Men’s Shorts Style Guide | How To Wear Shorts The Right Way
They are ever so comfortable and have a stylish casual look about them. If you’ve decided to wear shorts to an event or an occasion that calls for it, here is how to wear it right.
December 17th 2016 – it was the weekend after my birthday, I had spent a few weeks before then planning a pool party to celebrate it with a few friends. I assumed that everyone I had invited knew what to wear to a pool party.
On the D-day, as guests started arriving, I was pleased to see many of them dressed in the right outfit – loose chambray shirts, polo t-shirts, espadrilles or boat shoes and just-above-the-knee shorts – just as is right for the party.
A short while later, this gentleman walks in with my friend Kevin, wearing a nice brown boat shoe, white t-shirt, and a Capris Pants.
What? … A Capris Pants?!
I can’t remember if it was a rhetorical question I was asking or an exclamation – but I pretty much remembered having a mixed feeling of disappointment and surprise.
Oh my apologies … for those of you who have never heard of Capris pants before I’m sure you must have heard of three-quarter length trousers. Correct! It’s the same thing.
Now there are appropriate ways to wear Men’s Shorts, but one sure way not to get it wrong is to opt for just-above-knee length shorts. If you’re covering your knees, you’re not bold enough to be a man in shorts.
If your intention is to wear cropped trousers, there is a much better way to do it than wearing trousers that stop at the calf and pretend it is shorts – put on some real shorts. Here is how to get it right.
A GUIDE TO WEARING SHORTS FOR MEN
WHEN NOT TO WEAR SHORTS
No1: Do not wear shorts when the weather is cold. You should only wear them in warm or hot weather.
No2: Do not wear shorts for formal or business engagements. Except the nature of your job permits you to wear them (e.g. gents in the fashion industry), shorts are generally considered more appropriate for casual affairs.
WHEN TO WEAR SHORTS
No 1: There are plenty of places where shorts are acceptable
No 2: If you’re on the beach, at a pool party or if it’s a summer weekend, then shorts are appropriate.
No 3: At the tennis court, golf course or outdoor sporting events as a spectator.
No 4: If you are out with friends at a restaurant, bar, café, pub, BBQ etc. then shorts are appropriate.
No 5: If you are attending an event in which you are expending physical energy shorts are also appropriate.
HOW TO WEAR SHORTS
Your short should be the just-above-knee length. Let’s explain exactly what this means. It means the length should be between 2-3 inches above the knee. It shouldn’t be more than that unless for athletic shorts meant for running or other sporting activities.
To keep it safe: your thigh should NOT show when you are standing. And again avoid below the knee “shorts” – anything below the knee are not shorts anymore.
Your shorts should not be too tight neither should it be baggy. It should just be a bit loose with a slim leg opening. No jorts please (these are not for responsible adults). Also, avoid pleats on shorts unless you are on the large size.
Make sure they fit around the waist, no one wants to see your boxer shorts.
The common styles available are Chinos Shorts, Board Shorts, and Cargo Shorts. They can come in linen or cotton materials.
There are other varieties of styles but Chinos Shorts are more stylish than others and can comfortably be worn for outdoor casual occasions.
It comes in different variety of colors so you can mix and match effortlessly depending on other items of clothing and accessories you are pairing it with.
It also comes in plain (solid), patterns and print styles.
Some common solid plain colors for the plain types include khaki, off white, beige, brown, white, gray, tan, maroon etc.
WHAT FOOT WEAR TO PAIR WITH SHORTS
Basically, any type of slip-on shoe is appropriate.
Espadrilles, boat shoes, drivers, moccasins and casual penny loafers look great with shorts. But you can also wear it with canvas sneakers and sandals. If you are fashion forward, you can go for a brown or other non-black colored brogues or suede double monk strap shoes – they are appropriate for casual occasions.
Important Tip: Do not wear socks with these foot wears. If you must (maybe due to sweaty feet), ensure you wear no-show socks.
WHAT SHIRTS TO WEAR WITH SHORTS
Shorts can be paired with long-sleeved shirts, polo t-shirts, Henley shirts, loose chambray shirts, short-sleeved shirts, basic t-shirts etc.
Avoid formal dress shirts (either barrel or French cuff shirts) with men’s shorts. If you must wear them, ensure you fold the hands.
Also avoid suit jacket, blazers or sports coat when wearing shorts except you are Nick Wooster or one of the few fashion forward people who like to break style rules for fashion’s sake.
Yeah…that’s the only exception – if your job permits you to dress fashion forward or perhaps you work in fashion industries or some corporate organizations in some countries like South Africa and Bermuda, then you can wear it this way.
ACCESSORIES TO WEAR WITH SHORTS
No 1: Bracelets: You can adorn your wrists with different kinds of bracelets – nautical trend, metal, leather and woven bracelets.
No 2: Belt: Go for either a summer fabric belt or narrow belts. These are most appropriate for men’s shorts.
No 3: Sunglasses: Wayfarers, Aviators, Club Masters, Rectangle frames etc. They are all perfect types you could go for. But endeavor to choose the best sunglasses for your face shape.
Others: Hats, Caps etc. These depend on your style preference as well as the occasion.
There you have it, shorts are a modern piece of menswear that should be included in every gentleman’s wardrobe.
First, you’ve learned that rocking a three-quarter pants is never a good idea when the occasion calls for men’s shorts. Then you’ve learned how to wear, when to wear and when NOT to wear men’s shorts.
I believe that for some of you, this article has revealed a bunch of things you didn’t know before. In case, it contradicts with what you think is appropriate, please feel free to share. I’ll love to hear from you in the comment section below.
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Until next time…Continue to Do Well, Live Well and Dress Really Well. Stay Classy!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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