Shorts Have Men Showing a Little Leg

Posted: Aug 20 2012

by John Ortved
dated: Aug. 17, 2012
SOURCE: New York Times

EARLIER this season on the MTV series “Savage U,” Dan Savage, the syndicated sex columnist, was asked if he wears shorts. His response was as immediate as it was dismissive: “No, no. I’m a grown-up.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by many style arbiters: men of a certain age and distinction, the thinking goes, cannot wear shorts and be taken seriously. This applies not only to the workplace, but also in social settings.

Much of the fashion establishment seems to agree. “I avoid them,” said Glenn O’Brien, the fashion editor and writer of GQ magazine’s “Style Guy.” “If it’s like 100 degrees, or if I’m just going to Whole Foods, I will break down and wear shorts, but I try to avoid them for business.”

Tom Ford put it this way, in a guide on “how to be a modern gentleman” in AnOther Magazine: “Rule No. 5: A man should never wear shorts in the city.” 

But there are dissenters, including notable figures in men’s fashion, who are chipping away at the pant-hem bias, and working to give short pants more respect.

“What’s happening right now is there are a lot of designers saying, ‘Wait a minute, shorts can be as dressy as a pair of trousers, if they’re tailored right and the details are right,” said Tyler Thoreson, the editorial director of Park & Bond, the retail Web site.

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