Last week, we saw UK temperatures soar to over 30 degrees as the forecasted heatwave made its appearance. Sure, us Brits are prone to a bit of a moan about the weather but let’s face it, the majority of our summer wardrobe consists of kaftans and mini dresses that are, for the majority of the year, stored away under our beds for holidays in the South of France or Majorca – not quite workwear appropriate. So, just how do we approach dressing for work in the heat? Enter, the short suit.
One of the perks of working in the fashion industry is that most offices allow for a bit of freedom in personal style, especially when it’s trend-led. The 80s has had a massive influence on the catwalk this summer and short suits were one of the biggest trends for Spring/Summer ‘18, providing the perfect solution to summer tailoring in the office. At Nina Ricci, the shorts were ultra high waisted and long for a schoolboy fit, whilst at Off-White, it was the return of the biker/Bermuda short with a tribute collection to Diana, Princess of Wales.
If you’re worried that showing up to work in a short suit could potentially cause the same mixed opinions as LeBron James at the NBA Finals then don’t sweat it, these girls have got you covered. Taking to Instagram, I rounded up some of my favourite power short looks to show you how to beat the office heat in style.
Linen is a go-to material for the summer months and a linen blazer is the perfect smart casual attire for the office. An all neutral outfit looks smart whilst the light tones work wonders at reflecting the light. A structured black bag great counterpoint to this summery look, as it instantly smartens the outfit. Feel free to match your accessories to your bag’s hardware with layered necklaces and rings
Top Tip: Use spray-on starch on your linen shorts and blazer to avoid excessive creasing. The starch will help your linen remain crisp and crease-less, whilst also acting as a stain protectant!
Look no further than Leandra Medine of ManRepeller to show us how to work both double denim AND a black blazer. Is there anything this woman can’t wear? As she says, long shorts or short pants? Who cares! A Bermuda short can work both occasions and in denim, easily takes you from work to after-work drinks. Do like Leandra and pair your Bermuda shorts with a mid-heel to help lengthen your leg and stop the look from teetering too much on the casual side.
Brittany Xavier shows that we don’t have to buy a matching co-ord set for a short suit to look smart. Instead, unite your shorts and blazer by matching tonal colours to give off a sense of uniform and balance. If a crop top is a complete no-go for your work, then consider a light vest knit to tuck into your shorts. Black boots are great for stomping around the city, but this look would also look great with some strappy Celine-esque sandals. Why not add a silk necktie? Tie around your neck at the front in sailor fashion, or wrap all the way around for a choker. This is a great way to add texture and colour to a neutral look and can also double up as a hair band!
Parisians always manage to perfectly blend classic and modern looks together. In this instance, a plain, grey tailored short suit is perfect if your office requires more traditional suiting. Long, Bermuda shorts are the best option if your work is client facing or you work in a more conventional office environment. Look for longer shorts that hit just above the knee to stay within the realm of professional attire. Stick to closed toe shoes for the same reason. Monica’s closed-toe mules in black leather are ideal for staying work-appropriate and for keeping those feet cool.
Bonus Look: Biker Shorts
The queen of Scandi chic, Pernille Teisbaeck, proves that biker shorts don’t just belong in the gym. Pairing her black shorts with chunky trainers and a structured, button-up blazer, this a great look for a woman on-the-go, whether you’re heading straight to the gym or for drinks with friends after work – but best to be avoided for office events. For underneath, opt for an oversized shirt or top that covers the behind and potential camel toe (it had to be said). If the heat does hit above 30 degrees, switch out the heavy blazer for a linen style or waistcoat option to keep your cool. This definitely isn’t an appropriate look for all offices (so make your own call!) but is definitely a fun way to maximise the trend.
In all of these outfits, the blazer reigns supreme and works best in oversized fits and lightweight materials. So switch your trousers for a pair of power shorts and update your summer workwear with the addition of a short suit. They’re guaranteed to beat the heat.