This man has the three things I’m a complete sucker for when it comes to men’s dress: 1)White top, Navy blue bottom. 2)A man who wears Damier Louis Vuitton. 3)A tighter fit below the waist. (Completely agree with your comment about the baggy shorts and pants, hate them hate them hate them)
The fact that he paired the LV belt with his navy blue makes me just love this photo ten times more. A fantastic choice he made and a fantastic post you’ve made, as always!
as a woman, i prefer a longer short (:p) on a guy. apc had a really beautiful pair of men’s shorts this summer – straight, not tapering, down to the knee (i don’t like the mid-calf style on guys either). i liked the apc pair so much, i bought a pair for myself.
I just don’t like shorts, period. Very few women can pull them off, and men tend to look a little dorky in them, and I hate those baggy things that men wear, too. Though I have to say I’m a sucker for a dorky guy.
Above the knee or mid-thigh? Doesn’t it really depend on the nature of the occassion you are dressing for, your height and weight in relation to the proportion and last but certainly not least, if you have attractive legs?
SCHRECKLICH … I hate to say but I think he is too old and to much of a “ice-hockey-guy” (his body) for this kind of shorts. I think you can only wear these short shorts if you are really young and have a boyish look and body. Or you are older but still got that “je ne sais quoi” …. boyish look. And I don`t like the shoes either. I am sorry. It is too much italien waiter or something … for me
Guy on top (hmmmmm) has the better short proportion, I’d say.
And, Scott, for some men the governing issue isn’t what ladies want to see us wearing, but what we want to see ourselves wearing, or what we think will be most sexually enticing to WHICHEVER sex we wish to attract.
I say it’s high time that confident men with nice legs show them off. H&M recently had a nice short suit made of blue and white corded cotton; the shorts fit me perfectly, hitting maybe 2in above the knee, very slim fitting with a tailored waistline and tab closure. Turned me on to shorts again after years of swearing them off.
although i agree that the gentleman in photo 1 is looking sexy, i prefer the longer short (a la photo 2) on men. it’s a nice change from the extra-baggy, extra-pocketed, cargo shorts that run amuck in the summer time.
I guess the preference of “above the knee” or “mid-thigh” really depends on the guy. If you have really muscular/thick thighs then i’d prefer a man to wear it just above the knee. Mid-thigh would probably work on guys with slim thighs a la Danny Beauchamp…just a personal preference though.
I think it probably depends on your height, non? the longer the leg, the longer you can go on the inseam without cutting off the overall line. or, conversely, the longer (and better) the leg, the better it can pull off a shorter short. OR, the shorter the leg, the more proportionate a shorter short will look.
all my sympathy: I understand your dilemma completely.
In answer to your question, my opinion is very much in favour. I see this though as very Euro…you don’t often see American men wearing a slim cut short. The baggy shorts look far to casual and sloppy to me. But I think young men in the states fear slim-fit clothes.
I think it doesn’t look good. Shorts are for younger guys in my opinion..i generally don’t think age is something someone should worry about when it comes to clothes, but shorts for men and women and mini-skirts for women..well…i just think there’s a age limit. There are other ways to dress yourself and look great and stylish anyway..theres’ no need to follow the trend.
hey Sart, I completely agree, the baggy cargo short needs to be removed as a summer staple. Can somebody please send a memo to the college boy because they can’t seem to get enough of them. I think the length for the fitted short should hit right above the knee because when you sit down it will rise to mid thigh anyways. A shorter cut should be reserved for the beach or lounging in a park. ps. your posts of late have been phenomenal! Thanks :) I really loved the Dries post, beautiful shot.
Well, this lady says it depends on the man’s legs, and the activity. I love to see a short length on a man’s swimsuit, especially if he has nice muscular legs. Mid-thigh is also fine for a cook-out. In the city, I suppose just-above-the-knee is preferred. Men who have scrawny legs and/or bony knees would keep them covered, if I ruled the world.
it is very hard to find a great pair of shorts these days! you are right on the money that everything (in the us at least) is huge and baggy.
the regular fit from jcrew works fairly well — i think the length depends on your height. i am pretty tall so i wear 11 inch inseam that hits about an inch above my knee. the key is that they are not baggy but have a ‘regular’ leg opening.
i have had some baggy long length shorts taken in to make the leg slimmer and they came out great.
i dont think women like shorts that are too short. the gent here is borderline…
I am not sure it matters if it is to the knee or shorter, the key is what you wear with it, if the length is longer, then you can wear a fitted top untucked. With the shorter length, same shape – as in fitted shirt should be tucked in, otherwise the top could overwhelm the bottom
I’m a lady and I have to say I vote the shorts to be closer to the knee than mid thigh, but nice and slim and boxy like you show in the photo.
Thanks for all the great photos, I go to this site every morning before getting dressed to draw some inspiration and to remind myself why I love to care about what I wear: to express myself and be creative.
I think if you’re going for short you gotta hav’em “short” and slim. I like yours Sart, they are very americana style. Concerning to the guy in the pic is great although I disagree with anonymous about the damier louis vuitton pattern. for me wearing vuitton is not a matter of luxury or bon goĂ»t but showing off. However the white, navy and brown combination is magnificent and his tanned skin makes it better.
I think the shorter shorts argument is really subjective- and also dependent to a degree on body type. Personally, I go with the longer short (just above the knee) because I have thicker legs (hockey player) and shorter shorts tend to make me look even more bulky rather than proportioned as they should (but hey that’s me).
i think it’s funny that you dress for the women. i”ve had this conversation with my guy friends before when they assume thatthe care i take in getting dressed is for them, when really it’s not about the guys at all. i dress forother women, and most importantly myself, to create whatever mood i’m feeling that morning
that being said, shorts that are a little bit more fitted/tighter can be nice if a guys got a nice backside ;)
maybe it has to do with the color? i (almost) like the navy shorts in the top picture, and i think he is able to pull it off because they are more conservative and the dark color makes his legs look slimmer. as opposed to the second picture, which looks semi-nude and dorky in a boyscoutish way. the last pic i think is hot though (he has nice legs) and the length works well for the lighter color.
as a woman I go for just above the knee. the shorter length (as in your picture) look too much like a tennis player or teacher who hasn’t had a chance to change. The (guy in the) bottom photo is so much sexier than the top. Cheers
slim, mid-thigh or right at the knee love both the first and last photos and would definitely take a second look at either one of those men. shorter than that, not so much, and i still can’t get that image of the fellow with the footies out of my mind, which was a combination of short shorts and, well, peds, that continues to lurk in the dark shadows of my mind. that is not the kind of lasting impression you either want to make on a woman.
i agree with your sentiment, but it seems to me that sart was asking the women specifically because he wants to know their views — he just happens to care that women are attracted to him. i’ve often seen him ask men here what they think about a particular look. clearly, it was a personal question, not a generalization about sexuality or self-esteem.
My opinion: Straight guys’ shorts should be right at the knee. If a guy wants to wear shorter shorts, then just above the knee works, but I honestly think that the only guys who can pull off the “short short” look are Europeans and fabulous gay men. No one needs to see hairy man thigh in daylight. Guys can also run into problem with shorts that are too long also, venturing into either man-capri territory or a decidedly “gangsta” look.
Ok………..a couple of things! Cargo shorts are soooooo bloody out! Bermuda have always been cool! Geek Chic rules! I’ve done it for years. Regarding length, longer for a more elegant look and shorter for a sporty look. Try Theory. They make a great longer short that i bought in a medium blue and a khaki. Theymight have other colors as well. I have been looking for other bermudas, etc for a few seasons. Love them in winter with a cashmere turtleneck and oxfords.Hey it’s LA!We have our own sense style (as you may know)
Men in shorts are can be very sexy but just like everything (from nude beaches to speedos to muscle shirts and tank tops), when the wrong body type wears them, it’s a fright!
Mens’ shorts, as The Sartorialist wryly and rightly points out, are the nearest analogue men have to womens’ skirts and can be looked at in the same way with regard to fit. If a fellow has the male equivalent of Giovanna’s spectacular legs, he can be a showoff, but then just about any length will look good.
I have found that the ‘right’ length for shorts depends on (1)it’s other fit factors – rise, seat, leg width, etc., (2)the wearer’s height and the shapliness of his legs, (3)the function or activity to be carried out while wearing the shorts, and (4)personal taste.
Mass produced clothes come in so-called standard sizes that often don’t take individual bodies or personal style into account. The best way to get shorts perfect is to buy longer ones that fit well in the waist and seat, then take them to a tailor and eyeball whilst adjusting the length until it looks right. If you are lucky to find shorts that look great off-the-peg, buy them in every colour or have them copied.
The natty gentleman pictured here wears shorts that fit quite close on the legs. I can say from experience that unless a gentleman possesses massive jodhpur thighs like those of a speedskater, the J.Crew shorts will not fit the same way. J.Crew casual trousers in general have an over-large shapeless fit through the seat and leg that I suppose they think is ‘traditional.’ The unfortunate result for most men will be the ‘chicken leg’ effect seen in the photo of the J.Crew model (who has average, if rather pale, legs).
Theory and Kenneth Cole make slimmer, dressier shorts, in stretch twill and lightweight wool. Or do what I do: look for inexpensive, slim-fitting long trousers at summer sales and have them docked at the tailor.
I like the JCrew but it seems important to be able to try them on. Any other recommendations on brand? Above the knee or midthigh. Everyone I know has been talking about the dearth of fashionable men’s shorts. I say no to cargo, and at this point in time, I also feel like khaki presents a problem, unless the legs are very dark. There needs to be a contrast between the short and the skin.
I would definitely go with longer shorts. I agree that a trimmer silhoutte is better than the super baggy mall cargo short, but anything shorter than an inch or two above the knee is just NOT attractive on a man. Unless you are a male model and wax your entire body. And that is just a different post altogether.
I think I posted about the gorgeous Asian guy in all white (short shorts)when you first put that pic up. He looks great in short shorts. He has beautiful legs.
My ex-bf was a serious cyclist and also had beautiful legs, but I have to admit I kind of squirmed when he wore shorts to mid-thigh. This was probably in part because of the color of the shorts (khaki – yawn) and of his legs (pale).
I really like the length and narrowness of the shorts in the second picture. Are these the JCrew ones? Shame about limited palette, because the shape is great.
So, I guess what this lady is saying is: it depends on shapeliness of leg, color of leg, width of shorts, color of shorts (so many variables!).
2-3 inches above knee is good. Higher if you have legs like the guy all in white in pic 3.
btw, I think the guy in pic 4 looks dreadful – shorts are neither/nor in length and width, and are too low on his waist. Don’t get me started on the hair and excessive gee-gaws…
It’s a lot like skirt length, if you ask me. It depends on the person wearing it, it depends on what occasion it’s for, and it depends on the width proportions relative to the person. Mostly, though, a guy’s proportions are better suited to the longer length and a slimmer cut.
And unless you’ve got gear to carry into battle, or you’re under the age of twelve and still carry rubber bands, a favorite rock, and pieces of dead animals, don’t wear cargo shorts.
I am a sucker for a straight man in capri-length pants, but it’s usually up to the rest of his outfit to declare whether he is straight or gay. If a man has to venture into shorts-territory, then I prefer just above the knee, as many of the other ladies here have stated. The short-shorts look too athletic for everyday wear but would work fine in the appropriate setting: yachting, jogging, sailing, etc.
In the first picture, the man looks very well put together, but I don’t like how the shorts seem to get smaller toward the hem. It looks uncomfortable.
At first glance, I did not like the J. Crew shorts, but as I continued to consider them, I believe I do like them. They seem to have a “clean” look to them and are indeed a refreshing change from the too long, too sloppy cargo shorts.
With reguard to the last two pictures, I must be the odd girl out. The man in all white looks cool, comfortable, and confident. I really love his shirt and the length of his shorts seems to work perfectly with the relaxed look. He looks relaxed, yet not sloppy. Man #2 with the khaki, longer shorts looks more like he rolled out of bed and pulled his clothes off the floor. He looks rather sloppy to me. (He also looks… greasy/gross to me.)
Perhaps, for me, it’s more a perception of attitude and personality that is affecting my preference. I do think that there isn’t necessarily a “rule” of mid-thigh vs. just above the knee that must be followed, but rather what look you’re going for and if you can pull it off.
The same rule for shorts applies to guys as it does for girls. If the legs, specifically quads, are toned, DEFINITELY go for the shorty short! I love to see guys’ legs if they look good. I think it’s super sexy and daring. On the other hand, just above the knee works well for almost everybody, and I love the clean lines. I agree with you Sart, please stay away from the baggy cargo. The only advantage I see to the baggy cargo short is when the wearer lets me put my stuff (cell, money, keys, and lipstick) in the pockets.
I suppose I’m vote #2 for the shorter short. I’ve just bought my first pair of shorts in FIVE YEARS. I’m 5’4″ and they hit perhaps 2.5″-3″ above the knee, very slim fit, and I love them. The heat is oppressive here in Washington DC and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been wearing them nearly every day.
Just above the knee! No matter how nice a guy’s legs are, I don’t want to see man thighs. Furthermore, if the shorts are at mid-thigh, imagine where that puts it when he sits down…preserve your dignity and go for Just Above the Knee
I agree completely with nicole- please leave the short shorts for sport,or FGM. Please do not show me that much hairy thigh. Loose, not baggy. Definetly NOT tight unless you are in a bike race! A nice fit, not tight, through the butt. Less is more guys!
I am surprised to find that I am in the minority on this subject, but I like guys in shorter shorts. What is wrong with all these men and women who think men have ugly legs? I suppose it does depend on the legs, though (just like with women). I like mid-thigh shorts on guys with muscular legs, not necessarily tan, but at least monochromatic (no furry black-haired-on-white-skin legs). The above knee are nice too, especially in the slim leg, and they’re probably more practical. But in my opinion, they’re a little bland. Mid-thigh shorts are unusual enough to be an attention-getting, drool-worthy look on the right pair of legs.
Mr. S, I tried on a pair of shorts yesterday at J. Crew (they now carry a few pairs that hit above the knee in the stores) that hit about an inch above my knee. I was in the fitting room with my girlfriend, and she just laughed at me. Then I turned around to the mirror and laughed out loud at myself. I looked ridiculous. I’m fairly athletic, so the fact that my legs and shoulders are a little huskier than those of the subjects in your photos may have been a contributor to the hilarity that ensued. My thought is if you can pull it off, do it. But don’t just buy shorter shorts because that’s what they’re showing in Milan. Like you always say, it’s about personal style. I happen to look best in baggier shorts. If you feel good in 5″ shorts, then do it. There should not be any rules.
i prefer knee-length or just above the knee. my choice of fabric would be anything other than denim, has to have the right fall, the cut should be beautiful, and the color has to be faded navy, shades of gray, tan (no khakhis), or houndstooth patterned. baggy cargos are for fratboys, and for khakhis, there’s always the fear of falling into the preppy category, right out the Kohl’s catalogue. there needs to be a certain sophistication about the man that wears shorts, else, they fail. nowadays i see black slim bermudas worn by “hipsters” in my hippish chicago neighborhood. something seems amiss with the wearers, though, perhaps the look of look-at-me-trendsetting.
and to “d” above, hey, no no, men’s legs can be hot, shapely (in a masculine way) :), and as anonymous at 9:34 says – a tan is the perfect accessory.
dont hate me, but i do love a moderately baggy short on an american man! that of course, not being the question, i would have to say that the ‘right at the knee but somewhat slim’ is my favorite among the short selections. i find shorter than that a bit feminine (unless of course that is the idea).
for me, the gentleman in the last photo has the perfect length, as a women, i love it. but i would say in general shorts are tricky, and i think a man in a nice pair of seersucker slacks and tshirt would certainly catch my eye first.
I think the thing to remember when considering a pair of knickers, is to know your body, and to never ever under any circumstance ever buy a pair of pleated cuffed shorts. I don’t care what your golfing buddies are wearing.
Unless you’re Roger Federer in the middle of a match, I think men should stick to just above the knee. Shorter shorts seem to highlight or embellish imperfections on even good legs (slight bow, hairyness, pegs, knobby knees). Slim fit nice, body permitting.
Your country once had such a wonderful tradition of men’s shorts – seersucker, madras and definitely just ABOVE the knee. Get back to what you lot do best and leave all this tittle-tattle about length, labels and cut to the continentals . And by that I mean, Italians.
I bought a pair of brown linen pinstripe dress pants; loose and straight all the way down. I had them hemmed right above the knee with 1 1/2 inch cuffs. They look great. They’re great for the Texas heat.
sart, you look great in those shorts. of course, short length has everything to do with the message you’re interested in conveying, but in my opinion more men ought to go for the short short, as it can be highly sexy. mid-thigh shorts plus a deep v-neck t-shirt- that’s what i want to see more of this summer. too bad men’s legs are so often underrated or outright hated upon (even by several people on this obviously emotionally charged forum).
sart, thanks for providing such a nice blog, i absolutely admire your taste and appreciate so much the way that this has become a forum for discussion.
Couldn’t agree with you more about baggy… there’s a time and place for it I suppose, but seriously, who are you under there? You know?
I think most women prefer knee-length shorts on a man, but I am not ashamed of my appreciation for Magnum PI man-thigh. But I will say it’s a privilege not a right. The handsome man in the white top and blue shorts has great, muscular legs and has earned his way into those mid-thigh shorts… Bravo!
Yes, gentlemen, more shorts, please! I love the various cuts and patterns, not to mention the accessories in the way of belts and bags, and shoes.
As a woman, I prefer wearing my brother’s baggy cargo shorts because the fit and length are perfect for my boyish/petite frame.
On men, I prefer to see mid length, although the first gentleman with the short shorts is simply fantastic and I wish I knew more guys who could wear that look.
Honestly, I love it when men wear shorts because shorts signify confidence and sexiness.
In Maui, my male friends mostly wore three-quarter length shorts which accented their hips. One of my friends cut off a pair of vintage checkmark wool trousers and made them into highwaters for a geek chic look.
i think most women will agree that just above the knee is WAY better than mid-thigh. short shorts are for women. anything shorter than above the knee and i feel you look like you’re about to play tennis. longer shorts just look so much more relaxed. they’re so much more versatile, too.
Sartorialist-I say just above the knee and slim (not tight) especially for city wear. Out of the city-shorter is fine, and maybe the shorter you go, the baggier you should go. Short AND tight is scary to a girl! May I also recommend classic fisherman sandals with your shorts?
A lot of the comments are talking about how they don’t want to see that 2-3 inches of “hairy man leg” but I’m of the opinion that those inches (I’m thinking of shorts that hit between midthigh and the knee) are a small price to pay if you can lengthen the legs and make me look 4-5 inches taller.
i’m moving towards shorter, and starting with swim trunks. shorts i’m going with a 7 inch inseam, 5 is daunting. it’s funny though. if you’re like m a mid thirties (or a wee bit more than that) youremember the days of shorter shorts ang everone finding fine to sexy. ican actually remember being a bit nervous about wearing longer shorts. the shorter fitted look is a correction to the extreme the pendulum has swung to. it’s also a way to throw some new to your summer look. just keep it long enough to prevent everyone from seeing “brain” in the words of Joey Tribiani.
I love the question that you pose regarding length of shorts on a man – even if it is a bit “girly”. As a female that checks out these details, I feel strongly that a man should wear shorts exactly at knee length. But, similar to females, only a small percentage of men can really pull off a pair of shorts in an appropriate manner.
I for one am looking for shorter shorts. At 5’6″ I can’t chop my legs off at the knee. The best solution? Cut offs! Buy a pair or trousers on sale and cut them down to fit. Last summer I bought a pair of Nantucket reds at Club Monaco on sale for $5.99. cut them off a few inches above the knee and voila the perfect short. this is also a good solution for all those old summer pants that have funny legs. (With better pants take then to the tailor for mid thigh hemming).
As destructive as it may sound, I have found that the only way to get a proper fitting pair of shorts is to have my pants transformed into shorts. Their fit around the posterior gives just enough depth and definition without being to snug. The inseam is also perfect length if you prefer your shorts to sit just above your hips and the bottom to reach 2 inches above the knee. Granted you loose a pair of solid pants, you attain the perfect fitting short for springs to come.
I think just above the knee. Not as short as the guy in the top photo, but a bit shorter than the second guy. I think it looks hot on men. Not fussed about a tan if everything else about the outfit is working (colour, cut, balance, attitude), and at the good length it can be a slim fit or slightly looser.
The thigh shorts (provided you have enough meat on ya) come off much more adult.
Why wear longer shorts to hide your legs? If they need hiding, pants are in order. Anything past your knee makes you look like a kid waiting to grow into his shorts.
Take the shortest old-school khaki shorts + rainbow sandals or boat shoes + polo shirt + aviators + croakies = every fraternity boy south of the mason-dixon line. I think college men in the south understand how to wear shorts.
Ralph Lauren’s Polo line has a short style called “Andrew” that has a 5-inch inseam or so but you’ll probably not find much of a color selection beyond what J.Crew offers. Plus, the Polo shorts are pleated which you may or may not find as a positive.
I am most interested by visceral dislike many women leaving comments seem to have for mens legs – they’re “gross”, they’re “obscene”, they’re “disgusting”. Whilst you might not like short shorts aethestically, but don’t you think this repulsion suggests a certain lack of sensuality?
Now, I have to say I do like shorter shorts (mmmm rugby players) but can see that they might be a bit much in an urban environment. Context, as ever, is all….
Both lengths and styles look great. It all depends on how your legs look with them. I usually wear knee length in the city and keep shorter lengths for the beach, but if I find a nice mid-thigh tailored short, I will wear it in the city too. Enough with capris and cargo shorts for men, they look so ugle. And Americans have to get over their conservatism regarding shorts (and also swimsuits and sandals too).
I like the length in the first photo the most. I don’t mind anything as short as mid-thigh on guys, but they have to look snappy enough to counteract the feel that they just got off the tennis court and didn’t have time to change.
The “slimmer” fit is really a good option, that’s for sure. As for the lenght… I guess I’d go for just above the knee, but if you want to dare something shorter, I’d say:
1) don’t make it too short (in case of ugly legs, it is unflattering, and in case of pretty legs, it is too feminine… kind of a catch 22, isn’t it?)
2) but since men should be allowed some liberty in their clothing too, and show some leg if that’s what they want (I myself discovered short shorts a while ago, so can’t really blame you!), I think short is possible, if you keep it slim, in a rather dressy fabric (as in matte, and rather rigid – hope this makes sense), so that it as rather straight past the hips… the white short shorts seemed far to beach-y and relax to me to really work…
I’m a woman who feels strongly that no one should wear long, baggy, shapeless shorts. Not even NBA players. A man looks more elegant in a slimmer short that is a couple of inches above the knee. He can top the shorts with a sweater, a polo, a tee, or a button-down (not too blousy, please). But he can kill the look with flip-flops.
Big baggy cargo shorts just look better on most guys. The only guys who can look good in these shorts are models and fashionistos.
As a guy, I prefer to be relaxed in the summer, not too ‘studied’ or overly fashiony. I think the reason is that many men are by nature utilitarian, and so to try betray otherwise through affected fashions tends to make them feel uncomfortable.
Many men also don’t respond well to drastic changes in fashion. They are more cautious, and designers should work slowly to introduce their ideal. That is why I can see something like shorter, reverse-stitched cargo shorts becoming wanted and more popular with guys before something like flat-front thigh-length shorts.
But for those of you who dig this look, and can pull it off, well then kudos to you.
some of the comments here are really brilliant but i can’t quite ignore the toad-like nature of some comments that some people have offered up, such as suggesting that there be different acceptable length of shorts depending upon a man’s sexual orientation, or at the worse, suggesting that men should not wear at all even as the temperature climbs into the 90′s.
despite the cultural atmosphere and my contrarian position, a woman’s body is no more worthy of exposure or worship than a man’s. it’s really just a different line and aesthetic. there are ugly men, beautiful men, ugly women and beautiful ones. fat men look horrible in a speedo but someone like david beckham could obviously get away with it. but to issue such a blanket statement that is so stupid (such as suggesting that straight men ought not go above the knee when gay men have license to) and so fanatically moronic is completely deleterious to any serious discussion on the matter.
my take: it depends on the type of body and a man’s own personality and attitude.
All 3 guys look great! If you have a nice trim figure and take a bit of care (I like all those lovely white shirts . . ) you can wear any shorts you damn well please! Also, the idea of men NOT being ‘allowed’ to wear shorts in summer seems grossly unfair.
For length I would have to agree with almost everyone else – above the knee, and not showing upper thigh. But I think that how tight or baggy depends on your build. It is possible to have a more relaxed fit than the chap in the beige above knee shorts without ending up in cargo shorts!
Sorry I got in on the conversation kind of late but I would go with a legnth that flatters ones legs the best. If one has rather muscular calves and nice thighs and quads, why the hell not show them off? If one has chubby legs, they shouldn’t be wearing shorts. I hate being a senior in high school and having not so friendly remarks made about my shorts choices come summer time. I for one don’t shop at the mall brands (J Crew is the exception) and my shorts choice is somewhere between midthigh and just above the knee. Roughly where a credit card heald vertically at the knee would be. That is the ideal fit for me, rugby players tend to be gifted with very nice legs. The guys may laugh at my shorts but the ladies swoon, and thats what matters…
definitely right above the knee! If you were a schoolboy in a tropical country [or someone who has had to be exposed to the sight of them!], you would know that slim-cut mid-thigh shorts are the devil’s invention!
Another woman’s opinion: Do not go with the J Crew shorts. If they look awkward on the J Crew model, there is little hope for mere mortal men. (Kind of like some of the incredible painful stuff the Victoria’s Secret models were wearing last summer.)
The white shorts were excellent, I think the tennis type shorts on any man with good legs look excellent. Just not with tennis shoes.
I have been looking for a real pair of shorts since I moved here 4 years ago. Penguin sells an awesome pair several colors and most importantly no pleats. I am so tired of womens wear being adapted for men. As far as mid-thigh or above the knee, it depends on the persons leg type. Myself, I have tapered muscular legs that look great in mid thigh shorts. For someone that has thinner legs its best to go with above the knee.
For me, there is something unseemly about a guy in shorts that are too short, especially in the city. Just personal preference. (Like Speedo/banana hammocks on the beach – no no no.) So while the guy in the white shorts pictured can carry off that look (as you said, half the time it’s about the clothes, half the time it’s the person wearing them), this is not a look I woud want to see on my husband, even though he’s got a similarly slim build.
The last guy shown in this post, however, is a bit of all right (stylistically speaking), as far as I’m concerned – the shorts are exactly the right length and not too baggy, they’re low-slung so he looks cool, casual and unforced (always a plus for any guy) and he’s paired them with a classic white buttondown. Perfection!
Oh, and for all you DIY-inclined gents who can’t find the right length for your height/physique: my enterprising hubby just buys two extra pair of his favorite casual straight leg chinos at the beginning of the summer, washes and dries them once and then chops off the legs right at his knee, though you could cut them shorter or longer to suit yourself. To hem or leave frayed is up to you. They always look great because they’re a style he already knows he likes and is comfortable in, just shorter.
If a man truly is dressing for women, then I would suggest the shorts above the knee. If he would just like to show off his shapely legs, then he can wear whatever he wants and make the “fairer” sex feel inadequate.
I quite enjoy the shorts in the J Crew magazine, though an acquaintance who worked at J Crew said basically the same thing as amed studio about J Crew sizes and added that sizes really fluctuate depending on where the store is getting their shipments from. However, I disagree on one point that amed studio brought up — I, as a “lady” find those apparent “chicken legs” v. attractive.
I was so glad to see this topic so thoroughly discussed and debated. I am in my mid-40s and not so tall (5’9″), so the reality is I have been shopping (unsuccessfully) for attractive, not-too-long shorts for over 2 years. I have pretty much given up. Currently the shorts sold in the US make me look like a dwarf clown. And the J Crew shorts inspire deep boredom. Men who are medium height need shorts that cut mid-thigh or a bit longer, as long as they stop well above the knee. Otherwise we look oddly stunted.
I tried on two pairs for men at marni that essentially represented both ends of the spectrum. as the salesman himself pointed out, the (in this instance) tailored mid-thigh pair looks smarter, as if they might be acceptably worn to lunch at a fancy seafood restaurant in the south of france. however they were not at all comfortable and i’m slim. the longer, less constricting, but not baggy alternative (you can see both versions on the marni website) were much more to my preference and stylish in their own way i think.
I bought some short shorts recently in GAP. White. You can see them on my blog – I think you will agree they are a good size. Although I don’t know whether they retail in the US or not. They seem to have been popular in London at least – sold out.
I’m a man with rather large, unsightly legs, but I guess I feel a little different than most of the folks on here because I loooove to wear Parke and Ronen mid-thigh shorts.
I’ve heard gasps as I walk through Chelsea.
Recently I’ve been reading Aline Crumb’s wonderful graphic memoir “Need More LOVE,” and she says that even though she’s in her fifties and has an ungainly figure, she can’t help wearing tight-fitting clothes.
I think she’s my spiritual godmother. She’s got that Jewishness going on, too!
it's funny that I am reading this entry so late b/c I was living in Florence at the time it was published and the "shorts dilemma" was hot….hadn't discovered you yet! I actually encouraged my hubs to wear shorts a couple of summers ago, and was pleased to see them worn even so formally while in Italy. I tend to prefer a shorter shorts, especially when the legs are nicely proportioned, but as with a woman, there is a fine line between the right length and vulgarity and it can be hard to find without some tailoring, and maybe even trial and error. My hubs is a pretty thin so he tends to go a couple inches longer than midthigh and the pants are slim. that's my 99cents on an old post! Live Green for Green!
I hate shorts below the knee, especially the very baggy ones. They look immature and teenager like. Mid thigh or tight shorts look a little too feminine, and not sexy to me. I like mid length or just above the knee in a relaxed fit, but not baggy – sexy and masculine, but put together.
Thank god that since 2007, shorter shorts are cropping up everywhere….I have no idea who in his right mind would ever propose longer baggier shorts as a trend as it defies the whole purpose of summer wear. And what's ironic is that usually the guys with the best bodies and legs end up wearing the ugliest baggy cargo shorts. I personally prefer something snug around a 7in or shorter inseam