Not so long ago, it wasn’t socially acceptable for men to wear shorts away from the tennis court or the pitch. Nowadays, however, shorts are not only acceptable but also a great fashion choice for the summer season. Shorts come in all sorts of sizes, colours, and shapes, but it’s important to wear them properly so that people will focus on how good you look and not on your unsightly leg hair. It’s very easy to turn wearing shorts into a fashion faux pas. Here are some suggestions on how to properly wear shorts, so you can stay cool while looking hot.
The first step in pulling off a weather-appropriate look this summer is making sure the shorts you’re wearing are appropriate for the occasion. The good thing about men's shorts is that many styles can be dressed up or down, depending on the situation. A nice tan-coloured short is great for the beach, but also fine for some offices if you match it with a blazer. The versatility of chino shorts makes them such a great option, as with full length chino trousers, they can look both casual and formal depending on how you style them. Oxford's range includes a variety of men's polo shirts that are perfect for a casual Friday feel, or team with with one of a linen blazer for dapper summer look.
It should probably go without saying that there’s never an appropriate occasion for shorts when it’s cold outside. Put your shorts in a box for the winter and don’t be the weird neighbour who wears shorts with a hoodie and a scarf!
Of all the mistakes men make with shorts, the length is probably the most offensive. With shorts, you have to think like Goldilocks. You want juuuuust right. Gone are the days of athletic apparel so short it makes spectators blush. Hopefully gone soon are the days of letting your shorts hang down to your shins and showing off your underwear or plumbers crack. Just about knee length is where you want to be. 1-2 inches above is acceptable as well. Wear a belt to keep them in place, as shorts are notorious for sliding. If you’re doing something athletic, you can go mid-thigh.
Wearing the wrong socks, or wearing socks in the wrong situations, can absolutely ruin an outfit that involves shorts. With regular chinos, you should be wearing low ankle socks. These socks are barely visible and come right up to the top of the shoe. You can also go without socks. Socks that come up to the mid-thigh are generally for sports and not aesthetic appearance. As an aside, there also seems to be a growing yet disturbing acceptance of wearing socks with sandals. Put yourself on the right side of this debate by foregoing socks if you wear sandals.
Unless you’re going bare-chested, you’ll need something on top to complete your outfit. In most social situations, wearing a polo or collared shirt is perfect. Stick to solid colours with no crazy patterns. Sometimes for a dress-up party or special occasion you may want to pair your shorts with a printed shirt, but unless you’re at the beach, try to avoid the temptation for the most part.
Again, think about Goldilocks. You don’t want to be too baggy, nor do you want your shorts to be too tight. A nice trim fit is all you need. It may sound counter intuitive, but going too baggy can make your thighs and bum actually look bigger, and nobody really wants that. Going too tight can make it look like there are parts ready to burst through the fabric. Besides, shorts are designed to be comfortable, and tight shorts are not comfortable at all!
The main reason people wear shorts is to keep cool. Otherwise we’d just be wearing pants every day. Make sure the fabric of your shorts is designed to allow airflow. Good options are cotton/linen blends, madras, and seersucker.