Not many men are confident in a pair of shorts, not truly. Not in the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere anyway. And as a result, the menswear party line for the past decade or so has stubbornly been fixed when the weather is warm: stick on a pair of tailored shorts which hit just above the knee. End of conversation.
There’s no room for confusion and there’s no need to be ‘that’ guy in the ill-fitting shorts, vest and flip flops, with a patchwork of skin shades sprouting from the most unexpected places.
Who loves short shorts? Menswear designers, that’s who. And anyone with short legs, like myself, who is looking to his wardrobe to work with him and not against him. Let me first clarify that there’s a difference between short shorts and hotpants. It pays to be precise. I’m talking about shorts that just hit the upper middle thigh, not anything that could be mistaken for your groin region.
Unsurprisingly, the condition of your legs makes a massive difference to how easily you can pull this fabric-swerving style off: slimmer or larger legs will have no place to hide, so short shorts are best avoided for those with bottom-half hang-ups.
To complete the look you’ll need a loose long-sleeved Oxford shirt or polo shirt, worn-in retro sneakers and a pair of white sports socks. By covering up around the ankle, you’ll be counterbalancing the acres of leg flesh on show.
When done right, the short short has a refined, preppy, Dickie Greenleaf type of appeal. The permission to wear short shorts has been granted – just make sure you tuck in your shirt.
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