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The M Dash

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The Case for Work Shorts

We were on the fence, too, but it’s all about how you style them.

By Madeleine Kim

June 26, 2020

“Work-appropriate” and “shorts” aren’t words you often hear in the same sentence. In fact, when I think of shorts, my mind conjures up images of denim cutoffs and those running shorts with built-in underwear. But the garment I’m here to discuss bears little resemblance to its ultra-casual counterparts. Think of it this way: If denim cutoffs are cheap beer, the Caitlin shorts are champagne. There’s a time and a place for both, but I have a feeling you won’t be toasting with Pabst Blue Ribbon at your next company party. Plus, these are shorts you’ll never age out of—the perfect excuse to flash some leg, whether you’re 26 or 62.


So what makes the Caitlin office-friendly when most shorts aren’t? According to our Product Development Manager, Shelby, it all comes down to the proportions. 

“During the design process, we were hyper-focused on getting the length and rise just right,” says Shelby. “We wanted to make sure the shorts were long enough that you’d never feel too exposed, but short enough that they still felt like, well, shorts! The resulting product has a 6-inch inseam, balanced out by a high waist. You can style them with most tops, but I’m especially excited to wear them with the Paige T-shirt and Anna jacket and the Samara sweater in copper.” In true M.M. fashion, these shorts also feature a level of tailoring typically reserved for suits, functional pockets, and—most importantly—hand-washable fabric.


Speaking of fabric, let’s talk about linen—specifically, slubbed stretch linen. Linen is a classic summer fabric, because it’s made from breathable, natural fibers that stay comfortable through the muggiest of days. But some linen can be stiff and unyielding, which cancels out the comfort factor. Our slubbed stretch linen fabric incorporates fibers that create the stretch you need to sit/dance/power pose with ease—while maintaining a lightweight, airy feel. Also worth mentioning: This fabric is beautiful. “What makes this fabric so cool to me is the natural color,” says Shelby, “There are darker threads interwoven with the light-colored fabric, which creates slight variation and gives the pieces extra dimension. It’s the perfect neutral for summer and goes with any color.”


By now, you’re probably dreaming of wearing all linen, all summer long (same here). We’re in luck: the Annika top, Chester pant, and Anna jacket are available in slubbed stretch linen, too, and they’re ready to become your warm-weather uniform. Wear these pieces together for a full linen set, or mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe for endless outfit options.

The Annika top is boxy (but not oversized) and effortlessly cool. It has the relaxed vibe of a T-shirt, but its luxurious fabric and clean lines make it feel way more elevated. An ideal pairing for your jeans, skinny pants, and pencil skirts


The Chester pants are the quintessential summer slacks: They’re super lightweight without being see-through, a little bit cropped, and relaxed through the leg. As far as outfit-pairing goes, you really really go wrong. Half-tuck a T-shirt, layer on a tunic, keep it classic with a button-down…the list goes on.

And then there’s the Anna jacket. To be honest, my co-workers and I cannot stop talking about how obsessed we are—it’s just so cool and crisp. You can style it like a denim jacket, but the fact that it’s linen will make you stand out from the crowd. Shelby plans to wear hers with a denim skirt, and I just might have to follow suit.


Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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