STYLE
24/07/2018 11:01 BST | Updated 24/07/2018 13:12 BST

UK Heatwave: Should Men Be Allowed To Wear Shorts To The Office?

We asked men sweating it out in the 30 degree heat.

The absolutely baking heatwave we’re currently experiencing might be perfect if you’re heading to the park or out for a drink in the evening – but it’s decidedly not so perfect if you’re wearing a navy suit and tie and need to make a dash for a meeting.

It is during this weather that the age-old question rears its head: should men be allowed to wear shorts to the office?

We hit the streets and asked a range of men what their workplace was like, and what they thought of employers’ attitudes towards wearing suits to the offices. 

Liam, 32, Professional Services: ‘I’m not allowed to wear shorts – but I’d like to’

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“No I’m not allowed to wear shorts, but yes I would. I’m lucky, we’re pretty casual about that sort of thing at our place, which I find to be a really good reason to work at the company. I just think it’s common sense. I would prefer it if I was allowed to wear shorts but I suppose I do understand why they prefer that we don’t.”

Ajay, 40, Engineer: ‘I don’t think shorts are professional’

“When are we allowed to wear shorts? Probably on Fridays? I don’t really think it’s professional though, in the office, so I wouldn’t wear them myself no. For others though, sure, depending on the weather. I don’t see why not if they haven’t got any professional meetings they need to go to.”

Augustine, 28, Architect: ‘People should be able to wear what they want’ 

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“I do wear shorts, I’m an architect so it’s something we’re allowed to do back home [Augustine is from South America], I don’t know if it’s different here in the UK though. I think people should be able to wear whatever they want, totally.”

Paul, 38, Parasitologist: ‘We are allowed to wear shorts because women can wear skirts’

“I work in a laboratory. Yes we are allowed to wear shorts, because women are allowed to wear skirts so it’s 50/50, equal. I do wear shorts, sometimes. I think if you’re patient side or customer side then you should be smart but if you’re not, if you’re lab side like I am or behind the scenes in an office then yeah, it’s comfortable.”

Harry du Sautoy, 34, University Employee: ‘I like to be smart for work’

“I think we are allowed to wear shorts yeah but I haven’t yet. I don’t mind [wearing formal clothes for work] though. I like things being smart for work.”

James, 32, Architectural Designer, London: ‘What you wear doesn’t affect your ability to do your job’

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“Yes I am allowed and yes I’m currently wearing shorts. I do think people should be allowed to wear shorts because what you wear doesn’t actually affect your ability to do the job. I think it’s nonsense, I don’t think it’s really relevant these days with the kind of workplaces that we have. I understand you might want to dress well in front of clients, fine, but having to wear a suit in the office is not really something that I’ve ever had to do and I don’t think it’s something that anyone should really have to do.”

Ed, 29, Professional Services: ‘Shorts don’t put me in the right mindset’

“Am I allowed to wear shorts? I think so. Would I wear them? No. It just doesn’t really put you in the right mindset. I think you should dress as if you actually want to do well, let me put it that way.”

Akash Sareen, 27, Public Sector: ‘If I were to wear shorts, I’m sure nobody would say anything’

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“I don’t know if we’re allowed to be honest, but I’m sure if I were to wear shorts nobody would say anything. I think it’s outdated for most workplaces these days. It doesn’t affect how you do your job so there’s not really a need for it but I know there are some places that have an image to uphold and for them it might work. But for most places I don’t think it’s fit for 2018. We work in the public sector so I think there’s a bit more tolerance for people’s individual preferences or differences but yeah I think we have quite a relaxed dress code compared to some really corporate places.”

David Gallagher, 33, Law: ‘Air-con means shorts aren’t really necessary’

“No we’re not allowed and even if we were I’d have to say I probably wouldn’t. We don’t have to wear suits so it’s pretty casual where I work but I don’t think shorts are really that necessary if you’ve got a good air conditioning system in your office.”

Andrew Fox, 26, Student: ‘There’s still a stigma to wearing shorts for work’

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“I think you should be able to wear shorts but there is a stigma attached to it, it feels more casual. My wife works in Liverpool Street at a law firm and they have ‘Summer Dress’ right now but apparently it’s about a 50/50 split because some people just wouldn’t go to a meeting in shorts. Obviously for me I work in a library so there’s absolutely no issue to wearing shorts there at all.”