How to dress for the workplace in Summer
Call me a prude but when it comes to men’s summer style, I have a "no knees or nipples on the tube" rule.
In previous years, the sun finally popping its head below the clouds spells dread for commuters as everything from chicken legs to thunder thighs, and even a few topless Tims begin to appear across the northern line.
But this year is different.
This year many of us are commuting from bedroom to living room (or some variation) at least a few times a week. So far be it from me to have any feelings about your work wear.
Especially as our houses are not designed for us to be in them all the time, and few have been adapted for these odd little bursts of heatwave which the English summer is now prone to. All this is to say, feel free to ignore what I am about to say and wear whatever you are most comfortable in. But if you are struggling for summer style inspiration, this is what Kipper & Chalk will be wearing to work this season.
The bedroom office -
No need for more than an (ironed) shirt and a pair of boxers for the bedroom based Zooms. But I would probably opt for a smart pair of boxers, just in case you spill coffee on yourself/a wasp flies inside your t-shirt/you need to storm off in a huff or any number of scenarios which mean you might unexpectedly jump out of your seat and expose yourself.
The communal area office -
If you are sharing your home office with flatmates then you might need something a little more robust than pants. But comfort is still the name of the game. Pyjama bottoms and a cuban shirt, also known as the mullet of home working (business up top, party on the bottom), make for balanced work attire.
The informal office where you know everyone -
Shorts and shirts. Here is the thing, if you wear almost anything with a collared shirt it creates an air of respectability and suggests a level of consideration towards your outfit. This means that if the weather warrants a calf display, you can still look office-appropriate with a shirt; linen, cotton, tencel, it doesn't matter, as long as it is clean and ironed.
I don’t why I have such an aversion to strangers knees but I just do. So cotton trousers and a t-shirt would be my preferred uniform for a public space. And if necessary, throw a chore jacket or overshirt on top for a smart, all weather look.
This one is tricky because no matter what is happening in the majority of post-covid offices, there will always be those which require a sense of occasion and formality. But don't fear, the cotton suit is a wonderfully versatile option. Without the jacket, you are just in comfortable, summery chinos but if someone chucks a last minute meeting at you, throw the jacket on and you are in a suit! Magic.
If such a thing exists, then it is a place to have a little fun. I love the high-rise pleated trousers which are flooding Stoke Newington at the moment. I’ve waited such a long time for men to come around to the high-rise. Finally the nipple grazers of 1940's have returned, and I am thrilled! Marlon Brando paired his with a plain white tee or grey jumper, whilst Frank Sinatra opted for a shirt and tie. Your call.