Confused about whether you can wear shorts to work? By following a few simple style rules, even the casual summer staple can be made office-appropriate. Here, Irene Kim, vice president of Canadian styling consultancy la closette, explains how to nail the look—by following the Four F’s:

Fit: “Shorts should be the same length as your skirts and dresses. This varies depending on workplace, but in more conservative settings, the general rule is knee-length, or maybe an inch or two above—max.”

Fabric: “Nylon, linen and sometimes even cotton can look too casual for the workplace. Stick to relatively structured and tailored shorts in pressed cottons, rayon and light wool blends.”

Footwear: “Steer clear of overly casual shoes (flip-flops are a definite no!) or strappy sandals more suited to evening wear. Stick with classic pumps, whether closed-toe, open-toe or slingback. Avoid ankle-strap shoes to create the illusion of longer, leaner legs.”

Fun: “Have fun with colour and prints. If you follow the tips above, splashes of colour will look refreshing and chic rather than inappropriate.”