May 11, 2006

"They're not so different from a skirt... They have the same amount of fabric."

Justifying the vile practice of wearing shorts ... to work.

54 comments:

tiggeril said...

Shortcist!

It's my opinion that "Bermuda Shorts" like skinny jeans, are clothing that only works if you have supermodel legs.

Jennifer said...

Not so, tiggeril! You just need to find a flattering cut. Holds true for both of them.

A no-pocket design is key for the bermuda shorts. And you don't want them to be cut too big. Or they'll look like big ol' mens shorts. And look for one that is cut just above the knee rather than at the kneecap. And make sure your shirt is no longer than the waistband.

Or, I guess don't bother. Boy that sounded like a hassle!

Jennifer said...

But, I should add that I can't imagine wearing them to work.

MadisonMan said...

I'm glad to see that New York Fashion is catching up with Midwestern sensibility -- shorts mean less laundry in the summer!

I'll add, though, that if I have to look halfway respectable at work, which is rare, I am long-panted. When I go off-site to train, I wear pants. When the bigshots visit, I wear pants. Otherwise? Sorry, Ann, it's shorts weather. (Well, not today -- 40 and rain in May? Ugh!)

MadisonMan said...

Postscript: The women with whom I work: 50-50 on shorts wearing, I'd guess.

al said...

So is it vile if men wear them to work?

So comfortable...

John Jenkins said...

My office has a fairly relaxed policy, but no one would even think of shorts, even on casual (read as: denim) Friday.

Joe said...

When we first had casual friday some years ago, men were wearing shorts - until the Memo came down. Now it's business casual. This necessitated some tuning up of the wardrobe, which had pretty much consisted of either suits or garage wear up till then.

Ann Althouse said...

"So is it vile if men wear them to work?"

Not if your job is basketball player. Otherwise, of course, it's much worse than these women's styles. And -- I don't know if you read the article -- but these women are trying to dress the shorts up by wearing sweaters. What's the sense of that? It's just perverse.

Another ridiculous thing about the article is the way it acts like there isn't a name for this kind of loosely cut shorts that come down to the knee. It's "Bermuda shorts," and these things have always been ugly, notoriously ugly. We're just in one of those fashion moments where there's amnesia about something ugly so that something unusual can be in style. These women will all look back on this and be ashamed.

And they make nearly everyone look fat.

Jennifer said...

Ann, is this what you're thinking of when you picture Bermuda Shorts?

I think they're actually flattering. Maybe this is slightly different and I'm not picturing a traditional Bermuda Short cut?

$CAV3NG3R said...

Ann: "it makes nearly everyone look fat"

Whats wrong with looking fat, so long as one is not? I personally have a theory that you can't look fat unless you actually are.

Jennifer: there are certain body types that can't be flattered and an attempt to flatter such would only lead to mockery e.g. not all black men can hold up a shaved look, some heads are just too bumpy.

altoids1306 said...

If women want to show off their legs, I have no problem with that.

Dave said...

So do you automatically fail any student who wears shorts to class?

Jennifer said...

$CAV3NG3R: I totally disagree! There are more and less flattering approaches to every body type, short of extreme morbid obesity.

XWL said...

My first thought upon seeing that article on the NYT website was, 'Prof. Althouse is going to post about this'.

Sad, but true.

(the fashion consultant photographed looked especially, unoffice-like)

If you follow the rule, 'you dress for the job you want, not the job you have', than these women want to be a bunch of smelly unemployed hippies.

(or Europeans on the dole)

(which is a bit ironic, given that each of the three outfits pictured (including the shoes and accessories) could measure their cost (though not their value) in the thousands.

My favorite part of the article, "Even in a law office, though, shorts are not necessarily an affront to convention. Last week, Melissa Gluck, a lawyer in New York, wore shorts to work with a tank top and a tiny black sweater. She conceded that her outfit might cause a stir if she wore it to court, but was quick to add that it would probably pass muster if she paired the shorts with a jacket."

Keep on believing that, and then complain loudly about a 'glass-ceiling' 5-7 years from now.

Jennifer said...

Well, XWL, in all fairness, the first woman is a co-host on a silly tv show as well as a style tv show and the second woman is a fashion consultant. For either of them, its more important to look fashionable than button-down-professional.

I have no idea what the last lady does, but she would look just as frumpy if those were pants.

I totally agree with you, though, about the lawyers, etc.. who seem to think this is good office apparel. They might be impressing the young secretaries but not so much the head honchos.

John Jenkins said...

The the outfit the first woman is wearing (long sleeves and shorts) off of a rugby pitch really looks out of place. And can we take a moment to just say no to capris? I must be old-fashioned, but when I see capris, I think "high-waters," and this just looks like capri-creep.

SippicanCottage said...
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Nels said...

No doubt this is dependent on what type of work one does, as well as the area of the country that one is in. Here in San Diego, within a youthful entertainment industry such as the one I'm in, it's normal for people to wear shorts at the office. There are a few guys whom I've only seen wear shorts and t-shirts, a couple of years running, to work.

Elizabeth said...

I don't wear shorts into the classroom, but otherwise, I'm a practicioner of vileness. It's a solid 5 months of 98+ degree heat and 95 percent humidity here. I just don't have the body for a skirt. Men and women alike in the Deep Deep Deep South wear shorts and pants with stupid names like capris, clamdiggers, "pirate pants" (guys, they're capris, get over it), and pedalpushers. The second I'm out of the classroom, if I'm teaching in the summer, I change into something with less fabric.

Just curious, Ann, what do you think of the seersucker suit, our other adaptation to the heat?

Pastor_Jeff said...

The funny part is that the shorts are the least bad part of all three outfits pictured.

Those are some hideous pairings -- truly Fug-worthy.

Aspasia M. said...

I tend to like summer skirts more then shorts unless I'm going to the park or running around outside.

A nice summer skirt paired with sandles is quite comfortable.

And what's up with shorts being expensive?

Aspasia M. said...

what do you think of the seersucker suit, our other adaptation to the heat?

Elizabeth,

I love a nicely cut seersucker suit! Very cute.

Aspasia M. said...

ok - I just looked at the pictures.

The first picture looked like bicycle shorts!

And pumps just don't look right with shorts. What were they thinking?

Bruce Hayden said...

When I worked as a patent attorney for a semiconductor company, most of the engineers were in shorts in the summer, plus, usually, T-shirts and sandals. This is apparently pretty uniform throughout the industruy, except maybe at IBM, where last I knew dress casual was more regimented than their old white shirt and blue suit look.

But the male attorneys were still in ties, and I would get a lot of grief from the engineers I worked with for it, esp. in the middle of the Austin summers.

Our secretaries might wear shorts in the summer, as might our draftsman. But not the attorneys, and not the VPs and most of the directors, even if they had done so when they were still working as engineers.

Elizabeth said...

Let me clarify: I don't wear any of those shorts, the ones in this article.

Geoduck--seersucker does look good in women's suits. But it's also big with old men here, mostly lawyers. I like the rumpled look, very old-fashioned and genteel.

Jeff said...

New York is muggy and uncomfortable for half of the year, indoors and out. Too many women dislike wearing dresses and skirts, so they wear capris, etc.

I call them culottes, and I wear them from now until October. Biking from Brooklyn to Manhattan (and working all day in an under-air conditioned office) would be too uncomfortable otherwise.

Of course, it helps to have nice legs with good tattoos (and to work in an art department)!

Still, I refuse to wear flip-flops the street and in the office, as many men (mostly gay) do.

Steven said...

Yet another case of fashion without taste.

Of course, that's been the definition of "New York" for going on forty years now, so what's new?

Balfegor said...

At last, a fashion area where I am not the fogey! Or at least not the one peering down my nose in disapproval.

I actually think that shorts a bit like the ones on the page Jennifer linked can be quite attractive on a woman, so long as she's not too heavy, although I, with my horrible fashion sense, also think something that comes down a bit past the knee -- more like plus-fours -- look even more fetching on a woman, when paired with flip-flops or flats or something (anything but heels!) provided in the case of flip-flops, of course, that the foot and the toes are attractive and well-formed. Saw a girl wearing something a bit like that by the ticket machine today, and thought it looked very good. The girl in the Neiman Marcus ad doesn't look half bad, either, only she's awfully skinny (and has a funny-looking "model face"). On the other hand, most people have ugly feet, so it's not for everyone.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Shorts suck. Cool people don't wear shorts.

For women, showing leg is of course hot, but skirts are hotter than shorts, unless the shorts are daisy dukes, in which case the hotness is equal, if the daisy dukes are properly cut. But I don't think daisy dukes are appropriate for the workplace. I think the solution is semi-daisy dukes.

chuck b. said...

The first woman looks fine, the third woman looks bad (I can't decide if it's the shoes or the vest) and the second woman just needs to iron out those crazy creases. They all look way to breezy to appear professional tho'.

I think it's fine to wear shorts to a casual work environment (but not a business casual work environment). I wish I could wear shorts and sandals to work.

paintedgoat said...

Europeans almost never wear shorts except while doing sporting activites, so capris are the summer uniform here for both women and men. My teenage sons refer to the male style as "manpris" and wouldn't be caught dead in them. (Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead in the sagging-off-the-butt polyester basketball shorts they prefer, even if I were a man!) My main problem with shorts of any kind is they just aren't as flattering as a skirt unless you're built like a model. The one's from the NM link a few comments up would make me look laughable. Besides, I've already gone through the painful, preppy shorts stage once in the 80's. Why do it again? I've got much more sense now. As for wearing them to work: only if I worked at a gym.

Jacques Cuze said...
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Wickedpinto said...

On the stupid idea of "casual friday's" which John Jenkins described properly as "denim." If it's Denim Friday, not a big deal but what about pajama bottoms? I Loves me my pajama bottoms, is that acceptable? If those brittish schoolboy shorts are acceptable shouldn't PJ bottoms?

Wickedpinto said...

OH OH OH!!! Dominatrix tuesdays!

French Maid Thursdays!

James d. said...

I work at a newspaper, and the sports guys will sometimes wear shorts, but it seems to go with that territory. Not so much on the news end. And we aren't very strict compared to some places.

The PGA has this debate every once in a while because the LPGA allows shorts. Greg Norman even said once something along the lines of men have better legs. Make of that what you will.

al said...

Not if your job is basketball player. Otherwise, of course, it's much worse than these women's styles. And -- I don't know if you read the article -- but these women are trying to dress the shorts up by wearing sweaters. What's the sense of that? It's just perverse.

I'm not a basketball player - not since high school. Just a system administrator who works in a very casual environment (where what you know is valued higher than how well you dress ) and lives in shorts from April till October. Even today when its 45 and raining here in lovely Northern Illinois. I read the article and I agree that dressing up shorts is pretty strange. Almost as strange as the sleeveless turtlenecks that women wear.

And they make nearly everyone look fat.

Not me!

Goesh said...

No jeans at work here and absolutely no shorts. Ties are preferred but not mandated - probably 2/3 of the guys wear a tie in the office. Having been raised on a farm and having been in the military and done some labor jobs in my time, shorts are very alien to me. I will wait until my legs are the size of pool ques and I have lots of hair protruding from my ears and am stooped and have a pot-belly so I will need to wear my pants way, way up high - then I will show off my legs and their fish belly color by wearing shorts. About half the guys I see wearing shorts are nearing that mark of distinction already.

Walt said...

Pants are mandatory, but underwear is optional!!!

bearing said...

I don't understand the commenters who say that you need better legs for a skirt than for shorts.

IME, a skirt (or at least a skort) is ALWAYS more flattering than shorts of the same length. There's no "cut" of shorts that beats the "cut" of a skirt. Mainly due to (1) the tendency for shorts to ride up between the thighs, and (2) shorts are more susceptible to wrinkling from normal walking and sitting.

I've completely given up shorts in favor of skorts, skirts, and sundresses (when this nursing mom can find one that works). And I don't think I'm a fogey yet --- I'm 31.

Ann Althouse said...

Shorts, it must be admitted, are more comfortable than a skirt of the same length when you're sitting down. A skirt rides up much higher and demands attention lest you reveal things you don't want to reveal.

Only a very long skirt solves the problem. Last summer there was a rage for very long skirts, and I think a lot of women realized that long lightweight skirts are the best alternative to shorts in the summer. Can we get back to that?

Jacques Cuze said...

What on earth was wrong with my comment? It was a pop cultural reference describing what some people where "to work" that is in fact a whole lot more comfortable than shorts, and yet much more evil too!

SippicanCottage said...
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Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

Oh I hope not. The thought of him sitting in front of a computer Terry Jones style makes me want to gouge my brain out.

Aspasia M. said...

Sippican,

Eggplant!
---------------

Summer skirts are just more fun to wear then shorts.

SippicanCottage said...
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Jeff said...

Skorts are the devil's work! The skirt equivalent of... Mom Jeans!

Announcer: Introducing Mom Jeans, exclusively at J.C. Penney. She'll love the 9-inch zipper and casual front pleats. Cut generously, to fit a mom's body. She'll want to wear them to everything, from a soccer game to a night on the town.

[Dad frowns at the sight of Mom's new jean ]

Announcer: So this Mother's Day, don't give Mom that bottle of perfume. Give her something that says, "I'm not a woman any more. I'm a Mom."

Elizabeth said...

Sippican, now I have two words for eggplant. Yay! But when I spent a few days in Paris, all veggie vocabulary fled my brain, and I had to eat omelettes with cheese for three days. It's all I could remember. I'm taking flashcards next time!

Ann, long skirts are nice, pretty. I'm just not that femme. I'd look like a 70s earth mother and I'm just not well for that. It's chinos or rayon capris in the classroom, baggy shorts on my tech support days. But I enjoy looking at the lovely women in flowing skirts, so yes, can we get back to that, please?

buck turgidson said...

What about the vile practice of wearing skirts to work? Who ever came up with such a stupid idea?!!

Steven said...

Elizabeth --

If you're a woman, you look best in a long, loose-fitting skirt. Really. It's a natural law.

Aspasia M. said...

By the way, what is up with Americans and our horrible clothing sense?

My relatives in Italy were a bit confused by my casual outfits when they met me. (I was camping prior to staying with them.)

And in India the material is beautiful. (Also, wearing shorts in India is a sign of low caste.) Our clothing is rather dull, both in material and style.
--------------------------

I think I like wearing skirts because I was never pressured to do so. My parents decided when I was about five to let me choose what to wear.

(Of course, this resulted in me wearing some absolutely hideous outfits, which has been memorialized in pictures. I thought it was brilliant to pair red with purple.)

bearing said...

Skorts the equivalent of mom jeans? Please!

I get mine, in performance fabric, from Title 9. Love 'em, especially the hiking skort.

Elizabeth said...

Steven, I've just never learned to accessorize. And besides, baggy cargo shorts are so comfy. I do have a few of those long flowy skirts; they just don't make frequent appearances.