Temps are Rising


Skirt and light-weight cardigan

Summer is here, and as the temperatures rise, the dress code rules seem to fluctuate as well. I’ve talked before about the illusion of professional dress, but this article in the Wall Street Journal made me laugh. It talks about shorts suits being all the rage this season, and how they’re perfectly office appropriate. I find this to be hilarious, as I would never consider wearing shorts to the office. But, as in the original post about the illusion of professional clothes, how are skirts different than knee-length shorts? There’s also been several comments in the discussion of this article about the fact that men don’t get to wear shorts to the office, so why would women be able to? Again, with the modesty issue, how is a woman’s calf more modest than a man’s calf? And, don’t calves look the same in shorts and skirts?

I did see a comment equating shorts suits to the suits that little boys wear for Easter, so they are not inappropriate due to modesty, but due to age. This seems to make more sense to me, since relatively the same amount of skin would be shown. It leads me to think about women’s dresses and skirts, too. You rarely see women wearing ankle-length dresses and skirts in the office, but young girls regularly wear full-length skirts and dresses. So, why do men’s pants get longer with age, but women’s dresses get shorter with age? This is contradictory if a large part of professional dress is modesty, since longer skirts cover more skin.

In short, I don’t like the shorts suits, and much prefer the skirt look shown above. However, I can’t really give a firm reason for disliking this style, since the young/old, modest/immodest debate is contradictory! Like the outfit? See more details here!

2 thoughts on “Temps are Rising

  1. Too funny, I had a similar debate with a male co-worker last summer. He’s very stylish himself, and it annoyed him that women’s clothing can really become more casual once the weather warms up. Sadly, I really think that even in more casual offices (like my own), it would be inappropriate for a man to wear shorts while I’ve gotten away with them year round – with tights in the winter, of course! However, the debate on women wearing sandals to the office vs. men goes on…. 😉


  2. While I agree with your points regarding skirts and shorts, I still don’t think shorts are appropriate for the office (heck, I’m not even entirely convinced about capris). I don’t think it’s a modesty issue–many women wear above-the-knee skirts to work now (shudder) and most “work shorts” are almost all the way down–but I think it’s more of a function issue. Shorts are for casual settings and wearing. Some items of clothing just belong in their place. You wouldn’t wear a suit to a bbq, so why wear shorts to work?


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