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Shorts at Work: The Final Word

It’s 95F out, and you’re sick of every dress you own. Formal shorts are everywhere this season: Are they acceptable to wear to work?

What’s your dress code?
If you’re a lawyer or banker, or work in an industry that favors suits, forget it. Only consider shorts if you’re in a creative field or tech, or if your office is super casual. Be smart—if you feel uncomfortable in them, it’s not worth it.
What should you wear with shorts?
Pair them with button-downs, silk tops, and smart blazers. Everything up top should be modest and tailored. Make sure your heels are low, as otherwise the look is too racy. But stay away from sandals, as you’re not heading to the beach.
What length is appropriate?
Avoid anything hitting higher than mid-thigh. (That goes for skirts as well.) But don’t go too long, or you’ll look like you’re stepping out for nine holes. Always opt for structured styles. No denim, no fraying, nothing too tight.
Are prints OK?
Prints are great, as are pleats and high-waisted options, which are popular this year. Tweeds and textures are good, too.

Can men wear them?
Nope. Sorry, guys. Maybe next year.

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