05 May 2010


For the last two Summers of this humble blogs existence, I've contemplated the inevitable post on shorts without bringing myself yet to write it... so here it is.

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.


Anonymous said...

Just to be honest, you look ridiculous. What's with the self-imposed rules? Experiment before you contain yourself. And get those shorts tailored!

K.S.Anthony said...

Still laughing at "mongrel garment." The cable knit sweater and GTH shorts are a classic. Well played, sport.

ADG said...

Ok man....next time I'm up there, you gotta take me thrifting.

SCO said...

Rule #3 should be shouted from rooftops the world over.

Giuseppe said...

Tailoring shorts is kind of anathema to wearing them in the first place.

As for the rules, you have to be careful with shorts. They can be a slippery slope, so having guidelines helps, I find.

As for looking ridiculous...I always look at least a little ridiculous. I've known that for years. We'll just call it part of my charm.


I'm down. Only you're going to need to keep a whole day clear for that.

Jim said...

Could it be that bright-colored shorts are the new FU pants?

The other day I did see a very sharp college-aged kid on Newbury Street rocking similar shorts with a light blue oxford and navy blazer. Probably bought the stuff at Rugby for way too much money but still looked great.

Dutch Uncle said...

Your anti-tailoring argument with regard to shorts was well-put. Tailored shorts are for women and gigolos.

Some Assembly Required said...

I jumped the gun and wore a ribbon belt earlier this week, but it's black with a gray stripe in the middle so it's not exactly summery. Wore it with off-white jeans, a blue end-on-end shirt, and boat shoes.

Paul said...

Those shorts are killer - and just in time for ADG's GTH pants season opener. I've got similar reds with blue sharks.

Basseq said...

I think #3 also applies to Thom Browne-esque pants that fall a couple inches above the ankle. We're fast approaching capri-land from both sides (too-short pants and too-long shorts).

Shorts should be short and pants should be long.

Still finding irony in the guy who thinks you look ridiculous, then suggests tailoring shorts.

Also: nice ink.

Anonymous said...

Mr. G. ,
Please do explain regarding rule #4. If this is so obvious why do all of the shorts at my local Brooks have pleats? Please glance at the Orvis CFO Collection Oxford Cloth Shorts on their website and tell me what you think of them.



Anonymous said...

I see Lolita and Max Weber on your bookshelf. Good man. Please tell us about the tattoos!

Chuck G. said...


Can you do an in-depth follow up or direct us to a previous post regarding the Sero shirt? Pretty please?


Ari said...

Anon 8:22 - Orvis caters to portly gentlemen, and to lovers of gussets (sp?), pleats, and all manner of excess fabric. Their generous cut and silhouette tend to accentuate rotundity. The only body type that can successfully do pleats is one like ADG's. Lest you think i'm knocking Orvis, I will say that I covet their clothes, but wish they made them for trimmer folk such as me.

GWS said...

I bought the same shorts (ordered them online, also the tan ones with the fly-fish embroidery) and couldn't be happier considering the price.

Great blog here - I've just spent the last few hours reading through your archive. I'm a fellow Bostonian, and you've rekindled my desire to hunt through the likes of Keezer's and Bobby from Boston.


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Hey that first photo is my look in warm weather. Well done G.

Seth said...

If only my skinny copy-paper-white legs didn't look so out-of-place in shorts...

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be "that" guy, but I must speak.

You're anti-tailoring argument was not "well-put." You just said, you shouldn't tailor shorts because they're shorts. Clever.

I think every garment you wear should complement your body and size. If that means tailoring shorts, then call me crazy.


You do have a nice charm. Please accept my apology for harassing you on our blog.

jaysin said...

Hey, found you site via PutThisOn and realized that another old punk/hc kid has some class out there that I would have to keep following.

The shorts thing is a tough one. I still have to have mine just at the knee, but this summer will see. Of course could be a while in MN since we are supposed to get snow tonite.

Keep up the good work.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...


Honored to see my name added to "Ladies of The Club" but it's Velvet, not Vlevet. :)

Good to see that anonymous has some manners, anyway.


Giuseppe said...

Duly noted and repaired.

David V said...

Along with the venerable leather boat shoe is the well worn canvas boat shoe. White or navy. But if white then they must look like they've been around the deck a few times.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Shorts should be tailored. If you're going to do it then do it properly, which means Cuffs on shorts should be at least 2".

CLG said...

NO pleats?
i really believe that 1 or 2 is fine

Anonymous said...

Never apologize for being industrious. Congratulations on turning a profit in this current climate.