OK. It’s been really, really hot in London. Today it was 30 degrees. Is it ever OK for men to wear shorts to work?
In my opinion men certainly can go to work in shorts, but they need to be careful of appearing too casual and weekendy when wearing shorter trousers. I think is important to be a bit more formal with shorts to avoid that under-dressed, slightly unprofessional look. Here is what I suggest:
- tailored shorts – tailored pockets, a proper waist band and belt carriers.
- decent fabrics like lightweight wool, linen, or a heavier weight cotton
- work colours such as navy, grey, beige, brown, camel or black
- not tight
- worn with a complementary shirt that would usually be tucked in
- a nice leather belt
- semi formal shoes (not sportswear)
- no socks
Let’s have a look at what cropped up at Notting Hill Housing this week. Here is Andy Lord, one of our senior Asset Managers – he looks after our homes. His shirt is fine, and the shape and length of the shorts work well, I think. Personally I would have tucked the shirt in, and worn a nice belt, perhaps picking up the red, navy or white from the shirt. But I think he should have gone with better shoes. Maybe black or navy sandals, navy suede loafers or even those kind of boating shoes?
Soon after photographing Andy I bumped into Nick Mawley who is our corporate designer. He is a creative Kiwi, but I am not sure that he has got the look quite right. While the shorts and shoes are certainly acceptable, and the trainer socks in a narrow stripe are spot on, what the outfit is crying out for is a nice button-down shirt that ties the blue shoes and navy shorts together. Maybe a stripe including grey, navy and muted blue? Or a white, short sleeved linen shirt, tucked in, and a navy or mid-blue blue belt. Or a chambray shirt with the sleeves carefully folded up and a brown belt. I don’t think wearing a branded, creased up T shirt is doing a lot for this good-looking man.
My third photo is of Ashley Beaton, who is a manager in our temporary housing Home Options business. Ashley is very tall (6’4″ I think) and was my PA until June. Here he is at a friend’s wedding. His jacket and shorts are not a suit, but they are a similar shade. The white shirt sets off the beige, and he wears a pair of neutral pumps. Bravo – Ashley nails it! This is the sort of look that would make shorts an acceptable look for men to wear in warm weather.