Men In Suit Shorts

September 28, 2015

Denise Ng comments in an article by Donovan Leo of Modern Gentleman, 5 November 2014.

Here are some highlights. See the full article at


LATEST CONTROVERSY: Leading Image Consultants & Fashion Bloggers Tell You When and How to Wear Them
Suit Shorts. The latest controversy in men’s fashion.

Made popular by Pharell William who decided to lose his pants and wear shorts to the academy awards and on the red carpets instead.

He also donned them in his music video, Happy

While he may be happy about it.

Lets find out if the world’s leading image consultant, fashion bloggers and men’s shoe and lifestyle writers are “clapping along” with this latest controversy

enhanced-buzz-wide-21904-1406883727-21.jpgImages from buzzfeed

Images from buzzfeedenhanced-buzz-wide-23730-1406883702-10.jpgenhanced-buzz-wide-16979-1406883725-9.jpgenhanced-buzz-wide-31076-1406883710-26.jpg

Suit Short’s Advice on Office Wear/Interview from leading image consultants

These are the actual advice and response from leading image consultants from Singapore.


Denise Ng
Managing Consultant of IMAGO IMAGE

Denise Ng is a style, personal branding and professional grooming expert.

She is a highly experienced international image consultant and former president of the Association of Image Consultants International in Singapore.

She is often featured on the radio and in the fashion pages of magazines and newspapers.

For Office Wear? 

Suit shorts are certainly practical for a hot climate, however short pants conjure up thoughts of rascally school boys and don’t have the gravitas for business wear.

No man showing his knobbly knees and hairy legs will be taken seriously in formal business!

Having said that, suit shorts are fine for a young, trendy office in the modern creative or fashion industries. Still, it is best to stay safe and wear long trousers for formal meetings, when meeting someone for the first time and with “old school” clients.

For Interview? 

They should never be worn for an interview unless you are going for a job as a male model or salesman in a store selling suit shorts!

Shoes and Socks to match?

No socks looks the most trendy. But knee length socks look good with a winter-y looking suit.

Personal Opinion on Suit Shorts?

Suit shorts look good on young men with good bodies, attractive knees and well-shaped legs.

To look sophisticated, they should reach to just above the knee and no shorter.

Ultra short shorts just look plain unflattering and should never be seen in business. Not only would your seriousness be called into question but also your overall professionalism.

Casual sports jackets with coloured shorts are a cool look.


Thoughts on Suit Shorts from leading fashion bloggers

Now that we know what leading image consultants have to say about suit shorts in the office, lets find out what do fashion bloggers in Singapore and around the world have to say about them in general.

Megan Collins AKA Style Girlfriend
Founder and Editorial Director of Style Girlfriend.

From 2012 to 2013, Style Girlfriend has 1.8 million page views and almost 300,000 unique visitors

Style Girlfriend was voted 25 top men’s fashion blog 2013 by Complex.

Style Girlfriend also appears regularly in fashion, menswear, and lifestyle publications and website including GQ, Esquire, Details, Lucky, Huffington Post, and Men’s Health.

Thoughts on Suit Shorts?

I think its a fun look that shows the wear has a sense of style, as well as a sense of humor about himself.

Wearing a suit jacket with shorts on is not an easy look to pull off, but if done correctly, it can be a unique chic look. Although this look may not be for everyone, there is no harm in trying!

How to wear suit shorts

  • Nail the proportions: The jacket shouldn’t be too cropped but it should have a modern look to it, so the shorts should be a few inches above the knee.
  • Keep it simple. Neutral colors and simple accessories work best with this look
  • No socks! Unless they’re no-show
  • Suiting summer feel. Make sure the short suit is a light weight material – a linen cotton blend, khaki or seersucker

William Tan
Founder & Managing Editor of His Style Diary

William Tan has over 10 years of experience in magazines and have worked for titles like Esquire Singapore, August Man, Prestige, L’Officiel, Her World, Female.

With his vast knowledge in magazine content and marketing, he started the leading online men’s style and grooming website, His Style Diary in 2011.

His Style Diary cater to digital savvy alpha male who are looking for relevant style tips and content for Asian men.

Thoughts on Suit Shorts?

“haha, okay, that’s not a trend for everyone to try”

For me, it’s yes if its styled properly for a creative/fashion type of event or a semi-dressy outdoor function, and definitely with a great pair of shoes because it is going to be the focal point for the eye

Definitely NO

  • For formal/business event
  • if you have super hairy legs (and have no intention to groom it)
  • if you have super big legs or super skinny legs

Ena Teo
Writer of lifestyle & fashion blog, Enabalista

Enabalista was awarded Hotelclub’s best Singapore Lifestyle Blog for 2013.

Ena was profiled in Cosmospolitian’s Make me over feature in Apr 2014 and has been sharing her experiences at fashion events such as Audi Fashion Festival, Blueprint Fashion Tradeshow, FIDe Fashion Week, Digital Fashion Week, Chanel Runways & Hermes Art Exhibitions.

Suit shorts, Yay or Nay? 

“I don’t have a definite Yay! or Nayyyy. I’d say, it depends.”

I think these work great on men who work in the creative industry with a great sense of style and fashion and also oozing with confidence.

But definitely nay if it’s gonna be on men at CBD areas working as bankers and lawyers. Just not professional.

So if your boyfriend wears suit shorts?

I’d be totally cool if my boyfriend/close friend wears a short suit shorts, assuming he can pull it off.

It’s all about the creative vibe and attitude, just like how Hong Kong actor, Bosco Wong can pull it off so effortlessly on screen and on the red carpet.

Wong Su Ann
Blogshop Model and Fashion Blogger of SweetHotJustice

Suit Shorts, Yay or Nay? 

I am not a men’s fashion expert or commentator, but speaking as a normal Singaporean woman I find the suits to be quite charming and fun!

The arrangement evokes the winsome professionalism of a suit jacket sans the daunting formality of long pants – a great combination on a guy for casual dates.

So If your boyfriend wears suit shorts? 

If my boyfriend wears suit shorts on a casual date I’d be pleasantly surprised! It’s flattering when a man dresses up for his woman.


Best Style of Shoes to go with Suit Shorts

So who cares about what other people say about suit shorts, you still want to rock out with your socks out in your suit shorts. Well…no worries, Custom Shoes Singapore got you covered!

Here are our personal recommendations and of course, recommendations from leading shoe experts on the 3 best styles of shoe to rock with suit shorts and casual shorts.

Denise Ng
Managing Consultant and Founder of IMAGO IMAGE

Type of shoes to recommend to men wearing casual shorts/ bermudas?

Loafers or a casual lace-up in a coloured suede look cool, particularly with casual fabrics like linen, cotton or seersucker.

The more conservative or formal the suiting material e.g. pinstripes and traditional business colours and wool suiting are better with polished leather lace-ups with a casual sole in modern versions of traditional tan, dark blue or cordovan.

Avoid black as its too formal a look for shorts.

Socks or no?

With summery fabrics like linen and cotton, a no sock look looks on trend.

Plain knee length socks with an interesting rib or subtle fleck with a brown brogue shoe and winter-y or “country” fabrics look smart.

Justin AKA The Shoe Snob
Shoe Designer, Maker and Owner of J.FITZPATRICK FOOTWEAR, Writer of TheShoeSnob

The Shoe Snob.png

Well, at least we know what are the 3 best style of shoes to wear with shorts & bermudas.



I believe TOPMAN needs no explanation. Its TOPMAN afterall.


Well played..TOPMAN, well played indeed. With a name like The Shoe Aristocrat, i guess TOPMAN does make a fair point that i would be more than qualified to answer this question.

In my opinion, these are the three best styles of shoes to go with suit shorts


Oxfords with suit shorts would give a very sophisticated yet cheeky look, due to the contrast between the formal oxford shoe and the casual suit shorts look.

Pro Tip:

Try to wear it with a dark brown or tanned cap-toed oxford as a black oxford may seem too dull and formal while full brogue or wingtip oxford might seem too flashy and casual, which takes away the casual/formal contrast you are going for.    

Suede Bucks

As mentioned in an earlier article on wearing shoes with jeans, suede bucks are my personal favorite when it comes to casual footwear. Suede bucks put the smart in smart casual.

For a smart casual look, you can hardly go wrong with suede bucks.

Pro Tip:

Chukka Suede boots would give a nice “flashier” touch to the overall look, however be wary of how high the cut is. Typically, too high of a cut do not look good with shorts.

Suede Bucks (1) copy.jpg


Loafers tend to be a good safe look for shorts, suit shorts or casual shorts due to their casual nature.

For a dressier look, opt for a more formal loafers like the first two gentleman on the top row below.

Loafers copy.jpg

 Suit Shorts Controversy

Unlike formal men’s suit and pants, It seems that when it comes to suit shorts and how to wear them, there is no one fixed opinion. Even leading image consultants, fashion and lifestyle bloggers have clearly differing opinions on how to wear them or whether they should even be worn.

However there seem to be a common consensus about suit shorts, that there is no place for them in a formal business setting or interview.

What are your views on suit shorts?  

Should men ever wear suit shorts? If not, why not? 

Please feel free to share any opinions and comments. 


One Response to “Men In Suit Shorts”

  1. Antonymous on December 18th, 2016 11:35 am

    Yes definitely just slightly above the knee. As for no socks, not sure, you mean not even low ankle high socks?
    It’s great to wear no socks with sandals, less so with shoes, unless very open, like those of women (which on the other hand might be uncomfortable for excessive heel height).
    Should the legs be shaved or at least, i think trimmed in any case?
    I think it can work for semiformal, even with sandals, it’s a matter of fitting. It should resemble a woman tailleur.

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