Skip navigation

I thought I talked about this already.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

These men’s legs are too long for their shorts.

[Photo from NYTimes]

Oh yeah, I did. I mentioned it here and here.

NYTimes has decided to beat a dead horse with the issue by declaring men’s shorts fashion forward. Not only are they declaring it fashion forward, but they are encouraging men to go shorter with their shorts. Do you know what happens when you do that? I’ve told you before. And I’ll explain it to you at the end of this piece.

This is their position…

Yet for Mr. Avery, a man in a shorts suit is no more startling than a woman in a miniskirt. “Women have the option of wearing a dress,” he said with the assurance of someone who can hip-check those who fail to share his opinion.

“I haven’t asked them, but I’m sure women like looking at a man’s calves, or if a man has them, nice ankles,” Mr. Avery said.

And I’m sure women are avid viewers of gay porn because they’re such a fan of men’s bodies. Men have the ugly parts, that’s why we cover them!

Perhaps it is simpler than that. A relaxed approach to sexual display played a role in the policy at Richter7, the Salt Lake City agency, but so did a long stretch of days when temperatures routinely closed in on 100 degrees. “It’s so hot here in mid-July and August that we wanted to combine the two issues” of comfort and fashion, Mr. Newbold said. For client meetings, he pointed out, account executives are expected to “dress to the level of presentation that looks credible and respectable.”

[Taken from the NYTimes]

Do you think Don Draper would show up to the office in shorts on the account of a hot New York summer’s day? We already lament that our generation has lost a certain elegance. This does nothing to repair it. Should we repair it? If we shouldn’t, we wouldn’t be lamenting.

Let me restate my position on the issue. I’m not against shorts. Shorts are part of the evolution of fashion and they are part of a man’s wardrobe. I even believe one can look dressed up in the right pair of shorts. But I am wholly against short shorts, like the examples given. Why? Because it’s ironic and men’s clothing is not supposed to be ironic. If you’re trying to communicate that you’re a respectable male in today’s society, you wear your clothes confidently positive that you are sending a respectable man’s signal (let’s leave the insecure machismo male chauvinism debate alone.) You do not try to convince yourself or others that your comfortable in your sexuality (any attempt to do that means you’re not sure) by wearing short shorts. You do not try to exercise the next best option because you feel it’s unfair that women get to wear a dress on a hot day and you can’t. And in the business world, who’s gonna take you seriously if you don’t have enough respect for yourself to dress yourself properly because you’re putting way too much thought into being ironic?

How about this example? Why are ironic tees not funny? Because anyone who wears one is trying too hard. And by the transitive property of fashion, short shorts are not funny and is the evidence of someone who is obviously trying too hard.

So what happens when you encourage the male population to hike up their pants and show some skin?

It’s coming.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ya’ll asked for it.



  1. Posted August 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    i kinda like short-ish shorts on guys. to me, it shows that they don’t give an eff, but on some it does look they’re trying too hard to be cool and confident by wearing them. and i think men’s clothes can be ironic… nothing wrong with that. i myself like to wear ironic things, definitely not ironic screen tees though!

  2. Posted August 1, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind shorts on guys, however those booty shorts are too far. However I’m pretty traditional in thinking I don’t want to see the upper part of any guys legs in shorts. So I’m not one for shorter hems in shorts.

  3. Posted August 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s weird that there is so much debate about this in America. In Europe it is totally fine wearing shorts that are tailored and sit above the knee and personally I love it.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: