Shorts are a tough thing. Generally, I disdain them and the sloppy attitude they embody too often these days. But when the weather is warm, I wear them. Hypocritical? Well, maybe a little. I actually have quite a few pair, these newest acquired only yesterday:$29.50 at the L.L. Bean retail store. Bought new? you ask...damn straight. After Top Shelf, I was feeling a tad bit flush in the wallet. Forgive me.
Now I know I'm usually a staunch proponent of knowing the rules if only to ignore them , but when it comes to shorts, all sorts of self imposed rules apply:
1) no t-shirts (actually, with the exception of the beach or the garden, this rule applies almost all of the time)
2) no socks (ever)
3) shorts should be just that:short. Just above the knee. Anything longer results in a mongrel garment that is neither pants nor shorts, but both, sort of. A truncated, ill-conceived bastard child of the garment industry. And those mid-calf capri things you sometimes see guys wearing?...don't get me started.
4) no pleats (no explanation necessary, I hope)
5) a collar on your shirt goes a long way to making a finished, gentlemanly look with shorts.
Today, I paired these with an old "Purist" oxford by Sero (r.i.p.)...un-iorned, of course, so as to maintain that casual edge:side note: here's a little trick with the un-ironed oxford look. Throw the shirt into the dryer alone for a few minutes. It'll knock the wrinkles out just enough, while maintaining a slouchy vibe.
The end result looks like so. Boat shoes, of course, and a brown leather belt, because it really ain't Summer, so the ribbon stripes will have to wait.
Many hours later, with a pinch of chill in the air, a linen/silk/cotton sweater is far from out of place.
Wearing shorts need not mean that you're all sloppy and un-tucked. It is in fact possible to be put-together and dressed like an adult even in short pants. Ladies, tell your men...mothers, tell your sons. Comfort and style need not live on opposite poles.