Men's Shorts Are Officially Getting Shorter. Is This Breaking News Cause for Alarm?
Growing up, the boys I went to school with always rocked baggy shorts that went down past their knees. Granted, I didn't go to school with many male fashionistas. But short shorts have always seemed like a girl thing. Until now, that is! According the Wall Street Journal, Men's shorts are getting shorter. Like, way shorter. Should we be alarmed?
I say there's no need to panic, WSJ. The male leg is a beautiful thing (especially the well-sculpted male leg). And although trends in men's fashion move at a glacial pace, short-shorts are finally taking off in the States with relative speed. The male inseam is climbing higher and higher these days. Blame the hipsters or more extreme summer weather — whatever the cause, I'm grateful. Men deserve flattering shorts too!
David Colman at WSJ tracks the ever-shrinking men's short:
In the past few years, the low-water-mark length of a 15-inch-or-so inseam receded to knee-length (11 inches), then a knee-baring 9 inches, then to a quadriceps-exposing 7 inches and on to the newly fashionable thigh-flaunting 5 inches. If men's shorts were a glacier in Greenland, scientists would be freaking out.
Are we looking at a new normal for men's short length? Will our boyfriends soon be sporting Daisy Dukes? Okay, maybe not. Perhaps hot pants-adjacent shorts will be relegated to the most stylish of male closets for the time being. But with male inseams receding faster than male hairlines, maybe we'll see a shift in status quo leading to the eventual death of the basketball short, sloppy second cousin to the short short. A girl can dream, right?
If Christiano Ronaldo can wear them, so can our dads/boyfriends/best guy friends (who all look like Christiano Ronaldo, right?). There are other famous men who love the short short include the late, great Freddy Mercury.
Wondering where you can find short shorts for men? David Colman has all the answers. He reports that Chubbies only sells shorts with a 5 1/2 inch inseam, with designs that resemble "Adidas soccer shorts of the 1970s and the Ocean Pacific trunks of the '80s." Hot stuff.
Several other major clothing companies are getting in on the action by offering a wide range of lengths for men, including J. Crew, Bonobos, and Club Monaco. If you're into the male short short look, they won't be hard to find. So, which lengths work for which guys? David Colman, again, has all the answers:
So, which length to choose? The 11-inch shorts, said Dwight Fenton, Bonobos' vice president of design, tend to work for guys in their teens who aren't up for very short. The 5-inchers, meanwhile, are favored by men in their 20s who want an on-trend look. "The same young guys wearing the slim-cut suits," Mr. Fenton said.
Other factors are obviously height and weight. Taller and leaner gents look better in longer and leaner shorts; shorter builds are better in shorter, boxier shorts. Tall and burly men, meanwhile, can benefit from showing a bit of leg in 7-inch shorts.
The ideal strategy, of course, is to have a few in different colors and lengths—giving you a pair for every occasion.
Chubbies designer Rainier Castillo told Colmen "We spend too much time in the gym to hide under frumpy shorts that say, 'I don't care how I look.'" Damn straight! This articulates exactly why the short shorts trend for men is awesome. Because men shouldn't have to wear giant bags on their hips because they're "too cool" to worry about fashion.
Women don't have many advantages over men, but freedom in fashion choices is one thing we have going for us. I can't tell you how many times I've seen men suffering in dress pants during the height of summer because they think shorts are unacceptable. Here's my message to all those men: Go ahead, wear the short shorts. As a woman, I promise not to judge.