Wednesday, September 6, 2006

On The Street……The Shape Of Things To Come, East Village

I really like two things about this look

-The mid-thigh length short is where mens shorts will be headed next summer. I’m so tired of cargo shorts.

- I really like the brown leather belt with this look. It seems like something you would see in a store display but not do at home but then you see it in real life and it looks great.
Actually ,and maybe more importantly, I didn’t really notice the belt until I looked at the photo later. If I did the brown belt with a casual outfit I would be afraid it would be the first thing people noticed but I see it here and it is so subtle.

Well Done!


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  1. RoseAG

    September 6, 2006 at 9:22 am

    how come you like the belt on this guy, but make no mention of a missing belt on the guy in the chino pants?

  2. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 9:27 am

    I like the look also , the big pants and flip-flops are getting old ……. but one question : did Biff get lost ?? Greenwich is in the other direction

  3. Rafe

    September 6, 2006 at 9:27 am

    Can’t wait for next spring summer. All my shorts are getting cropped. Of course you have to have legs like his to carry this length successfully. The brown belt is the perfect finishing touch. Is he actually going for a tennis match or just slumming around?

  4. Lit

    September 6, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Surely he shouldn’t be wearing the white socks!Takes what could’ve been a great, current look and makes it look circa 1982 and without any irony!Shoes and socks ruin it,I’m afraid.

  5. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 9:31 am

    i wish he hadn’t worn socks (or wore the really low ones) to make the look less comical and uptight and more laid back. is that a tote he’s carrying or a knapsack? i think totes for men are THE shape of things to come.

  6. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 9:32 am

    He looks more UES than EV.

    I need a man like that.

  7. we could grow up together

    September 6, 2006 at 9:32 am

    prince charming. prince charming.

  8. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 9:37 am

    i just don’t get it … & guys should only wear thigh lenght shorts if they have good legs …

    • maria

      July 1, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      He has good legs, and shorts should be short…also, the rise is nice and high…none of this pants below the hip line.

  9. The Sartorialist

    September 6, 2006 at 9:44 am

    Because this guy is wearing shorts and a brown leather belt.

  10. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 9:55 am

    Wowie Zowie! But what’s with the bag?

  11. Butch

    September 6, 2006 at 9:55 am

    Suddenly it’s 1982. Cleaned up.

  12. lacey

    September 6, 2006 at 10:20 am

    I know what you mean about cargo shorts… I think I was tired of them ever since the start! I love these shorts!!

  13. Ortensia

    September 6, 2006 at 10:26 am

    How couldn’t have you mentioned the white socks…come on…the 1st faux pas…stressed by their lenght

  14. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 10:31 am

    ….yes, long shorts are looking so tired…long live short …but one does tend to get ‘looks’ in shorter shorts, not sure if that is good or bad.

    re the tote……totes are brilliant and sensible…i am not sure why they are considered ‘femme’ in the U.S.
    ….go to tokyo and the men’s bag departments are [and always have been] bursting with clever totes.

    more tote news please.

  15. The Sartorialist

    September 6, 2006 at 11:16 am

    I have finally stumbled upon the mens equivalent of the women’s issue with leggings!!

    I think his socks look fine and white with a sporty outfit looks appropriate.

  16. Jean S

    September 6, 2006 at 11:55 am

    Reality check from the boonies: Here in Portland, men wear ragg socks with their Birkenstocks, so … this guy looks pretty damn good to me.

  17. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Cool look, not very sure about the white socks with that particular shoes ( I may be wrong, though )

    Talking about totes, anybody can help where to find the clever ones other than Bottega Veneta ( nice but bloody rip off ) or Jack Spade ? Thank you

  18. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    I’m going to have to agree with most people here. White socks are for the gym or out running. Once you put a leather belt on and tuck your shirt in – no white socks – coloured or sans would be a better look.

  19. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    very kennedy-esque

  20. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    I’m a fashion coward. I love the look of mid thigh shorts but I’m too afraid to ever wear something like that out in public. As “liberal” as New York is, I know that as a man if I go out in those shorts I won’t make it 5 blocks without being called twinkle-toes or something. :-(

    I’ll wait till this particular trend is more mainstream before I sport it.

  21. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    John Karr-esqe.

  22. Teri

    September 6, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    He looks so clean and charming…How did you find him, Sart? It’s kind of hard to find a guy like him on these days…Hot!

  23. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    I loved the shoes and thought the belt was little heavy for this light summery look, My husband would love the belt though. Maybe its a guy thing…

  24. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    The belt does not really fit with the shoes and the socks.

    I cannot think of an adequate combination of shoes/socks/belt.

    The only way to go is without socks.
    My shoes preference would be very soft mocassin driver style.

    Anyway I hate shorts and consider a bit ridicolous men wearing them in urban settings.

  25. Rafe

    September 6, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    I would have preferred no socks as well but all in all I love the look. The length of the short is perfect and so next season. The tote is perfect instead of a messenger bag. Yes, in Tokyo more men wear totes than messenger bags. I keep hoping American men will catch on but I have yet to see it in a big way here. Basta cargo shorts and basta messenger bags!

  26. Pata

    September 6, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    Dear Sart,

    you know i respect you a lot , but i´m learning there are differences between you ,me ,and our opinion on shorts for men.

    I hate , loathe (hope this word it´s ok.) , this look.The shorts are too short , the socks with those shoes are too girly , I don´t understand the bag? purse?
    And most of all : that hair , that face …mmmm…not with this ensemble.
    I agree with you about being sick of cargo shorts, but I see no next look for men shorts here.

    Love you always ,


  27. MD

    September 6, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    Okay, blogger is giving me weird error messages, so here’s hoping third time is a charm…

    This look is so Wilt Stillman ‘Metropolitan’ (if a summer tennis edition existed). I sort of love it, actually! Preppies are people, too. Isn’t that the utterly humane and urbane core of ‘Metropolitan’, deb parties and all? Speaking of the deb parties, don’t those ruffly party dresses hold up awfully well?

    You really do have a wonderful eye.

  28. 4chair

    September 6, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    The socks are great. With a polo, a belt looks good, thats what’s so great about polos.
    Longer socks? Shorter socks? No socks?
    Who would dare take this great American classic look and turn it into a self conscious hipster tragedy…

  29. herringbonekid

    September 6, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    looks like an ex-private school boy on his way home from tennis club. or a ralph lauren outfit going for the same look.

  30. thecoherent

    September 6, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    i love the outfit since it is nice to see that other guys wear mid-thigh shorts. i’ve been wearing them since last summer and yes, sart, i think this upcoming 07 summer they will be big. but still, we have to keep in mind that this is america and guys will think they are too “gay” to wear. ugh. can this country ever change??

  31. Jessica

    September 6, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    i do like the belt…but i must say i really hope that all men don’t start wearing mid-thigh shorts…the thought of it just makes me cringe

  32. The Right Reverend Rabbi Judah

    September 6, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    The socks are questionable with the white yachting sneakers, but all’s forgiven because he matches his eyebrows and front hair hairlights with the shorts. Now that’s what I call attention to detail.

  33. ageez

    September 6, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    who cares about the socks. those are SOME legs!

  34. Kathleen

    September 6, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    Agree with the Kennedy-esque comment: this is too preppy for me.

    But it seems to wear well on him – it’s obviously his vibe. And I can cope with the white socks because they seem appropriate for his athletic context.

  35. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    ……someone commenting here ‘hates’ shorts in urban settings???…..well, i LIVE in the TROPICS….be it bangkok, singapore, bali…near the equator, and i think on weekends its damn OK for me to sport short shorts in an ‘urban’ setting, no? its HOT. and if girls can wear tiny summer dresses, why do my legs have to stay hot? unless they are stick thin, of course.

    i don’t think the tote or shorty shorts will take off big time in the U.S really……men are still men, it seems, over there. is a tote sending out other messages?

  36. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    I think mid-thigh shorts are a little too short to be worn by a lot of men. Personally I prefer them to end a little above the knee. A compromise between this guy’s shorts and cargo shorts.

  37. Tamberk

    September 6, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    When I first saw this look, I thought it looked nerdy, especially the socks and it’s almost too literal in the old preppy sense, I thought maybe longer slimmer shorts were coming for next spring and I think they will, but on second thought, the idea of the shorter shorts on a guy can look quite hot and I’d love to see this look on a sexier guy!
    Good trendspotting, Sarto!

  38. Anonymous

    September 6, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    Wow! As a lady I have to jump for joy at the shorter man short. Mmm mmm mmm next summer can’t come FAST enough.

  39. Irish Eyes

    September 6, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Kennedy-esque? yeah more like Jimmy Kennedy… He looks supine and unlikely to work up a sweat at anything other than pulling the ring pull off that can of Coke. ‘I say, anyone for tennis chaps?..’ (Exit Stage Right through French Doors etc etc). Yawn…

  40. EMNH

    September 7, 2006 at 1:21 am

    It’s funny how there was a time lapse on you noticing the brown leather belt.

    My husband is 38 years old and just realized that major league baseball players all wear leather belts with their uniforms.

    As for the may be all the rage by next spring..but that doesn’t mean its the best look on men. I like suits with an impeccable fit. Casual and sporty clothes look better a little loose. It makes them look modern. I’m not advocating three sizes too big…just an easiness.

    I still like baggy shorts on men…I keep thinking of Ralph Fiennes in “The English Patient”. That’s when it’s done well.

    This guy looks good…but the fit is nostalgic…he wears his “tennis outfit” like Woody Allen in Annie Hall.

  41. positive_negative

    September 7, 2006 at 10:41 am

    i have to say that as much as i would like to see a change as well in men’s summer fashion, this gentleman’s outfit really looks constricting and uncomfortable if you’re doing anything but standing still.

    as unflattering as cargo shorts may be to alot of people, the advantage they have over these shorts are that they are more forgiving to varying body types. plus, this look seems aimed to one specific group.

  42. hoi polloi

    September 7, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    If you can’t say anything nice…..

  43. Anonymous

    September 7, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    Have any of you been to a SEC school. The vast majority of fraternities are outfitted in a very similar fashion; 6″ inseam is the norm. I might skip the socks though, Unless a girl was involved and then I wouldn’t want her to smell my feet.

  44. Anonymous

    September 7, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    Wow, has the East Village ever gentrified. 1985, we hardly knew ye.

  45. a.

    September 7, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    i LOVE the circa-1982-without-irony aspect of it. looks like he could be straight out of whit stillman’s metropolitan… yummy!

    ok i just finished reading all the comments and MD also saw the metropolitan connection! heh.

    sart, i think your title for this post is spot-on. clearly the look has inspired many divergent opinions, which is what (to me) makes it great.

    i also love that there’s a lot of leg being exposed. finally us women get something to look at. plus, a man who can wear fitted shorts like this is clearly secure in his masculinity, since he has to go up against the closemindedness of so many americans. bravo.

  46. Elam Bend

    September 7, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve never minded having cargo pockets, but the length of the shorts have always been too much. I found one pair of mid-thigh shorts, with pockets and they are my favorites (they are blue-grey and I always wear a belt).

    My girlfriend hates them becaust they have pockets, but at least they aren’t skateboard shorts.

  47. Anonymous

    September 7, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Just like the whole controversy with Polo being the official sponsor for the U.S. Open (Polo on the Tennis Court???)…this Yalie needs to ditch the socks…

    The shorts, belt and tucked in look are fine…but the picture should’ve been cropped at his calves to save the poor man from the scrutiny of mean fashion whores.

    Couldn’t he have scrapped the gym socks and Vans for a pair of loafers (sockless) that actually highlighted his belt…or at least sport proper Jack Purcells (also sockless)…it’s looks more stripmall than Downtown…more Woody Allen School of Style than UES. It’s the little things that make the look!

  48. Anonymous

    September 11, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    in Athens, GA is where this look originated–this is the base layer–add sunglasses worn backwards on the neck w/ foam strap, deep tan, muscular calves, button down and bowtie for night, and preferably colored khakis, not stonewash. love that the dirty south is enjoying a revival.

  49. Anonymous

    September 19, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Scott this look does not deserve a comment from you, to me it is as interesting as boiled potatoes and common among the east side set, nothing new!. Scott, I question your taste.

    Here’s a thought maybe you like the look because of who wearing it?

  50. Anonymous

    September 19, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    anonymous… I’m pretty sure this “look” was originated by the East Coast upper eclon families and worn by the upper echelon private school boys from Exeter, Andover, Deerfield, etc. I’m pretty sure RL started being modeled in the East Coast, as well. Sorry.

  51. The Sartorialist

    September 19, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    to Anon 4:06 pm
    maybe it is common on the East Coast but my readership is extremely international so what looks common to you may be fresh to someone in Japan or Sweden –

    I know its hard but think outside your own backyard

  52. MrRonfeld

    August 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    no no no… this is wonderful. it is simple, it is tasteful, it is what I have been wearing since my first tennis lesson, and I see no reason to change something so good

  53. Anonymous

    August 31, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I’m not digging the socks and shoes on this dude.

  54. Yvette

    October 30, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Excuse me sir, could i interest you in a pims and lemonade?

  55. Michael Scott

    April 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Shocking flashback. I wore this exact same outfit in high school in 1980s but with a woven leather RL belt…Yikes…

  56. GB

    January 10, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    What’s funny is how this seemed kind so radical back in 2006 when this article was first published, but now it’s much more common now, and I finally made the switch last summer (2014) when I got four (4) pair from Topman. My style was quiet similar to this using some 4-inch inseam shorts, tucked in polo shirt and similar looking belt, although I paired them with plimsolls and some liner socks. Guys who are still leery (I was one of them) about making the transition to so-called “short shorts” have no idea what they’re missing in the way of comfort and, if I may say so, a more classic (timeless?) and grownup looking style.

  57. Piotr

    October 20, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Cargo shorts- Nope (!)
    Tight, not baggy shorts- Yes.
    Mid-thigh length-I don’t think so.
    Dark color belt with light color shorts- sure, why not.

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