A grown man’s guide to shorts
Although shorts are often shunned for being too boyish or casual, they become harder to pass up when summer comes around. The fashion police are usually the least of your concerns when temperatures spike up and your sweat glands go into overdrive.
Regardless of the debate surrounding grown men and shorts, there are still a handful of instances when they are acceptable. Casual get-togethers, outdoor recreation, and garden or rooftop parties are perfect excuses to bring your shorts out. With numerous styles ranging from denim cut offs to Bermudas, it all comes down to finding the perfect pair for the event and knowing how to style it.
The three must-haves
Although boardies and denim shorts add the extra youthfulness you may want to steer clear of, tailored chino shorts, Bermuda shorts, and reinvented cargo shorts are the must-haves for any grown man's wardrobe.
Chino shorts are a classic due to their versatility, and the one you should go for when you are first experimenting with shorts outside of loungewear territory. Chino shorts in neutral shades such as sand, beige, or stone can be paired with most button downs, oxford shirts or even polos.
Bermuda shorts are perfect for semi casual events, earning them the 'must-have' label. Whether you are attending a rooftop party or any outdoor gathering where casual shorts may be too risky, this is your go-to. Bermuda shorts usually fall an inch above your knee at their shortest, making them perfect companions for dress shirts regardless of sleeve length. Purchasing ones which are cuffed at the ends will help add extra spruce to your outfit.
Cargos shorts have made an unexpected comeback since 2020 in fashion runways. Although wearing them previously garnered judgmental glares and the occasional laughter, they have been reinvented as of late in the fashion world. They are best paired with utilitarian shirts which compliment them by flaunting just as many pockets.
Pattern and shade inclusions
Shorts give you more freedom to experiment with shades and patterns due to their smaller surface area. Be it subdued polka dots or noticeable stripes, patterns which seem over the top for full length trousers are easier to execute with shorts. If you want to try on a preppy look, plaid with a white base will do the trick. Patterns such as Hawaiian floral prints are only suitable for swimming trunks.
Classic colours for shorts include beige, navy, olive, and cedar. If you want to experiment with bright colours, you can try out shades similar to lime yellow or salmon, which are vibrant without being too obtrusive. Try not to go overboard with colours by purchasing a pair of neon shorts as they may appear too flashy even on smaller surface areas.
Fabrics to keep an eye out for
If you have decided to introduce more shorts to your wardrobe, it is most likely because you want to heighten your comfort levels. Choosing the most appropriate fabric is crucial if you want to truly alleviate temperature induced adversities.
While most cotton is lightweight and breathable, there are quite a few options of cotton to choose from for shorts. The lightly woven and dimpled surface of seersucker cotton shorts will leave you feeling the breeziest, as it lets more air in than other types of cotton. Madras fabric is another good option for cotton as it is loosely woven, breathable and dries quicker than most, making it the ideal candidate for monsoon.
If you want all the breathable and cooling benefits of cotton without compromising durability, linen shorts are your fix. Linen is more durable and rigid than cotton, making it better at handling wear and tear in the long run. It does all this without trapping in any heat or moisture.
The accessories and shoes you reach out for right before you head out the door can make or break your outfit. A canvas or leather belt can really tie your whole look together. Although whether or not you put on a belt can really depend on the occasion or your outfit, they become a necessity when your shorts are on the baggier side.
If you want to look polished in shorts, close toed shoes such as loafers or boat shoes are your classiest options. Socks should be avoided if you want to eradicate all hints of boyishness from your outfit. If you absolutely must wear socks, go for ankle socks instead of knee high ones.
Lastly, remember to avoid shorts altogether when it starts to get chilly or when you expect to be around people you have purely formal relationships with.
Model: Rabbi and Amit
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha