Friday, October 8, 2010

Shorts FTWW! (For the Work World)

During the first few weeks that I got my new job at JCrew, I've stressed quite a bit over what to wear for work (yes---the person who is writing this style blog has days when she stresses over what to wear too!) Why? Because unlike everyday wear where you can just dress however you want, of course there is a dress code for work and the stupid dress code sure made me frustrated for some time! ---BUT, not anymore :) I've learned ways to emulate my own style within the "uniform". And here's one of them.

Have you been told before, that you can't wear shorts to work?
As much as shorts are considered "inappropriate" for workwear at most places, they CAN actually be worked with! In fact, skirts were once considered scandalous in the past, no? But now they're made one of the two ultimate options for ladies' office wear (dress pants vs skirts). ---So shorts WILL eventually make their way into the work world too, ladies. Actually, in some European and Asian countries right now, women are already wearing shorts to work!

Bermuda shorts, capris, skorts, pleated shorts, trouser shorts, twill, and wool shorts.

As long as the material and tailoring are similarly adopted from your classic idea of suitwear, you'll automatically and still capture the neat, professional, and sharp look that's appropriate for business, allowing these new renovated pants to be equally respected. Now WHY are we so concerned about this new fashion? Because it spices up your day, just to wear something totally different! With just ONE new piece of clothing added to your wardrobe for work, you can pull out SO MANY different outfits. Plus, you will feel less stiff, more comfortable at work ---and still look chic and professional.

How to define a pair of "office" shorts...

1. MATERIAL - Nice cotton, twill, wool ...nothing too thin and lacks structure. Also, choose loose and more fabric over tight and hugging silhouettes.
2. LENGTH - No shorter than an office skirt! (which the shortest is probably around 6'' up from the knee)
3. DETAIL - Shirts or tops must be tucked in. No more than the basic 5 pockets in the front and 2 on the back. Buckles and straps may be nice for style but in most cases, the simpler the better and the least attention grabbing. *TIP: If you wear leggings with your shorts, it'll show less skin for more modesty. Add a thin, leather belt and it will help refine your look.

So the next question is, what should you wear with your shorts?

Well, just treat them like you would a suit skirt. What do you usually wear with your skirt to work? Blouses and shirts. Those are the best options of course. But depending on your work place and the atmosphere, you can even wear basic knits underneath! By basic knits, I mean tees: short, long, or no sleeves that can be plain or adorned with little detail such as emphasized necklines, studded pattern, or ruffles and pleats. Or to be safe, chiffon is always nice.

If you feel that your top is too plain or casual and throws off your effort to pull off those shorts, then for accessory, you can wear jewelry embreaded in crystals or pearls (because they're not "too much"). Or what I love doing is simply throw on a blazer, which always completes the look with much charm and smart.

So basically you are just mixing casual into your formal wear. Instead of dressing like everyone else everyday (because you feel obligated by the dress code) you can find ways to renovate those codes into your own (without breaking them necessarily.) Of course, if you WERE told that shorts weren't allowed, then you should definitely check with your manager first because it's not gauranteed that every manager will agree!

[Shorts, blazers, blouses, bags, and shoes from various brands at Shirts, knit tees, and sleeveless tops from,,, and]

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