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Clothes for specific weather

Yes, you can wear shorts to work

Yes, you can wear shorts to work

There are some offices in which the realities of heatwaves and thermoregulation have no traction against The Dress Code. If you work in one of these places then you have a sympathy, but there is no way of wearing shorts to work. If, however, you spend your work at an office in which ties are long-since discarded, in which chinos are ubiquitous and smart, dark jeans aren’t cause for a disciplinary, then rest assured you can free your legs when the mercury creeps above intolerable.

The shorts

“They need to be the right kind,” says Thread stylist Millie Rich. Your gym shorts are for working out, not for work. “You want to look professional, so you should also avoid going too short or too tight. About an inch above the knee and with an inch of give in the hem is perfect.” The material also matters – no denim, no nylon, no jersey. “Chino shorts are generally good, but if they still feel too relaxed then tailored shorts are a slightly more formal option.” Cut from the same kind of fabric as suit trousers, they’re as refined as shorts get.

The styling

Even tailored shorts are more casual than trousers, but exactly where they sit depends on what’s above the belt. “To smarten shorts up, wear them with a shirt,” says Millie. “It stops them looking too casual. Then for a top layer add a utility jacket or an unstructured blazer.” Something loose and breezy beats anything too buttoned-up. “Refrain from anything really smart, like a suit jacket or a tie.” If the contrast’s too stark, the shorts start to look out of place.

The shoes

There’s a whole lot of leg between where your shorts end and your shoes begin, which can make anything too formal feel clunky. So lose the high-shine lace-ups and think more relaxed. “You want something low-key,” says Millie. “Suede is a great material for the summer because it breathes. Loafers, suede trainers or even suede Oxfords could work, so long as they’re lightweight and not too heavy-duty.”