Heatwave Survival Guide: How to wear shorts to work

Scared to show off your legs in the office? Don't be, it's easier than you think

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Perhaps it’s down to the fact that us Brits aren’t all that used to warm weather, or perhaps it’s because the thought of wearing anything other than a suit (preferably shiny and a bit baggy around the shoulders) to work is nigh-on unthinkable, but getting dressed for a day in the office in the middle of summer is something even the most sartorially engaged seem to struggle with. 

The prime summer dressing dilemma? Whether or not it’s acceptable to wear a pair of shorts into the office.

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First off, it’s important to note that if you work in any industry that involves attending quarterly business reviews or group audit committees you can probably ignore this article: the likelihood of you being able to wear a pair of shorts anywhere other than your own back garden is slim to none.

For the more creatively inclined, the key to making your shorts work in the office is to be sensible about it. Treat them exactly as you would a pair of smart trousers and dress around them accordingly.

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1 | Avoid overly bright colours
The best hues to work with are charcoal, navy, bottle green or a faded blue at a push. Secondly, the only patterns you should opt for are a soft polka dot or understated pin stripe (again, at a push).

2 | Keep it smart
Ensure everything else that you are wearing is unimpeachably smart – which means no brightly coloured sunglasses, bucket hats or bottles of Bulmers. Ideally wear your shorts with a shirt or long sleeved polo shirt and a light jacket. Read our rules of going sockless and opt for something solid on your feet – a suede buck is a failsafe summer option.

3 | Check your basics
the hem of your shorts should sit around three inches above your knee, they should feature a razor sharp crease down the front and perhaps most importantly there should be absolutely, categorically no groin bunching when you recline in your Aeron chair.

4 | And then check your legs
An important one this, so pay attention – don’t even think about shaving, waxing or trimming the hair on your legs, you’ll only make things worse. One thing you can work on, however, is your tan. Your legs should be lightly bronzed and clean looking – they’re a part of the body we tend to forget so give them a good scrub before you get them out and maybe apply a light coat of Sisley’s body self-tanner to give them a healthier look.

Open the gallery to see our edit of the best pieces to wear your shorts with