Share this content
0
3320

Shorts in the office

In this heat wave is it acceptable to ditch normal office wear for the comfort of shorts?

Didn't find your answer?

Search AccountingWEB

Has anyone noticed that it’s got a little hot recently?

The office scene here at AccountingWEB towers tells a similar story to that of offices up and down the country; windows are cranked open while the workers aimlessly flap their hands in front their faces like a rudimentary hand fan.

Outside of the obligatory “oh I like the sun but this is too hot” office kitchen chat (clearly, forgetting the dreaded beast from the east earlier this year), the other standard office worker response to such weather is to don shorts.  

Now while Hawaiian shorts may be out of the question, could there be an allowance under such heat for accountants to swap their standard business attire for something a little more ventilated?

Or is office wear not season-negotiable? After all, you wouldn’t wear a quilted Eskimo-style coat during a winter client meeting, so why should you dress for the beach during a heat wave?

Where does your firm stand? Is it acceptable to ditch normal office wear for the comfort of shorts or summer wear?

(P.S I am wearing shorts.)

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By iknell
28th Jun 2018 14:29

I'm with you Richard. I'm wearing shorts (tailored not beach shorts) and deck shoes. Client feedback is that it is more than acceptable as I still look professional (no I didn't shave my legs!). All the staff have been told the same, polo shirts and tailored/chino shorts are acceptable in this weather. Denim, ripped or outlandish shorts aren't.

Thanks (2)
28th Jun 2018 14:33

I was totally against any kind of dressing down. Always one for "wear a suit while working, to show you mean business".

Then I joined a business that had permanent dress down. And it took me my first morning to realise that my previous stance had been insane. No-one works any better, in my honest opinion, because they are wearing silly impractical clothing like a dress shirt and tie with jacket and matching trousers.

Women have been sensible about this ever since they entered the workplace. Wear whatever you like as long as it is clean and not distracting.

Thanks (3)
avatar
28th Jun 2018 14:45

You can do what you like in marketing, but we must suffer for our profession.

Thanks (3)
to andy.partridge
28th Jun 2018 14:59

andy.partridge wrote:

You can do what you like in marketing, but we must suffer for our profession.


I'm not sure if you're serious or joking. If serious, what makes you think that clients care what their accountant wears?
Thanks (0)
avatar
to TomMcClelland
28th Jun 2018 15:30

I talk to them.

I went to see my GP and he was wearing a clown outfit. I had to change practices. Couldn't take him seriously after that.

Thanks (6)
28th Jun 2018 15:11

I'm wearing the same stuff as I did in winter.

However, I don't put my big coit on if I go out.

Thanks (0)
avatar
to lionofludesch
28th Jun 2018 15:31

Must pong a bit after 6 months.

Thanks (3)
28th Jun 2018 15:18

I am barefoot and in shorts with a short sleeve formal(ish) shirt. Well its blue with stripes.

if a client pops round unexpectedly I will put my sandals on!

In the late 90's I remember being shocked to see coming out of an office in Australia whilst on holiday a line of people in shirts, ties and shorts, but very sensible IMO. Well not the ties, but it was the 90's.

Thanks (0)
28th Jun 2018 15:31

You guys can get away with you want.

I think some clients may question if we turned up in shorts though.

Aircon and big desk fans are keeping me cool enough to avoid shorts although the board room is a tad hot as its fully glazed with sun belting on it.

Tom Herbert strikes me as a Speedo man, we need photos if he turns up wearing a pair.

Thanks (1)
to Glennzy
28th Jun 2018 16:09

My shameful speedo secret has been revealed...

Thanks (1)
avatar
28th Jun 2018 15:38

Where does the dress-down stop though, there has to be rules.

I have seen inappropriately dressed people, both female and male in an office environment. It's acceptable to be "dress down" in hot weather but with some rulings on covered shoulders and covered stomachs, bare legs after thigh only and not before.
No vest tops and boobtubes allowed which is what I saw in a very relaxed London office once...

Thanks (0)
to FCExtraordinaire
28th Jun 2018 16:38

The boob tube is much underated.

Thanks (0)
to Glennzy
28th Jun 2018 16:47

I don't look good in one.

Thanks (1)
28th Jun 2018 16:05

There is no excuse for adults to wear shorts unless they are engaged is some kind of sporting activity.

Just buy aircon you skinflints......comfy in the winter and the summer

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Maslins
to Democratus
28th Jun 2018 17:08

Yeah, why dress appropriately for the weather when you can burn up fossil fuels instead! ;-)

Plenty of shorts & T-shirt action in our office. We probably only have a couple of client visits a month (mostly online), and if unannounced on a hot day they'll just have to accept whatever we're wearing.

Thanks (11)
28th Jun 2018 16:59

I can see both sides to an extent.

andy.partridge’s comment about his GP brings back a Halloween in my previous role. The receptionists dressed as clowns, and I remember thinking if I was a client turning up, then I’d just move to another accountant (that might be more to do with my dislike of clowns though).

On the flip side, certainly for us wage slaves, there is very few meetings with clients in any given week, so being able to dress in more comfortable clothes, with perhaps a change available in office if we have to attend a client meeting, would be much more sensible in my opinion.

I do love some of the comments about clothes not being “distracting” and to have “covered shoulders” and no “bare legs above the thigh”. Do you really have so little self control that the appearance of a bit of flesh is going to be distracting?

Thanks (2)
avatar
to Lone_Wolf
28th Jun 2018 17:22

I am straight female. Not distracting for me....

Thanks (0)
to FCExtraordinaire
29th Jun 2018 09:37

FCExtraordinaire wrote:

I am straight female. Not distracting for me....

You've not had a peak at my hairy thighs yet... :P

Thanks (0)
avatar
By NDH
28th Jun 2018 17:01

If it's hot, wear shorts. Even if it's not so hot shorts are ok. I feel no need to dress for other peoples opinions.

Thanks (2)
avatar
to NDH
28th Jun 2018 17:34

NDH wrote:

I feel no need to dress for other peoples opinions.

. . . said a sociopath or, maybe, a naturist - who knows?

If you work home-alone that's cheating.

Thanks (0)
avatar
28th Jun 2018 21:18

I've been working in the garden in shorts and topless this week.

I'm getting less done, but only marginally.

I'm an absolute sun worshipper though so feel very fortunate to be able to do this.

Thanks (0)
avatar
29th Jun 2018 07:58

I’ve rolled my sleeves up, don’t wear my blazer for meetings and ditched the heavy Levi’s for jeans with lighter fabric.

I’m with Andy - god forbid but we’re not creatives (holding for the ‘creative accounting’ comments). I sent someone home a few years ago for wearing shorts.

Our dress policy is smart office wear, Friday’s smart-cas. No denim Mon - Thurs, black allowed on Fridays, allowance made for me (when writing the policy, Mrs ALISK said “I can control that your jeans are smart enough”). No blue denim ever for anyone except me (we got fed up of a junior turning up in pale blue jeans and a fleece, looking liked he worked in a warehouse). He’s not with us anymore.

We need to keep some standards as a profession, I tend to find quality of work is no longer one.

(When I work from my home office, it’s a t-shirt, old basketball shorts and barefoot.)

Thanks (2)
29th Jun 2018 09:41

Are we really still having this debate?

15ish years ago after 5 years of dress down being the default, I had to visit one of the only clients (Ex RAF) who I knew would be uncomfortable with me sans suit.

It was a day like today and I walked into his office feeling fit to explode to find him and his staff in T shirts, shorts and sandals with a greeting of "what the hell are you doing in a suit on a day like this?"

People who expect me to dress in a certain way before they will respect me are not the sort of clients I want.

It's ironic that, when discussing this with clients all those years ago, many would say that the only time they dressed up or put a suit on was when we met.

Thanks (5)
avatar
By Maslins
to Paul Scholes
29th Jun 2018 09:55

Paul Scholes wrote:

It was a day like today and I walked into his office feeling fit to explode to find him and his staff in T shirts, shorts and sandals with a greeting of "what the hell are you doing in a suit on a day like this?"

Very different...but reminds me of one of my early experiences as an audit junior, with two more senior female colleagues. On site at a client's all week, Mon-Thu wear normal smart attire.

Thurs avo the client bosses come in, tell us they do dress down Fridays, so wear whatever we liked tomorrow.

I took this very literally. Next day I turn up in jeans and T-shirt. Female colleagues it was always more of a blur between smart and casual anyway, so I think they played it safe and just dressed down trivially so nobody would notice.

Client's directors come in, fully suited and booted. Took one look at me, laughed, and said "Oh, and Monday's dress as a pirate day", then walked out chuckling to themselves.

Was a harmless prank, I got to wear whatever to work and couldn't really be told off about it...but I did feel an idiot.

...and no I didn't dress as a pirate on the Monday.

Thanks (3)
to Maslins
29th Jun 2018 10:10

Maslins wrote:

Female colleagues it was always more of a blur between smart and casual anyway

Preach.

Our office (and the one I worked at before) has/had a policy of 'men must wear ties'. The only time we are allowed to take them off is if we are specifically told to, otherwise words are had.

My last place we were allowed to take them off 3 days in 4 years. Still waiting for my current employer to say it and it's been 6 years... Been asked where my tie was twice already this year. I just point to where it is on my desk.

Thanks (4)
to Paul Scholes
29th Jun 2018 10:03

Paul Scholes wrote:
People who expect me to dress in a certain way before they will respect me are not the sort of clients I want.

Hear, hear!

Thanks (4)
to Paul Scholes
29th Jun 2018 10:25

Paul Scholes wrote:
... snip...

It's ironic that, when discussing this with clients all those years ago, many would say that the only time they dressed up or put a suit on was when we met.

Bingo! I was running my business from home and whenever a contact visited I would put a suit and tie on "to look professional" and they would appear dressed likewise. Something made me realise that in every case, each of us was only dressing that way to satisfy the perceived expectations of the other. I took to saying when arranging meetings, "Come along in whatever you feel most comfortable, but I'll be dressed down". From that moment on, no-one ever appeared in a suit and tie again.

Same if I was visiting a contact, I'd say, "Is there any problem with me turning up casual/smart?". I'd get there and everyone would be dressed down anyway. They might have dressed up if they thought I'd expect it of them!

Lounge suits are absurd archaic wear best consigned to oblivion or reserved for weddings and funerals. At a wedding last week, by coincidence, I did a straw poll at my reception table full of middle-class professionals. The males at the table couldn't remember the last time they'd worn their suit and tie or said that it was at the previous wedding they went to... It is a really strange convention, wearing them, that only ever applied to men anyway.

Thanks (3)
avatar
29th Jun 2018 10:25

Interesting discussion. Can I put the point of view that if you are an expensive professional, you need to look like an expensive professional when face-to-face with clients? Losing a tie is fine, but a smart shirt and pale trousers doesn't mean looking cheap. Ladies always seem to get it right .....

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Maslins
to CMPACDGDB
29th Jun 2018 10:34

For me the IT geek has changed the world on this one.

Mark Zuckerberg, one of the richest men in the world, famously turned up to some high power conference thingy (<-technical term) in a hoodie. Some of the media gave him abuse for it...but did it harm him? Nope.

In the IT world there is zero correlation between ability and smartness of appearance. Gradually this is filtering through to other sectors too.

Thanks (1)
avatar
to Maslins
02nd Jul 2018 18:07

Wearing a hoodie to a high power tech conference is the least of his worries these days...

Thanks (0)
29th Jun 2018 10:44

The world has moved on. I recall many years ago a junior being berated for wearing brown brogues to the office - "off to the country, are you?"

Thanks (2)
29th Jun 2018 10:45

"I worked much more effectively today because I had a strip of coloured silk wrapped round my neck, and wore a jacket the same colour as my trousers", said no-one, ever.

Thanks (1)
avatar
29th Jun 2018 10:59

The tie burners thinking they are making a grand political statement of freedom and power do make me chuckle.

Thanks (0)
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 11:03

I always wear and suit and tie to the office (though this week, I admit, I dispensed with the tie).

Whilst it doesn't make me any more efficient (and possibly even negatively impacts efficiency), it does, still, unfortunately, send a subliminal message to clients regarding respectability.

Thanks (2)
avatar
to SteLacca
29th Jun 2018 11:25

I'm with you on this, despite being a total hypocrite (me that is, not you).

The comment about Mark Zuckerberg, above, is hilarious. Regardless of his wealth he is no poster boy for integrity and values that are important in our profession.

Thanks (2)
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 11:48

When you're that wealthy, you can dress up/down as you like. I mean MZ, not you.

Thanks (0)
avatar
to Red Leader
29th Jun 2018 11:56

Absolutely, but what has that got to do with accountants?

What is the message? 'Dress like Mark and you could BE him.'

Thanks (0)
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 14:42

Message? You're expecting rather more from this thread than it may be able to deliver.

Thanks (2)
avatar
to Red Leader
29th Jun 2018 15:39

I live in hope. Ever the optimist.

Thanks (0)
to SteLacca
29th Jun 2018 12:45

Who you calling unrespectable?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Maslins
29th Jun 2018 11:57

Virtually all the comments demonstrate it's a conflict between comfort and social acceptance.

If you worry your colleagues/bosses/clients will be upset at you dressing down, you go smart. If you're not concerned (either cos you think they can go jump or you're confident they won't care) then you wear whatever.

My point re Zuckerberg is to my mind he's part of a movement that big business doesn't have to mean formal suits. It is possible to be successful without wearing one. I personally don't see any correlation between integrity and what someone wears.

Thanks (2)
avatar
to Maslins
29th Jun 2018 12:09

Maslins wrote:

If you're not concerned (either cos you think they can go jump or you're confident they won't care) then you wear whatever.

You sound like a feckless teenager.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Maslins
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 12:38

andy.partridge wrote:

You sound like a feckless teenager.

Does this comment apply to Paul Scholes too, as he basically said the same thing?

Thanks (1)
avatar
to Maslins
29th Jun 2018 12:50

Basically, yes.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Maslins
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 13:10

andy.partridge wrote:

Basically, yes.

So wearing a suit whilst hurling insults = professional accountant of integrity.

Wearing shorts whilst being polite = feckless teenager lacking integrity.

Got it.

You don't debate Andy, you troll. There's a difference.

Thanks (2)
avatar
to Maslins
29th Jun 2018 15:24

You are remarkably thin skinned.

I recall you are the chap who can’t say no to a client for fear of upsetting them. You are in favour of dressing down.

I think these two things are related (for you). If you dress the part, you become the part. Think of it as a costume you put on for your performance as a confident accountant whose views your client will accept.

Yes, I know I am laying it on a bit thick, but trolling? Come on, that’s a cheap smear and does you no favours.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Maslins
to andy.partridge
29th Jun 2018 15:41

andy.partridge wrote:

You are remarkably thin skinned.

I recall you are the chap who can’t say no to a client for fear of upsetting them. You are in favour of dressing down.

I think these two things are related (for you). If you dress the part, you become the part. Think of it as a costume you put on for your performance as a confident accountant whose views your client will accept.

Yes, I know I am laying it on a bit thick, but trolling? Come on, that’s a cheap smear and does you no favours.


This is meant to be a professional forum, and I believe we're both accountants (professionals).

Twice in the last week you've implied I lack integrity, you've suggested I work for Spaghetti & co (when my username is clearly my firm name) and called me a feckless teenager.

I realise nothing I say will change your behaviour, but can you not see even a tiny bit of hypocrisy in you now accusing me of cheap smears?

Thanks (0)
avatar
to Maslins
29th Jun 2018 15:48

It was Jellyfish & Co. Attention to detail can be important in this job.

Come on, lighten up. Let’s go for a virtual beer.

Thanks (0)
By mrme89
to andy.partridge
02nd Jul 2018 17:33

Cmon guys, stop arguing. Life’s too short (pardon the pun).

Thanks (1)

Pages

Share this content