Now that summer is in full swing, I see men everywhere wearing cargo shorts. To make matters worse, they usually pair them with an ill-fitting t-shirt and a pair of cheap flip flops, completing a sort of terrible style hat trick.
I’m sure you’re wondering: “What’s wrong with wearing cargo shorts? I wear them all the time!”
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with wearing cargo shorts: they look absolutely awful!
Cargo shorts are baggy and loose fitting by design. We’ve discussed the importance of fit in the past, and unfortunately cargo shorts do not please a man’s shape at all. That’s because they are actually considered a piece of functional wear designed for hikers, campers and outdoorsmen; not for ordinary men just looking to beat the summer heat.
If you were to ask some men’s style snobs, they would say that a grown man should never be wearing a pair of shorts in the city, let alone a pair of baggy cargo shorts. We do not subscribe to such antiquated notions. We believe that it is perfectly acceptable for a grown man to be wearing shorts as long as two conditions are met:
- They are appropriate for the environment/venue
- They fit well
The first point is really just common sense. For example, if you are trekking into the city on a particularly hot day or are planning on spending some time at the beach, then wearing a pair of shorts is perfectly fine. However, if it’s the middle of winter or you are attending a wedding or some other formal event, then wearing a pair of shorts is probably not the best move.
When it comes to fit, the most important rule to remember is that your shorts should hit above the knee. I know most guys today don’t like to wear their shorts like this, but then again most guys also have a terrible sense of style. I recommend a pair of shorts with either a 7 or 9 inch inseam. For those a little more daring, a 5 inch inseam can also work. Whatever length inseam you choose, just make sure the shorts are slim.
As you can see from the image above, a pair of slim fitting shorts that hit above the knee tends to do a good job of flattering a man’s physique. And if he’s no stranger to the squat rack it also gives him a chance to show off a little leg muscle, which is not such a bad thing either.
What about different patterns, materials and colours?
Combining different patterns, materials and colours is something we’ll touch on in future articles. However, a basic rule for shorts would be this: If you plan on wearing a pair of shorts that are in a particularly loud pattern or colour, then make sure to dial down what you wear on top. For example, if you want to rock a pair of madras shorts, it would make more sense for you to pair it with a plain white t-shirt versus a striped or check shirt. In other words, let the shorts do the work.
Again, we’ll talk more about mixing patterns and colours in future articles.
For now, just remember to avoid cargo shorts like the plague. Instead, follow our two basic principles on how to best wear a pair of shorts so that you, too, can beat the summer heat in style.