“Dress for the job you want.”
But seriously, Lifehacker — a publication we adore — recently published the treatise "Men: Don’t Wear Shorts to Work." And it made some good points: “Do not use your knees to terrorize me” is a great line. Overall, the piece wasn’t as didactic as its title. Kudos.
And now to disagree.
Men, you should wear shorts to work (at times) because...
Have you been to New York in the summer? At my prior job, I actually had a “you must wear shorts” rule when it hit 90. This is a swampy island. Lightweight pants are great, but they don’t always get the job done.
Some guys from MIT said it was cool. The actual geniuses at Ministry of Supply make shorts that look sharp and wick away moisture.
Knees aren’t feet. We’d rather you cover your dogs.
Creative people get a pass. It adds to your vibe if you appear a bit casual. Sales peeps? You need to dress up and look mildly uncomfortable all day. That’s why you make the big bucks!
Maybe it increases productivity? Sure, why not. Extrapolate that logic from Zuckerberg’s wardrobe.
Our style director is probably wearing shorts right now. The guy guiding our exemplary fashion coverage for five years is most likely not only in shorts, but also a tank top and some kind of jaunty hat. On you or me, it’d look slovenly. On him? Let’s just say it’s all about how you carry yourself.
Finally, some caveats: Wearing shorts depends on your job. Do you have a lot of meetings? Do impressionable third parties often walk through? Etc.
But for a few weeks this summer, it's OK to set your knees free.