Monday, April 18, 2011

The Short Straw

To the envy of North America, Europe is experiencing wonderfully warm weather. The sun is shining the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. While we are still bundled up in paired down versions of our winter wardrobes and the southern hemisphere are salivating over their winter wardrobes, the thought does come to, what are we going to wear in spring and summer?

Shorts are one of those spring/summer wardrobe staples that are so versatile and stylish; however the wrong pair of shorts can break you! Seriously gentleman, forget what you see coming down the runways or what is described as the latest trend where shorts are concerned. Trends are basically just that, trends, they might last a little while but they will go out of fashion.

There are some rules that apply when purchasing and wearing shorts. All the below might have seemed like a good idea at the time however you do run the risk of appearing in the future on blogs like this one in the “What Not to Wear Category”

So without the risk of being boring I am going to offer the following pieces of advice if you love wearing shorts as much as I do.

Over the years short lengths have plummeted up and down quicker than the stock market. Short shorts are really cool only if you are 20 something and have a killer body. For us mere mortals, I say stay away from them.

I remember my father and countless other men wearing long socks with shorts eons ago. So you say, it looks great on the runway, however unless done correctly you will end up looking like someone’s grandfather.

This also goes for socks, sandals and shorts! It is not a good look!

I know that sometimes we all bemoan the fact that menswear can lack innovation and we applaud those designers that bring new shapes and fabrics, however stay with a classic shape and length. The below for example, what are they, skirts or shorts?

To plaid or not to plaid? The same can be said of pattern. Again while sometimes applauding the designers who use colour, texture and pattern in striking new ways for menswear; just be aware that you are not going to look like Bozo the clown. The shorts below from Thom Browne are a wonderful classic style however the oversized plaid, is just a little bit too much.

Pattern also can be tricky. I really believe that you could only wear these once or on different occasions where you are sure that nobody has seen them before.

I do like clothes that define a waist, however hoisting your shorts (which are too short to start off with) up to your waist teemed with the polka dots, makes your shorts look lie a 1940’s bathing suit for women.

Also keep them tailored. Gym shorts are made that way for a reason, for the gym!

There is also a reason why cycling shorts are made out of lycra. I really don't think no matter how much you try and disguise them with layering, they will always look like cycling shorts gone wrong.

Length wise keep it on the knee, if you have to roll it up or let it down, they are not for you.

Also please try and get them to fit. A tailored look is best, not something that makes you look like you are wearing a nappy.

However all this said do try and cut a dash this summer, like the below which believe it or not come from Old Navy for $24.95!


  1. Haha I hate shorts! ohh I hate them..I dunno maybe is just they dont seem to fit me well...You put here a very wide and...sometimes wierd variety of shorts (those big shorts are so hideous)...but I must admit the last pair by old navy are least in that guy haha

    The Black Label

  2. Ah....I'm not exactly a fan of shorts...but it's almost necessity to wear them down here for much of the year. It's just too hot and humid otherwise.
    I keep looking for more fashionable ones, especially similar to that last pair you show, but haven't found any yet that look right on me. I'll keep wearing my old ones until then.

  3. David I read this earlier and did not have time to comment! HA!

    Some are just too funny I can picture Pee Wee Herman in Thom Browne's large plaids.

    There are very few men (or women) who look good in shorts. As you say a nice tailered, well fitting and knee length is best.


    Art by Karena

  4. Knee high socks! Def going to do ittt

  5. I only were them with sandals. The combination of shorts with socks, or proper shoes, is just too weird, to my delicate taste :-)

  6. Hello:
    What very sound, wise advice. Best avoided altogether unless, as you say, one is under twenty, or can appear to be, and one has, male or female come to that, exceptionally good legs and a very trim bottom!

    As for sandals and socks! There may well be nostalgia for the 1950s, but that is taking things just that little bit too far.

  7. Hi, we love your blog and we follow you!!!!!
    If you want, you can check the trends for man in our blog.
    We hope you like it ;-)
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  8. I know I've seen that fellow with the rolled up shorts before. Wasn't he in a Dickens novel, pasting labels on bottles?

  9. Who wear's short shorts...epps, some of those shorts are just too short (even if they were for ladies...leave something to the imagination I always say ;)).

    What a great round up!

    xx Cat brideblu

  10. I love a man in good shorts!
    Great post! ♥ Always on the look out for fashion blogs specifically for men.
    The weather has just been FANTASTIC lately.
    Definitely following you, would love it if you followed me too.


  11. Those hybrids of skirts and shorts were called "skorts" in the 60s when they were popular for girls who could not appear in public in shorts. For men, I don't think age is as much of a factor as just having good legs.

  12. now that is a comprehensive and sensible guide david! i just hope this post goes viral so that as many men as possible get the word : )

  13. My dad sports the long socks pretty well!
    I adore the prada denim skirt, David!


  14. I washed my denim skirt yesterday. It's so sunny here :-)))

  15. i think being hot helps most of those guys pull off those outfits, and what the eff, i gotta start shopping at old navy again

  16. Many thanks all for your great comments!

    Jane and Lance, I know my grandfather always wore socks and sandals!

    Andy I agree with you on the last thing you wrote

    JJ, yep definitely being hot helps!

    Codeine, many thanks for your visit and comment.

    Joe, You are so lucky that it is warm. I hope that it is warm in Venice for you!

    Lenore, so did my dad. Knee high socks and shorts!

    dos, many thanks I am also following you now!

    Cat, deep down inside I wish I was young enough to wear short shorts

    Mark, your memory serves you correctly

    Jules, lets hope! I once featured Stubbies in a short post.

    The Devoted Classicist, I didn't know skorts were invented in the 60's I thought it was a new term.

    Cello, many thanks for your comment. I am following you now!

  17. David, I absolutely see your point. Shorts on men are very tricky subject. As a matter of fact I think that the only category of men that are allowed o wear shorts are well built athlets and men with a sence of style. Otherwise it is nothing short of disaster. I think every pair of short has to come with "how To Wear" instructions. Proportions are everything! And that includes the shape of the legs too.:-)


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