, you will learn how to push the dress code boundaries without flaunting it or getting undue notice. All you will need are a couple of smart styling moves to make your shorts-based outfit sophisticated and work-appropriate and maybe even more professional looking than a short dress. In recent years, there has been much discussion about if shorts were suitable for the office but depending on the work environment, what is considered acceptable office wear can mean widely different things but, I am convinced that shorts can make the cut as long as they are styled correctly. Did I get your attention? Here’s how you can style your wardrobe favorite to chic perfection for work but a general rule of thumb here is, if you could wear them to the beach, don’t wear it to the office. Let’s dive right in:
Material is key
When picking out shorts for work, only choose ones made with luxe materials like satin, crepe or even lace. These expensive looking materials will help to enhance the professional look of your outfit. Avoid cheap materials like polyester as they tend to cling on to your skin and look casual for an office setting. I will also recommend avoiding soft cotton because it creases and bunches up very easily and you will be looking sloppy when your shorts are all scrunched up at your mid-thigh. Go for sturdy cotton instead and make sure the fabric doesn’t cling onto your skin or crease easily.
Go for tailored versions
Many shorts often come in casual and somewhat sloppy cuts, so it is important to go for those with polished tailored silhouettes that fall well on your hips. Denim and canvas shorts definitely have their time and place but your morning meeting with your boss at work is not it. Think crisp and pulled together, not lazy and laid-back so when in doubt, consider whether the shorts would look right with an office-appropriate top such as a blouse or blazer. Avoid figure-hugging and baggy silhouettes because they make your crotch area look uncomfortable and may come off as if you are wearing pajamas which can look too casual for work, instead opt for a pair of loose fitting shorts with a tailored fit
Knee-length types are your best bet
Who wears short shorts? Definitely not you when you are at the office. Save the more casual styles for your weekends so, this means sticking with shorts that are roughly the same length as any skirt you would wear to work. And you don’t want to go too long either to risk appearing dowdy so opt for the Bermuda length which is always a smart and sensible option for a corporate environment. You can opt for a high-waist pair which will make your legs look longer.
Top on workplace-approved separates
Tailored button-down shirts and blazers are the basics of many a work wardrobe and no matter the industry, their must-have status is universally understandable and acceptable. By pairing your shorts alongside a classic workplace staple, you will instantly make them feel more polished and therefore office appropriate. Styling shorts with a fitted blazer or shirt will elevate your otherwise casual ensemble. You can try pairing your shorts with matching tailored tops for a coordinated look that will not only save you time in the morning, but will put you perfectly on trend too. What you wear on-top is key to bringing the entire look together so it is obviously not the time to wear your favorite tee but an opportunity for a work shirt or blazer which could be in the same color family as your shorts. Slip on a contrasting blouse or camisole underneath to achieve a thoughtfully planned look. Skip the matchy-matchy routine instead, mix and match your tops and shorts for a more creative approach. If you refer to this whole combo as professionalism by association, you won’t be wrong.
Choose your colors and prints wisely
You don’t have to wear a fuchsia flowery print to look summery chic instead embrace classic patterns like neutral stripes that resonate well in professional settings and also play well with most conservative tops. If you can get away with a bolder print, look to colorful stripes or a geometric pattern to break up the monotony of typical workday attire. Be sure to experiment with colors even though vivid hues like bright yellow and pink are best saved for after hours so choose your palette carefully.
Try wide leg cuts
Apart from making a style statement, the wide leg silhouette is also a good way of creating the illusion of a skirt when it comes to shorts. The flowing and fluid draping helps to distract the eyes from identifying it as a pair of shorts.
A suit always saves the day
If you are looking at the list above and you are not entirely convinced, a guaranteed way to pull off this look is by opting for a short suit. As the trouser suit’s chicest little sister, a shorts suit feels instantly office appropriate as long as you ensure the hemline is modest. This coordinated look will not only save you dress up time, but will be perfectly on trend. But have you noticed the short suit is secretly taking over the pantsuit in popularity?
Your shoes matter
When wearing shorts for work, I suggest you take your shoe game up a notch. Styling and finishing up your look with a closed-toe pumps or heeled sling-backs will instantly dress up the outfit. Opting for sneakers or flat sandals may take your look into a weekend-wear territory and make your outfit look more casual than you intended to.
It can be fun to let your hair down a bit and head to the office in a pair of shorts but, remember to keep it professional. Use simple accessories like delicate jewelries or a structured leather bag to add to the formality of your overall look.