23 Shorts You Can Wear To Work, Because Sweating Through Your Pants Is Significantly More Inappropriate

While summer is great because of sunsets, beaches, s'mores, ice cream, bonfires, and much more, the struggle of getting uncomfortably sweaty is real. In order to maintain some level of professionalism in the workplace (without dying of heat exhaustion), it can be crucial to find a couple pairs of shorts you can wear to work. IIMO, sweating through your pants is significantly more inappropriate than baring a little leg.

Of course, you should always check in with your office dress code before you waltz in showing some extra skin, but most business casual places will let it slide. If you're good to go, click through for 23 workplace-appropriate shorts to add to your collection.


Oasis Denim D-Ring Shorts, $63, Asos

In a very conservative office job, denim anything would be a major no-no. But if your office is more creative, these are basically perfect. Anything can be played up with a few statement accessories and heels.


Tie Sash Zip Front Shorts - XOXO, $37, Target

Nothing says “I’m a professional” like a belt you can tie into a bow, right?

Polka Dots

ELLE Chino Print Chino Shorts, $25, Kohls

Polka dotted shorts are definitely fun. Paired with a structured blouse and nice kitten heels, they can be work-appropriate, too.

Sheer Scallop

LC Lauren Conrad Scallop-Hem Soft Shorts, $33, Kohls

If Lauren Conrad made them, they must be professional. As part of her LC Lauren Conrad line at Kohl’s, the reality-TV-star-turned-fashion-magazine-intern-turned-fashion-designer knew exactly how to design shorts comfortable enough to wear around the house, yet professional enough to rock to that meeting you maybe forgot about.

Textured & Scalloped

ELLE Textured Scallop-Hem Shorts, $28, Kohls

A little texture can go a long way. The royal blue color and the scallop trim on the bottom of these ELLE for Kohl’s shorts are perfect to match with a blazer and a chic chignon.


Woven Short - Mossimo, $15, Target

You may want to pair them with a neutral top, but because of the structure of the shorts and the woven material, these can definitely be worn in an office setting.


Zigzag Ikat Shorts, $50, J Crew

Although they look like denim from far away, your boss will have to stop in his tracks when he realizes these adorable printed shorts are actually cotton. And everything from J.Crew is appropriate to wear at work, right?

Longer Lengths


Piper Crochet Shorts, $38, Francescas

Despite popular belief, lace shorts can be worn places other than outdoor summer concerts — including work. If the length is appropriate and the fabric is not transparent, pair these shorts with a button-down blouse and a low bun and you will be ready for your promotion.


Bolsana Printed Shorts, $34, Francescas

If the print is any design more elegant that paper clips, birds, or elephants, you can definitely wear them to work.

Lace on the Side

Pamela Chambray Tie Shorts, $34, Francescas

If you, like me, have tried to save a pair of shorts that have suddenly (and oddly) shrunk in the span of a year by sewing lace on the side, you can also wear those to work!

Paper Bag

Shorts with Tie Belt, $25, H&M

Paper bag shorts have many great aspects to them: they’re long, they’re loose, they’re comfortable, they can be dressed up. If you have non-denim baggy shorts, dress them up with accessories and blazers and you can werk it at work (I know you all were waiting for that).


Belted Stripe Print Shorts, $18, Forever 21

Black and white shorts are a no-brainer for the office.

Grid Design

Grid Print Shorts, $18, Forever 21

Don’t let the drawstring on these shorts take away from their overall fanciness. Grid printed shorts are also a no-brainer in the office setting. These shorts are definitely over fingertip length and can be played up to fit in at a corporate office setting.


Pleated Bermuda Shorts, $20, Forever 21

If shorts have pleats in the stitching AND they’re high waisted, I shouldn’t have to tell you they’ll be OK to wear at work.


Houndstooth Waist-Tab Shorts, $18, Forever 21

From far away, these shorts look like a nice, chic fabric. Up close, however, the print is actually houndstooth, which is an automatic office-approved design. Not to mention, the pleats and pull-tabs, which allow the shorts to be high-waisted or longer, easily takes them from the office to happy hour.

Linen + Rayon = Office

Linen-Blend Shorts, $25, H&M

These shorts, while appropriate for the office in length, are also office-appropriate because of the shiny material.

Double Row Buttons

Shorts, $15, H&M

Any pockets created with buttons are automatically appropriate for marching band… OR the office. The buttons create a dressed-up look to shorts and the length is appropriate for sitting down in front of your boss’s boss.

Black & Loose

Moa Moa Juniors High Waisted Woven Trouser Short, $32, Dry Goods

My sister has these shorts and I love “borrowing” them for dinners with my friends or dressing them up for my job at my church. The loose fit is appropriate for sitting down and allows some room for going from building a palette wall in the youth room to a financial meeting with my supervisor.

Belted Shorts

Linen Pleated Cuff Short, $27, American Apparel

The model in the picture is the perfect example of how to dress up shorts for work. With the fasten of a belt, the belt instantly transforms the shorts into a professional business casual-approved article of clothing.


Ember Scalloped Shorts, $34, Francescas

Whoever said you can’t wear white after Labor Day was so wrong (besides, isn’t every day technically after a Labor Day?) Not only can white be worn any day of the week without judgment, but with the right scalloped-bottoms, perfect accessories, and nude underwear, they make for perfect office attire.

Fair Trade

Michelle Short, $42, Prana

In a recent interview with Fair Trade USA, Director of Apparel and Home Goods Maya Spaull admitted that cute fair trade clothes is still difficult to find. And we both agreed the task really should not be that difficult in today’s world. Thanks to companies like prAna, fair trade shorts are not only cute, but professional enough to wear to work.


Women’s Quandary Shorts, $59, Patagonia

Trust me, I know the last thing you think of when you hear Patagonia, but with their new line of Fair Trade Certified apparel and home goods, you can actually dress up a few of their shorts, including these longer, brightly colored ones.