Why Shorts Should Be Part Of Men's Professional Style
For those of you who have kept up with my style chronicles thus far, you should be catching onto to my insatiable love of wearing shorts. Many of my outfits, both documented and undocumented, involve shorts in one form or another. While I have passively recommended some looks for professional environments, I have not encountered an opportunity where I have been able to exercise shorts in all of their glory. Which brings me to a question that I honestly feel is not being evaluated hard enough:
- How is it that we're about to head into 2018 and most professional dress code policies still do not allow or acknowledge the option for men to wear shorts?
Seriously, can we please talk about this? I mean, not to toot my own horn, but there are times when I'm looking at my photos and think to myself - "Goody gosh, I sure wish that I could rock this fire at work." One of the main arguments in support of wearing shorts that I fully agree with is: if women can wear skirts and dresses in corporate environments, then guys should be able to wear shorts. Reality is, guys are barely getting in touch with their inner fashionistas, so shorts won't become a major priority until the majority of men see them as a valuable part of their identity in the workplace.
So instead of complaining about it (which I'll probably continue to do anyway) and condemning myself to a lifetime of just slacks and jeans at work, I've decided to lead by example. Let's dive right into the style.
Continuing my trend of simple but sophisticated outfits for men, here I present a super practical, easily put together shorts-focused look that I think is very fair to title "Nothing Short(s) of Successful." People rave about looks like this - but are you ready for how basic the components are? A navy blue dress shirt and brown shorts from H&M, some dress socks from Target and a pair of dress shoes of choice (in my case, my beloved Calvin Klein's that have made a few appearances now). That's it! Affordable and uncomplicated clothing items that any guy, from entry level to C-level, can get their hands on and flaunt.
Now you can't make the shorts do all of the work - flex your accessory game while you flex those calf muscles around the office. With this look fully tapped into neutral tones, the accessories by nature should coordinate. Here I happily feature a unique watch that was generously discounted for me from Wild Exec, an emerging men's accessory brand from Canada. For the longest time, I had seen ads on Facebook showcasing bamboo watches and always wanted to get my hands on one. So when this brand invited me to shop their collection and I stumbled upon this watch of my dreams, I knew I needed to snag it. Cannot tell you how many compliments I've gotten on it around town and the office - who knows how much greater the impact would have been if I was able to pair it with this power-shorts fit.
Yet again, when sharing this look on Instagram, I received comments on how "Not everyone can pull this look off." Now do I expect guys to walk around the office with their shirts half-buttoned - no (unless they're just too sexy for their shirts). But I think if more guys stepped outside of their comfort zones and tried wearing something like this, we'd all find how refreshing it is to see some wider variety in professional attire and would be surprised by how appropriate it can be. I suppose I can understand that shorts can potentially be seen as too casual for many corporate environments, especially considering that men take themselves very seriously in that context. But it's not a big deal - slap a suit jacket and/or tie on the outfit and call it a day. With that, almost guarantee that a man will be more sharply dressed than 90% of his peers.
At the end of the day, there are still plenty of styles that a guy can take advantage of in the workplace, so all is still good and well in the world. And with how quickly men are evolving these days, I imagine it will only be a matter of time before shorts are the new colorful dress sock around the office. Of course, this could be quickened if more guys like myself would step up the boldness and wear shorts regardless of what's stated in handbooks (i.e. the young man who wore a dress to work to highlight the double standard between men's and women's business attire policies). But for me at least, I don't mind killing them softly with my colors, accessories and confidence. I'll have my way soon enough.