Should City Mayors Be Allowed To Wear Shorts?

It’s been pretty hot and humid here in much of Canada the last month. My town has had lots of days where the temperature “feels like” 95 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Canada is known more for its cold winters but recently these have been milder and summers sweltering.

And Toronto’s mayor is often in the news — responding to events or a need for funding. Always in a jacket, tie and long pants. Obviously, these can be made of different materials but summer weight jackets can be hard to find here - I stocked up last time I hit the Vegas Outlet Mall. Vegas knows hot weather.

Anyway, a major paper had an article saying the mayor of Canada’s largest city basically couldn’t wear shorts as a matter of decorum. I kind of get it. And old Spanish and Italian men often don’t wear “short pants”. But isn’t this dated? I mean, an announcement may be one thing, but who cares what someone wears around the office as long as it looks respectable? Or is it just a matter of preparation and professional projection, perhaps?

Does he have the legs for it?

If you’re doing a press conference or something official, by all means wear professional clothes and not your normal Hawaiian shirt & shorts. Shorts aren’t professional, unless your profession is surfing, lifeguard, tennis, basketball, soccer, etc.


I don’t mind what people wear, though the reality is that often people are judged for what they wear.

It’s been so unbearably hot lately that I totally understand people wearing shorts, even mayors.

I doubt he has the legs, but don’t know. The paper implied it would be impossible for the mayor to wear shorts on his own time during the weekend if going out in public. That seemed a bit much to me.

That’s too far in my opinion, too.


Hell yeah, if he wants to he should. The sooner we completely the abolish the ridiculous elitism that you must be wealthy and uncomfortable to be good at a status job, the better the world will be.

As long as he’s not wearing a tan suit.

Would it be inappropriate for a female mayor to give a press conference wearing a skirt that only went to her knees instead of her ankles?

I don’t know. But I don’t care what a female mayor wears on her own time or at the office.

For women, skirts down to the knees are fine. I would not consider a skirt shorter than knee length to be professional attire, again, unless the profession is tennis, etc.


Here in Philly, during his time in office Mayor Ed Rendell would announce the opening of city pools wearing nothing but swimtrunks. He would give the announcement, and then jump into the pool. His detractors had many negative things to say about Rendell, but this never came up

I suppose that’s fine too, if you’re opening a pool it makes sense to wear swim trunks. If the mayor of Toronto was making a televised address from a ski resort, I wouldn’t hold it against him for appearing in a ski suit, &c. I wouldn’t consider either of those examples to be professional attire, however. They project the mayor as a person who goes swimming and a person who goes skiing, respectively. If the mayor needs to encourage recreation/tourism that’s fine, if the mayor wants to work towards a professional image, it’s not.


Why should anyone give a damn if he projects a professional image if he’s an incompetent?

In my humble opinion, I would be slightly more ashamed of an incompetent mayor that projects an unprofessional image than an incompetent mayor who still projects a professional image.


Gay South Australian Premier Don Dunstan confronted this (general) question back in 1972.

His answer? Hell yeah!

He stayed Premier for another seven years afterwards, so clearly it didn’t hurt his political image all that much. Despite being, as I mentioned, gay. And existing in 1972.

I’d be even more impressed if the mayor opens the municipal pool while dressed in full formal business attire, and then jumps in.


Members of the Israeli Knesset have been wearing open-collar short-sleeved shirts to official sessions since 1949.

The shirts have buttons, don’t they? That makes it formal wear.