Friday, August 1, 2008

The long view to a shorts story

A Style Points reader alerted me to an article posted on the New York Times' Web site on July 31 on men and shorts in the workplace. My thanks for doing so.

The story affirmed for me that while shorts are gaining a level of acceptance in some work environments, it is still far from the norm in banks, law firms or hospitals, where men wear trousers.

In the Times' story, it says "a man in a shorts suit is no more startling than a woman in a miniskirt." Therein lies the rub: A woman in a miniskirt in the office will generate attention that may not be appropriate for the office environment, just as a man wearing shorts at a similar length.

That said, I do believe there's a happier medium for men to wear shorts at work: Just make them longer. Just as professional women wear skirts just below the knee, men can follow suit accordingly with respect to wearing shorts.

Shorts with a longer-than-usual length, usually called clamdiggers or Capri pants, are my preference when dressing for work in warm climates. (See my June 14 Style Points entry.)

I do not take issue with showing off strong legs if you got 'em. Just remember that everything has its place. As boundaries of business casual are explored, common sense remains the guide. Wall Street Journal senior writer Christina Binkley offers a solid take on putting business casual into perspective. What's clear is that there is a movement toward being comfortable at work.

Count me in. I wrote this entry with shorts on.

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