Letter from the editor: Summer is anarchy


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The Independent Online

Simon returns today, bringing Californian sunshine with him – which is great, as long as the golf shorts stay on the course. To be fair, he doesn’t do office casual.

It’s not just his shorts that would be troubling, but anyone’s. A tiny heatwave and we shed all our inhibitions, making me wish most of us could rediscover them.

The summer dress code is a tricky subject. Before I first went to workin New York, I was cc’d on anoffice dress-code memo which memorably forbade Lycra, plaid and any open-toed shoes. They meant it too — despite all those expensive French pedicures.

Back in supposedly conservative London, we usually know the rules, especially in the spring, autumn and winter. Cyclists are a law to themselves, but that’s a whole other column. The business suit soothes many an ill, even when it’s ill-fitting.

But, summer is anarchy. It’s bad enough outside of work. Legions of women in short skirts with those shoes that make them look like they’re wearing Lindsay Lohan’s SCRAM ankle bracelet. Not to mention the misguidedly defiant British male, wearing sandals with black socks, despite decades of style advice to the contrary. In fact, never mind the socks — brown sandals?

What bit of “office dress” do we not understand come summer? We rent i Towers from the Daily Mail, whose dress code bends not for the rising mercury: jacket and tie and no brown shoes. i, as you might expect, allows for a little more individuality — fun, even — concise, floaty dresses and quality, linen shirts abound. Sadly, I can spy one shorts/black socks combo out of the corner of my eye, but luckily no Bothamesque short-sleeved shirt with tie.

You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and with me at a previous newspaper it was made of string. He was young, he was working on the website, and he was wearing an off-white vest, cargo shorts and Havaianas. Quite brave for Wapping, but he was also sent home to change pdq. Life’s too short to suffer armpit hair in the office. Anyway, we’re due a thunder storm tonight. Thankfully.