Shorts: A Manifesto

One man comes face to face with the most hardened challenge of his personal style journey: Shorts.

Currently, there are 7.5 billion people on the planet. While roughly 50.4% of those people are male, I believe these individuals can be unequivocally categorized into one of two groups: those who wear shorts, and those who do not.

I’ve wrestled with finding my place within this delineation for years. When I was a gangly high school teenager down in Florida, I wore shorts almost every day. How else could I complement a fire ‘fit that included a pastel-colored polo and Puma Clydes? But then, as I transformed into a gangly twenty-something who was new to adulthood, I swore off shorts altogether, relegating them to top-heavy meat heads and kindergarten toddlers.

“Shorts were the equivalent of a nightlight in my eyes; valuable from a functional perspective, but often used for the sake of small children.”

I’ll admit, for a while there, I would turn my nose up at those gentlemen seen wearing shorts. “Shorts, huh? HOW OLD ARE YOU MY GUY? WILL YOU BE HANGING IN THE SANDBOX LATER,” I’d think to myself while perched high in my sartorial ivory tower. Shorts were the equivalent of a nightlight in my eyes; valuable from a functional perspective, but often used for the sake of small children. None of my adult counterparts wore shorts (save for the beach or the gym), and worse, none of the men I looked up to or even aspired to be would touch them. If no one I respected would be caught dead in them, how could I not judge the people that did? Side note: I was a bit of an asshole back then.

As time grew on, I loosened my standards for others a bit. When we started this website, we did it with the hopes of becoming a resource for guys that wanted to learn more about building a better personal style. If we were to be the teachers, then we could no longer make unfair assumptions or judgments about our students; we needed to be better than that. So while I became way less critical of my peers, I still didn’t adopt shorts as a garment option for myself. Call it personal preference, but I tapped out on the 9″ inseam altogether.

I’ve been on this particular wave against shorts for several years now, and while I’ve had plenty of time to ponder, I’ve been able to conclude that as much as I’d like to think that my position was based on a staunch style platform, it was not. A bulk of my sentiment was based in insecurity. Shorts were an item that was designed to showcase assets that I felt less than thrilled about. As you know, I’m a tall, slender fellow with the complexion of a newborn lamb. In less poetic words, I’m skinny and pasty AF. Men’s shorts serve to exaggerate these qualities for me. My legs look very similar to fast food drinking straws, and for years I’ve tried my best to limit this perception. I know it’s been unfair to write off the dressing options other dudes have made because I was hung up on myself, not the shorts. It wasn’t shorts’ fault that I didn’t think I had the goods to look decent in them. It was mine.

But something strange has happened. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older (and thus closer to death) and I’m making more of an effort to try things, or maybe it’s because I read this great guide on Mr Porter last week. The truth is, this summer, I’m putting a sincere and pointed effort to flex in these streets in the finest shorts I can afford. Click on that link and tell me some of these don’t look dope? I especially dig the image at the top of this post; these shorts are baggy but not long, elevated yet casual. The band collar shirt definitely helps a lot, but this faceless dude looks like he’s about to stunt all over his weekday. And guess what? I WANT TO STUNT, TOO. Paleness be damned, I’m gonna give this shit a shot. Who knows, maybe I might even get a little color on these calves and downplay my porcelain heritage.

The reason this warranted a 500 word write-up is because style is a lot like your life (I could say style = life, but let’s keep a little bit of brevity here). We’ve got to be willing to get outside of ourselves a bit and be open to things that challenge us. Complacency in both your wardrobe and your lifestyle is the death of opportunity. The more we’re willing to try new things, the more we’re making ourselves available for the universe to do some rad shit for us. After all, I’m just out here trying to flourish for eternity.

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