Can I wear shorts to work during the hot weather? Office dress codes and etiquette during a heatwave
23 June 2019, 10:51 | Updated: 23 June 2019, 13:28
The line between feeling comfortable in the hot weather and being office-appropriate is very fine. Thankfully for you, we've got some top tips for how to dress for a heatwave at work.
While most offices aren't as strict with their dress codes these days, there is still a delicate line between what's considered work-appropriate and not.
This gets even trickier when the sun is shining – as all you want to do is strip off the layers and wear comfortable clothes. But if you rock up wearing shorts and even a cami, some workplaces will call you up on it.
Here, we reveal office dress codes and summertime etiquette.
Can I wear shorts to work?
When it’s a hot British summer in the midst of a heatwave and it feels like the temperature just keeps rising, the long-standing debate of whether you can wear shorts to the office still lingers - especially on the morning commute when you feel squished like a sardine on the train, and the air-con is on its last legs at work.
Surely now is a time when you can ditch the trousers and wear shorts to work? Yet some people think they can’t due to an unspoken dress code. The questions that might go through your mind are whether you can ‘get away with it’? Are they smart enough? And, if you do wear them, are you breaking the ‘norm’ and being a bit rebellious?
Trousers – or even smart jeans – have typically been seen as the only staple to a man’s workwear. But such is the fierce debate around wearing shorts to work, that some men have recently made headlines by wearing skirts and dresses in protest.
Want to see more of men in shorts? Click here to see our fave celeb men wearing them.
When you think of typical office or formal business dress codes, shorts aren’t probably the first garment that spring to mind. While there is no law to say that men – or anyone else for that matter – aren’t allowed to wear them, it is generally frowned upon, mainly due to the relaxed look that shorts portray.
In a corporate environment, many men may not even consider wearing shorts, even though tailors make short suits. Or, in some workplaces, where an employee has to wear a uniform, there may not be the option to wear shorts as part of the workwear, so the decision might be taken out of your hands.
Maximum legal working temperatures
There is no legal maximum working temperature. However, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advise that employers should provide a reasonable working temperature in workrooms.
So what is the answer? Can you wear shorts to work?
Given the controversy, only those who buck the trend will find out.