A Short Piece on Shorts

Shorts. They look great on ladies no matter whether they are skin-tight distressed denim or cotton-rich 1950’s throwbacks. But on blokes. Oh dear. There is a perilously thin line to be trod between acceptable and excruciating. While a pair of below the knee camo shorts for splashing around in Ibiza is ok, they make you look like a douchebag in Piccadilly Circus.
Do you remember that back in the 1970s fashion designers tried to introduce a new breed of suit. Quality material, quality stitching, good colours, charcoal, black, navy, cream and pin-stripe… but with short trousers. I think they sold three sets in the next two months before they were withdrawn. The thing is that blokes can look like right royal pillocks in shorts. Doesn’t matter if you are Adonis-like or spend five days a week at the gym. A hairy leg is a hairy leg. And if you have foot wear with the shorts- disaster! Socks? Sandals? Brogues? No- maybe some crocs or flip-flops. But then again- this is a country where rain is more likely than sunshine, so you’re already betting against the odds by wearing shorts.
Ok. Let’s try to help. You are a grown man, not a schoolboy and so there is straight away a danger that you will look like you are trying to turn back the clock to your long and distant past. You have got to be forthright and firm and not look guilty about walking around in public with half a trouser-leg missing.
I would go for khaki or camo or navy blue cargo-type shorts in cotton that finish either just above or just below the knee. Match with a tee or a shirt in a heavier fabric of a different colour. As a man, never ever wear shorts in light blue or denim unless you want to pull a guy or are doing it for a bet. The more pockets the shorts have, the better. Pockets hint at grenades, guns, a Taser, girls telephone numbers, and of course you only really have a hanky, a wallet, your phone and car keys there, but that’s your secret.
Next up- do you iron your shorts or have them looking creased and crumpled? Tricky. A light ironing will do the job. But please no razor-sharp creases. Don’t go for shorts that are too tight. You may be able to get away with skinny jeans if you are under 18 and well fit, but skinny shorts? Think again. Also the opposite will have people guffawing if you pass them in a breeze, like a mini galleon in full sail. Flap somewhere else.
Did I say don’t wear denim shorts? The only denim shorts you can get away with are jet black denim shorts with rivets and pockets. They may look ok when matched with designer trainers and a bright rock-group vest. On a beach. Abroad. And during the day, not of an evening.
Socks. No. If you must have something on your tootsies, then have those invisible mini socks. Shoe-wise you can go for pumps, canvas deck shoes or something similar. Nothing leather. No Doctor Martens. And no sandals. Ever!

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