Depending on your field, you can take advantage of the warm weather to show off your legs at the office. Business Insider says the popularity of shorts is on the rise, not only with the to-be-expected 18-24-year-old age group, but also with women 55 and older.

Common sense should tell you that ripped booty shorts are not going to work, but silk, leather, tailored or pleated shorts will. Pairing shorts with the right blouse or blazer easily amps up your outfit from beachside casual to boardroom chic.

Although the dress code for corporate wear may have become more expressive and less constrained, there’s still a need to maintain a certain degree of professionalism. The most important thing is to understand what your company stands for and to dress appropriately for that.

However, there is still room to play around with your look, as you stay within the parameters of your workspace ethos.

Here are a few rules that will take your shorts from festival to formal:

Watch out for the fit: While you might be tempted to don your tightest most-revealing pair of shorts, the key word here is “professional”. Keep your shorts loose and tailored. A pleated pair of pants will provide structure to your look, which will keep you looking sharp and competent.  The type of  fabric and the colour of your shorts will make a big difference to how you look. Denim and sweat-pant fabric shout “weekend” and “lazy day at home”, which is not the message you want to send.  Stick to heavy materials and monochrome colours.

Shorts 1

Be careful of the length:  Who can forget seeing Jessica Simpson stepping on screen with her barely-there Daisy Dukes? In 2001, Simpson caused a stir with her teeny-weeny Daisy Dukes on The Dukes of Hazard. While you can get away with barely-there shorts on the beach or at a festival, try to keep things a little bit more demure at the office. The rule is to make sure they fall right above the knee. When in doubt, Vogue recommends erring on the side of propriety.

Keep your top half covered: The rule is: if you’re showing a lot at the bottom, keep your top covered, and vice versa.  A blazer and formal blouse are a must to make this look successful. The key word here is structure: excellent tailoring can make even the most basic garment look chic, and a fitted blazer will elevate your look from boring to boardroom.  Another vital tip is to keep your accessories to a minimum – you don’t want your jewellery competing with your legs.

blazer 2
Picture source: Veronica Beard

 

Don’t forget to have fun:  Style is about expressing your personality, so don’t overthink it, and make sure you still look well put-together.

Additional sources: Vogue, Business Insider