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Are cutoff shorts for men really in? Seriously?!


I’m sorry but I had to post the picture. I had to so people know what happens when the fashion tastes of a few dictates the fashion tastes of the majority, like Thom Browne’s no-socks with suit look.

When baggy shorts were out, I understood. Baggy was out in general and it didn’t make sense in the first place. But at the time, the baggy look was consigned by some of our favorite gangsta rappers and then all the skaters. The look was cool and as an impressionable teenager, I thought it was socially accepted enough to wear clothes extremely loose. As I grew up, my tastes became more refined and so did everyone’s in my generation. We found ourselves in more fitted clothing. But still being a product of the baggy generation, I tended to stay away from shorts. I felt unsure in baggy shorts and society’s mood towards baggy shorts making its shift to fitted shorts was a somewhat rocky one. Shorts came in the “loose cargo” variety for the longest time during this shift. As a brave few ventured into fitted short territory, it got the thumbs up because fitted was in and shorts that fit make sense.

But now someone’s telling me that fitted shorts need a flare?!?! Why must we jazz up a classic by cutting them? I just don’t understand how cut-off shorts did not conjure up any images of Lieutenant Dangle or the Hot Cops. And this is how it starts. One person wears his shorts cut off at the knee. And then, someone tries to go shorter, attempting to be edgier. And it goes back and forth until you have the man in the picture above.

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Let’s see what NYTimes has to say about it

Whether necessity — that is, the heat — or perversity is the mother of this invention is hard to say. But for Mr. Macko, the gesture brought home the fact that as men become more and more comfortable wearing fancy shorts, something is missing.

That is, an edge. Literally. Viz., an X-Acto knife.

“They can get a little precious,” Mr. Macko said of the preppy dress shorts that men have embraced so zealously in the last year or two. Plaids, seersuckers, madras, even embroidered lobsters are as much a default setting as cargo shorts once were. So a tweak was in order, and as one might say in the fashion patois, it’s all about a cutoff. And we’re talking not just about jeans or khakis, but about a frayed hem (and a few inches more leg) on the dressiest shorts you have.

“It’s just cooler, more casual,” Mr. Macko said.

“They’re clean and good-looking, but they have a bit of edge,” Jason Bourgeois, a student at New York University, said of the Michael Bastian cutoffs he bought at Bergdorf Goodman. “They look good with a T-shirt or a dress shirt. I’ve barely taken them off since I bought them three months ago. It’s kind of gross.”

[Taken from NYTimes]

Here are some pictures of cutoff shorts with the point NYTimes was trying to make, but it’s still a big fail. The day the cool kids start wearing cutoff shorts is the day we, as a sartorial society, need to start reorganizing our priorities.




[Photos by Dean Isidro for NYTimes]

[Edit: How did I write this whole post without mentioning Mr. Tobias Funke?!?!]




  1. Posted July 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Argh that first photograph burnt my eyes!! Personally I’d go for slightly fitted shorts with a cuff just above the knee, more a smart short than a casual, paired with like a cardigan? And in regards to your question about the jacket, I think it’s actually nylon? although lots of people mistake it for leather, so basically really good imitation lol.

  2. Posted July 11, 2008 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    I think men can now start wearing shorts that end above the knees. The burqa look where shorts go down almost to the ankles is what I call “floods” and is now passé. The CHiPs cop look in the one of the photos above might be a little too much for me. The othe men in their cutoffs are fine. I thnk regular running shorts that show a little bit of thigh is fine. The man in the first photograph is showing way too much thigh! Where’s my eye acid?

  3. Posted July 11, 2008 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I should have added that the highest that men’s shorts should end is at the fingertips when the arms are straight down. The Daisy Duke-Funk look doesn’t work for men.

  4. casanovaruffin
    Posted July 11, 2008 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I actually think it’s fine too, but to say that’s it’s “in” is inviting all kinds of disaster. Lol the man up top is showing some horizontal booty.

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