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Shorts made easy

July 25, 2012

Stylish Summer (part 2)

shorts-copy 2As I walked out of a grocery store yesterday, I strolled past a man sporting a too-long pair of athletic shorts together with a white tank top undershirt and a cheap pair of flip flops (not a good look for shopping of any kind). He made me painfully aware of my own short-wearing missteps of the past. As you can see in the above photo, I have come a long way from the days of those too-short yellow shorts. I remember showing the photos from this trip to some people who immediately commented on the shorts. The yellow eyesore promptly disappeared from my closet. To help you avoid my mistakes, consider the following.


First, be conscious of how your shorts fit. Your waist should allow for two fingers to comfortably rest inside the band. In particular, avoid really baggy. If a size 34 waist properly fits, don’t think you can get by with a 36 and a tighter belt. On the contrary, don’t wear spandex shorts anywhere if you can help it (I understand if you cycle competitively, just reserve it for the bike only). Regarding length, they should ideally cover the thighs fully and extend to anywhere within the space of the knee cap (preferably toward the top). There is leeway to about one inch above or below that; but, don’t push it much outside of these parameters or risk the eyesore that will become your shorts.


Second, think through the style you wish to portray. The larger the lower pockets (if you choose them), the younger and more casual you appear. Further, steer clear of cut off, jean, or pleated versions. Save your soccer shorts for the field and basketball shorts for the court. As always, think classic. Starting out, you can’t go wrong with a solid color flat front pair. Also, give plaid a try with a solid color shirt (for more on matching, read my article Assembling outfits made easy). Many brands such as Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Ralph Lauren offer fine choices.


Third, be mindful of your shoes. With your legs exposed, your feet will stand out. Options include sneakers, loafers, boat shoes, or sandals. Stay as far away from white tube socks as possible (see above photo on the left if you need convincing). However, I do recommend finding a way to wear socks. Employ those that remain below the ankle. While acceptable in many ways, going without socks can sweat up your feet. That said, penny loafers minus the socks provide a classic look when paired with the right shorts and shirt.

Lastly, I leave you with a suggested outfit. Combine a dark blue plaid flat front pair of shorts with a solid white (or red or light blue) polo shirt and red converse sneakers.

As seen in the above display, transforming your presentation from falling “short” to stylish is easier than you may know. Don’t do what you see on the left. Do what you see on the right.

Happy stylish summer in the sun!

© Copyright 2012 Fashion for the average man.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2012 5:37 pm

    :), agreed…!

  2. workingreekgirl permalink
    July 28, 2012 8:40 pm

    LOLOL I love this NO/YES pictures. lolol makes me laugh. wonderful point!

  3. August 5, 2012 12:32 am

    Great post Jerry… I always new I shouldn’t show my pointy knees..haha…!!!

    • August 5, 2012 2:37 pm

      As you can see in the yellow shorts photo, I didn’t know. Thanks for the comment.

  4. August 8, 2012 3:26 pm

    This made me chuckle… my husband and I were just talking about men’s shorts, also! There are a lot of ways it can go wrong 🙂

  5. Kathryn Darvill permalink
    August 11, 2012 2:07 pm

    I will certainly be showing this to my dad! Genius

  6. August 11, 2012 6:57 pm

    How wish every man would THINK about how they look going out, even if just for a gallon of paint at the Home store. There is a reason a site has been collecting photos of outrageously dressed people (in Wal Mart).

  7. August 16, 2012 2:43 am

    If I ever went out in public like the No guy I would hope that someone would run up behind, slam me upside my head with a baseball bat or a tire iron and put me out of my misery! Cool post!

  8. August 19, 2012 6:50 pm

    There are worse things guys could and do wear. This guy merely looks like a runner.

    • August 19, 2012 6:53 pm

      Thank God for people who see the glass half full. And yes, I was running a lot at the time of the photo, but did not buy the yellow shorts for running.

  9. August 19, 2012 6:53 pm

    Hilarious! Come to South Florida and witness some of the fashion no-no’s of tourists (and some from the natives). Would be great fuel for your blog.

  10. August 29, 2012 1:49 am

    great tip 🙂

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