youUnquestionably, the pandemic has torn up the regulations on what counts as acceptable attire in the office. What is at issue, however, is how the new rules apply amid a scorching heat wave.

Can you, as the leaders of the G7 have done so recently, give up the tie? The costume, even? Are shorts considered fair in such extremes? And what about shoes? Here’s our guide to help you through the dress code haze.


kiss city ​​shorts

Thom Browne shorts. Photography:

Unless your employer enforces a strict dress code, dress shorts — tailored and cut at or just above the knee — are a stylish way to stay cool. American fashion designer Thom Browne is a master of looks, for Men and womenbut the main street has a lot of optionstoo.

Wear natural fibers

Zara linen suit.
Zara linen suit. Photography:

Thankfully, thermo-regulating linen is having a (sustainable) fashion moment, with many womenswear brands offering their version of the wide-leg linen trouser suit, including Marks & Spencer, Mint Velvet and Zara.

Meanwhile, MRS has a range of silk and linen suits for men, and John Lewis has linen suits and linen-cotton blend shirts. Cotton and silk are also your scorching allies – with silk, look for seersucker or patterned pieces, which will hide sweaty wrinkles better.

Wear more casual shoes

As tempting as it can be when the weather is hot, the men’s sockless loafer is only too Philip Green in Monaco. If your office allows a smart trainer, we recommend Joint projects‘ clean and minimal style.

Grenson’s Quincy, an elegant hand-painted calfskin sandal, has a substantial look that wouldn’t be out of place in a workplace. Women may want to opt for pumps and mules – not only do they expose the foot more, but they’re easier to toss under the desk.

Grenson's Quincy sandals.
Grenson’s Quincy sandals. Photography:


Wear beach clothes

Your rule of thumb for your scorching office attire is that anything you would wear to the beach will most likely be inappropriate for the workplace. Save the flip flops, jelly sandals, kaftans, cropped shorts and crop tops for the seaside.

Carry more coins than necessary

For women, why limit yourself to separate pieces when a loose dress will allow air to flow more freely around you? Do you need to wear even sleeves? A sleeveless dress will avoid the possibility of sweat stains.

For men, your workplace dress code may allow you to wear a polo shirt or a light t-shirt instead of a shirt and tie, if worn with a suit (if he still insists on it).

Wear tank tops

They’re lightweight, fashionable and a summer staple – for both men and women. But in the office, they appear more like a vest than a top. The tank top is clearly on the wrong side of the line for acceptable casual wear in the workplace.