Men’s styling: Shorts for any occasion? It can be done, as Christopher Reading explains in this post he sent to Cocktail Revolution
With summer upon us, I just can’t hold back any longer with my pet hate for what seems to dominate the Aussie man’s wardrobe at this time: BOARD SHORTS!!!
Simply put, they are for the beach, surfing or swimming. That’s why they’re called board shorts, of course. They are perfectly suited to relaxing in your own back yard, but they are simply not suitable for anywhere else, especially not a courtroom where I had the displeasure of seeing a witness wear them into the dock. So if no-one’s ever explained this to you before, listen well: board shorts are not for the street unless you have simply crossed it to buy a drink, icecream or donut from the local kiosk at the beach.
So named because they are exactly that, shorts are not jeans, slacks, cargoes or trousers. They are simply shorts, to be worn on or above the knee. Not every pair of shorts fits into the wearable shorts category, so do yourself a favour and throw away those things taking up space in your wardrobe that are long enough that they look like your mother has hemmed a pair of trousers for you that turned out way too high. While you are at it get rid of those old jeans that you mistakenly thought could be cut down to shorts. Ladies, (as well as gents) those jean shorts that expose the pockets and a good portion of your buttocks are really vile-looking. If not discarded they should be reserved for wearing while painting the house or gardening because that’s all that they are good for.
We all have personal likes and dislikes when it comes to what we wear, so I don’t want you to throw out your personal preferences, but there’s an amazing range of choices out there if you simply take a little bit of time to look. Whether you choose shorts made from linen, denim or cotton, take the time and make sure they suit your body shape. Tip: if you or your legs somehow look disproportionate, its a good indication they don’t fit well. Too loose or too tight in the seat area is another no-no, as is making your jewels look like a bulls-eye target at the front with all creases pointing to “X” marking the spot.
My personal preference is for well tailored shorts in various fabrics including denim that are specially made, all with a slim fitting leg and sitting above the knee. Smart shorts are definitely not sports apparel (footy shorts should never be worn off the field!) and they are definitely not for swimming in. They are out there gentlemen, so do take the time to have a look and try them on. The biggest mistake I see people making is men assuming they are the right size by looking at them on a hanger. You always need to check by trying them on!
Purposely made denim shorts are always available and can look super cool at many events. Just make sure to consider whether the event suits the outfit and vice-versa. You can dress a good pair of denim shorts with a nicely tailored shirt, a good t-shirt and possibly a well fitted tank top for those unbearably hot Aussie days.
Denim shorts can look good teamed with a well fitting white cotton shirt -ironed- and dressed up with accessories like brown and tan leather wrist cuffs, beads or tan leather belt and a well made pair of brown or tan leather loafers. Changing accessories can change the look. This is a great look for a barbeque or casual event. Avoid wearing thongs every time, or if you must, a good leather pair can look smart.
Shorts can also be worn for occasions that require a little more effort. In extremely hot weather where you would melt in anything else, they can be worn to christenings, engagements or weddings provided you choose the whole look and outfit with care. Choose “tailored shorts”. These look like a well fitting pair of trousers except that they have been cut and hemmed above the knee. There are many brands of great looking, good fitting, tailored shorts, but my all time favourite is Jack London. All of their men’s clothing is very well cut and extremely well designed and the fabric choices are sensational. Unlike their denim brothers, tailored shorts can be worn almost everywhere.
Provided you understand the occasion, you can still look appropriate, smart and even like a million dollars by wearing shorts. Shorts for any occasion? It can be done. But remember, no board shorts!
Good luck with your summer choices…
NB: Visit Jack London to win a $1000.00 wardrobe!