Beat the Heat: How to Be Stylish and Appropriate While Wearing Shorts to Work

Shorts are a summertime staple.

ByABC News
August 16, 2016, 8:18 AM

— -- Shorts are a summertime staple, and they’ve been worn by celebrities on the red carpet. But as people deal with the heat, they may be asking the question: Can shorts be worn to work?

Lori Bergamotto, style director at Good Housekeeping magazine, says “yes.”

“I think, yes, you absolutely can wear shorts to the office. Of course, you need to know your audience, you need to know if you work in an environment that's really formal, has a specific dress code,” she said. “We don't want you violating any HR rules, or getting fired over wearing shorts. But for the most part, the workplace is really evolving and we're seeing this shift towards a more casual environment.”

She advised people to choose fabrics that have structure because anything that’s “too flimsy in nature is going to look wrinkled.”

To show how people can pull off the look, “GMA” hit up Good Housekeeping’s fashion closet. The looks are modeled by "GMA" interns Sophie, Sara and Chisom.

The Looks

The Skort

PHOTO: Sophie wears a skort.
Sophie wears a skort.
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First up, there was Sophie, who was wearing a pleated, striped skort, or a garment that has the outline of a skirt but which has shorts built in.

“Sophie's not particularly short, petite. She's not particularly tall either. She's about five-foot-four and she's curvy. For someone with her body type, you want to create balance and proportion, and a really good way to do that is with an A-line silhouette,” Bergamotto said.

Silk Tie-Front Shorts

PHOTO: Sara wears tie-front silk shorts.
Sara wears tie-front silk shorts.
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Sara, who has a petite frame, wore silk tie-front shorts.

“If you're somebody who is petite like Sara is ... what you're looking for is something that adds a little tiny bit more volume, and the tie-front usually helps to do that,” Bergamotto said. “And another way to achieve that are with shorts that are cuffed, which generally we tell women to stay away from those because they're adding too much volume. But when you are someone whose really petite ... a little bit more volume is OK because what it does is helps define shape. And that's what you're really trying to do.”

Formal Short Suit

PHOTO: Chisom wears a shorts suit.
Chisom wears a shorts suit.
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Chisom, who is tall, is wearing a shorts suit. Pairing shorts with a blazer or statement accessories can elevate the look, Bergamotto said.

“We gave her a shell that has a little bit of a raw edge,” Bergamotto noted. “And then we chose accessories that have some shine to them, and that really exude that professional quality. ... We kept everything else more on the conservative side and then really let the shorts sing.”

Men can get in on the trend, too, Bergamotto said, noting that men could do a take on the summer suit without looking too informal. The shorts shouldn’t be too long, they shouldn’t be jorts (shorts made of denim) and the fabric shouldn’t been too crinkly. Pair the shorts with a summer-weight jacket for an office-appropriate look.

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