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ALPHA MALE: Shorts for Summer

Thursday, June 28, 2012

 

Who wears short shorts? Not any smart or cool fellow.

For whatever reason, shorts always seem to complicate fashion. Men are given so many opportunities to wear the WRONG pair of shorts rather than the ones that look professional and stylish. Americans, specifically, give shorts a bad reputation. Just think of all the hideous styles of shorts that we have created: cargo, mesh, denim?! In fact, men in other countries are actually afraid to wear shorts because they don’t want to be mistaken for an American.  However, with a bit of guidance we can kill the stigma by following a simple dress code.

Jeans? Never. Ever.

Let’s lay down the ground rules. First of all, jean shorts or any form of cut off shorts are NEVER acceptable. If you own any, throw them – literally, hurl them –  in the garbage. Think about all the times you’ve seen people modeling jean shorts in clothing catalogs or on TV… Never, right?  They’re unattractive, they’re unfashionable… they’re not even practical.  Rule number two: athletic shorts are for athletics. If you’re not in the gym, then leave them at home. Lastly, cargo shorts are never to be worn unless you’re carrying tools, 12 years old, or are a tool.  Simple, leave the cargos at home.

Four pockets. That's it.

An appropriate pair of men’s shorts usually only has four pockets – two in the back, two in the front. Generally they will either come in chino, chambray, or linen material and in a variety of different color options. There are no rules about colors, except for camo – unless you’re hiding in the wilderness, camo is never okay to wear, ever.

How long?

The appropriate length for men’s shorts is a rise around 9-11”, hitting an inch or 1 ½” above the kneecap. The only exception to this rule is for tennis players and runners, as some of their shorts are intentionally a bit shorter. This is a widely accepted fashion; just remember to be aware of any “junk” that might end up peaking out. When in doubt, remember that spandex under athletic shorts are always preferred. Pleated shorts look great if you’re playing golf. Otherwise, they’re not fashionable and just look plain silly.

Belts required.

Finally, the key to dressing well in shorts is to pair them with fashionable accessories. If you’re over the age of fourteen, you should always wear a belt. If your bare feet aren’t well kept or socially acceptable to be seen in public, then don’t wear flip-flops. Patterned shirts paired with patterned shorts don’t make a right, but two solids are a solid choice. Don’t let the summer heat control your fashion choices; with the right pair of shorts, you will always stay and look cool. 

Marc Streisand is president and owner of Marc Allen Fine Clothiers, and takes the custom clothing business very personally. Having enjoyed a successful career in the clothing industry since 1985, Marc brings his clients extensive specialized experience in menswear. Prior to taking over the Marc Allen store in March 2005, he cultivated his knowledge of luxury male attire in New York and his home state of New Jersey, where he began his vocation at Wallach's Specialty Stores. Nothing gives him greater pleasure, he says, than seeing raw cloth transformed into a custom outfit that can directly impact his customer's lifestyle.

 

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