With summer upon half the world, warm winter clothing gets put away and out comes the summer garb. T-shirts, short sleeve and sleeveless tops, along with shorts and sandals clothe most of us when dressing casually and looking to stay cool. Men’s short styles are pretty basic and don’t seem to change much; however, the styles do come in countless options of colors, fabrics, and features; lending variety and assortment to our summer wardrobes.
Before I get into talking about different types of shorts, let me cover a few “short wearing” tips to keep you looking sharp and fashionable… no matter how hot it is!
- Choose shorts that fit. Baggy, loose fitting shorts that just hang detract from the image we want to portray. Shorts are no different than pants when it comes to wearing the correct size and style for our body type.
- Wear flat-front shorts and avoid shorts with pleats… unless you’re on the golf course. The extra material around the midsection makes us look heavier.
- If your legs are short, opt for shorts that don’t go below the knee. The shorter the shorts, the longer the leg appears.
- Long legged guys can wear longer shorts that go just below the knee, yet shorter styles are fine, too. Your height gives you more options.
- Wear appropriate shorts for the occasion. Athletic shorts worn outside the gym or off the court is not acceptable if you’re looking to maintain fashion etiquette.
- Make sure your gym shorts aren’t so tight or short they reveal the family jewels.
- Linen shorts are dressier than many other types, and look great when going out to dinner, to a casual summer party, or anytime the occasion calls for dressing up a bit when shorts are acceptable.
- It’s best to wear a belt with shorts, unless they have an elastic waistband, because belts complete the outfit. If wearing leather footwear, belts should match unless it’s a fabric belt.
- Elastic waistbands are only for athletic shorts, so if you have other types with elastic waists… throw them out!
Popular Short Styles
Board Shorts: Great for surfers and beach communities.
Cargo Shorts: Comfortable and relaxed; cargos typically come in earth tone colors like khaki and green, and have large outside pockets – hence the name “cargo”.
Gym Shorts: These are available in different lengths from mid-thigh to below the knee. Remember, keep them for the gym or mowing the yard.
Pleated Shorts: These are worn by many men; however, I stand by my position on avoiding them when possible.
Jorts: These are cut offs (once a pair of jeans with cropped legs) or jeans shorts. Either way, jorts are not popular today and are considered a fashion faux pas. Still, I understand they can be a practical, rugged short to wear at times, so if you must… just limit their use to mowing the yard, working on your car, or climbing a telephone poll. And if you must wear them, resist cut offs.
Bermuda Shorts: These have a loose, straight fit that almost goes to the knee. They are often seen in plaid.
And then there are the hybrid shorts whose style can’t be determined because styles are mixed together. These are all marketed as Bermuda shorts… really?
There are so many different shorts available today that no one’s wardrobe needs to be limited by style or color. Mix it up, so you’ll have variety, and the right shorts for every occasion shorts can be worn. Stay cool!
Aaron Marino is the founder, owner, and senior style consultant at Atlanta’s alpha m. Image Consulting. He also runs alpha m. Dot Net, which features accessories for men, and I Am Alpha M. , which is a lifestyle and personal development zone for men. He authored the book, “The Guy’s Guide to Image, Style, and Impeccable Grooming” and appeared on VH1′s Glam God and also Man Made Style. He frequently makes public appearances, giving his expert opinions an advice, and his highly sought after videos appear on YouTube.