One thing I can be thankful for is that we live in the Era of Grown Men Wearing Shorts. Loving shorts – like hating Dook or being an unabashed liberal – was something I was told I’d “grow out of”, but like those other examples, my dedication has only increased. Yes, perhaps it’s another example of how I’m white, but I don’t care: simply put, there are very few places in the world cold enough for me to put on a fucking pair of pants.
Not wishing to be disrespectful, I always wear long pants to every event north of a business meeting, and I never wear sandals because they gross me out, but I just don’t understand why any guy in their right mind would wear real pants if they didn’t have to. As luck would have it, we live in an era when nobody gives a shit, as opposed to the 1940s, when you would have been captured by some G-men and force-fed red meat and asbestos.
So I was reading Men’s Vogue the other day – a magazine that employs some of my friends – and they had an article on men’s shorts. Cool, I thought, and flipped to the pictures, and was instantly paralyzed by paroxysms of Stupid Feeling. These guys were all tucking in their shirts, and the shorts were ending mid-thigh. Men’s Vogue, in what way is this either vogue or for men?
Then a story comes out in the New York Times yesterday about the same thing – the recent uptick in fashionable men’s shorts, complete with a slideshow… of some of THE WORST GODDAMN SHORTS I’VE EVER SEEN ON GUYS IN MY FRICKIN’ LIFE. And that’s saying something, since I grew up in Eastern Iowa and the Outer Banks.
Gentlemen, the Word came down from on high, and the Word was “Thou shalt wear short pants past the knee.” Hell, I’ve even experimented with culottes a time or two, shorts that almost came down to the ankle, but I’ve come to understand the basic rule: there’s a sweet spot just below your patella that marks the territory between “junky hipster who’s trying too hard” and “total asshole gonad.”
I have never touted myself as your go-to guy for high-end men’s couture, but apart from my hair, I’m no fashion disaster either. Seems to me this is in the right area for men’s shorts:
Super short shorts on guys are so reprehensible that I laugh every time I see Thomas Lennon on “Reno 911”. Likewise, I cry every time I see evidence of my own O.P. shorts from the mid-80s. We’ve been given this era of Guys Wearing Shorts, so let’s treat it with respect. I know it’s cool for designers to push the envelope, and god knows it’s cute to see the New York Times try to fathom what actual Americans are wearing, but the world revolves around one kernel of truth: deep down, nobody wants to see your balls.