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Men’s Shorts Guide, DO’s & DON’Ts & How To Look Good in Man Shorts

Men’s Shorts Guide, DO’s & DON’Ts & How To Look Good in Man Shorts


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In
today’s video, we talk about men’s shorts, what to wear, what mistakes to avoid, what
styles are out there, and of course, history. In Europe, men early on wore knee breeches
but the shorts, as we know them today, actually go back to the Military. Shorts were purely
practical and were meant to help soldiers that were heavily packed in tropical climates
to feel cooler. On the 1800’s, school boy uniforms included knickerbockers which were
shorter and over time, it turned into shorts. In the 1900’s in the US, companies started
advertising shorter pants as athletic wear but it would take until 30’s until men would
actually wear them when playing tennis. Up until then, men actually wore white flannel
trousers, sounds quite uncomfortable right? It’s hard to imagine that men did that. Once
men realized the comfort of shorts, they became really popular. Today, we’re at the point
where men oftentimes wear them even though they shouldn’t. Now let’s look at the different types of shorts.
First one is the tennis shorts. They’re slightly shorter and cut wider so you can do biggers
steps, there are no restrictions. Originally, they’re made of cotton or wool, today they’re
usually made of Florence fibers. They’re great on the tennis court but not meant to be worn
outside. One of the more popular shorts today are the
so-called cargo shorts. They’re defined by additional pockets, oftentimes on the side
and they’re practical in the sense that you can carry more, they’re extremely unstylish.
While some may argue they’re practical in certain situations like camping, they’re always
downright ugly and superfluous because you rarely carry anything in them therefore, if
you wear shorts, I urge you not to wear cargo shorts. Pleated shorts are sometimes considered very
outdated, on the other hand, they’re actually quite practical especially if you have bigger
thighs or a larger seat and you need more room. They look particularly nice in linen
because it combines slightly casual character with a slightly more formal element of the
pleats. If you don’t have big thighs, the flat front
shorts are the way to go. They’re basically the same cut without any pleats which gives
you a slightly trimmer look and feel. They’re most common in cotton twill fabric and oftentimes
worn or paired with polo shirts. To learn more about Polo shirts, please check out our
in-depth guide, here. Denim shorts were popular in the 1970s and
80’s but honestly, they’re really outdated and you should not wear them. One of the famous, classic shorts are so-called
Bermuda shorts. They’re named after Bermuda which was a British overseas territory. They’re
basically shorts just end about an inch or 2 and a half centimeters above the knee, they’re
cut pretty wide with pleats. This is a perfect example of a pair of Bermuda shorts. They’re
not very flattering if you have very skinny legs because they’re very wide. I personally
would only suggest them to men who either like the vintage look of them or who have
very big thighs and like the airy feel. Traditionally, they came in beige and khaki colors, today,
they also come in navy and all kinds of patterns. In the Carribean, they’re actually oftentimes
combined with blazers or part of a shorts suit which is then paired with over the calf
socks. While that’s a very cool look for the natives in the Carribean,it just looks odd
outside. Generally, shorts should not be worn without a neckwear or dress shirts but if
you’re in Bermuda and you’re wearing one, you can actually combine it in that way. The next type of style is the so-called board
shorts. They are used for surfing or for swimming or for beach wear but other than that, they’re
not really appropriate for anything else. As you may know, I’m from Germany and many
people ask me about Lederhosen which translates to leather pants that are usually shorts.
Now let me be very clear about this, you will never ever see a German wear these pants.
They’re just part of Bavarian culture but Bavaria to Germany is a bit like Texas to
the USA. So unless you go to the Oktoberfest, don’t wear lederhosen and don’t ask Germans
if they wear them either. A classic favorite of mine are the so-called
madras shorts or plaid shorts. Madras is a special fabric from India and you can learn
about it more in our guide. they pair really well with solid Polo shirts and they have
that summery feel especially when you wear it with boat shoes. In terms of the cut, it’s
nice to have some elements of classic tailoring such as ticket pockets, regular pleats, or
even side adjusters. FOr more in-depth analysis, more details and more history, please check
out our in-depth guide on the website about men’s summer shorts. In terms of length, shorts should end always
above the knee but the exact length depends a little bit on your height. If you’re a shorter
guy, you should go with an inseam about 6-7 inches. If you’re taller, about 9-10 inches
will work better. When it comes to materials, cotton is definitely
a favorite of many men because it’s soft and durable. Sometimes, it’s stretched with polyester
but you should avoid that and go for a 100% cotton especially when your fabric’s madras. Another popular material is linen. It’s airy
and has this soft, summer character, look, and crisp feel. Board shorts or swim trunks
should always have some polyester, maybe with a little bit of cotton but ideally, you want
something that dries very quickly so you don’t have to sit in your wet shorts on the beach
chair. When it comes to shorts colors, navy or any
shade of blues is very popular. I also like salmon or pastel colors as well as bold madras
patterns in yellow, red, burgundy, and mottled green. Since this is a summer garment, don’t
be afraid to go lighter, just make sure there’s enough contrast with your polo shirt or whatever
you would wear. Now let’s talk about shorts do’s and dont’s.
First of all, pay close attention to fit. Ideally, if you want a leg that is slightly
larger than your thigh, comfortable when you sit, waist should fit snuggly like a regular
pair of pants. When you go with patterns, go for something
classic such as stripes, checks, or dots. Camo may be in fashion right now, but it won’t
be in two years from now. Make sure to wear light colored or even better,
skin toned color underwear when you have light shorts otherwise, your underwear will show
through. Don’t ever wear shorts with a dress shirt
or a blazer unless you’re in Bermuda. Never wear shorts to your office.
Make sure there are no visible socks you can wear an invisible sock or you can wear boat
shoes barefoot. If you go with a light pair of shorts, make
sure they have no pockets or a pocket lining that’s as close to your skin tone as possible
otherwise, it’ll show through, Don’t ever wear denim shorts or cargo shorts
because they’re ugly. Athletic shorts, bike shorts, board shorts
should only be worn for their original purpose and not for anything else. Many men wear their shorts with flipflops
and that’s something you should only wear when you’re on the beach or a designated setting.
most of the time it looks really sloppy and unflattering. Overall, shorts are great in a casual setting,
when it’s really hot outside but generally, a long pair of pants will flatter you much
more and make you look a lot more stylish. Otherwise, a breathable pair of fresco pants
or seersucker pants will always trump your shorts. If you enjoyed this video, please sign up
here and we’ll teach you more about other summer outfits and fabrics and how to look
stylish.


Reader Comments

  1. In the summer I attend a lot of outdoor jazz concerts many near a river front venue's during the months of July and August it gets extremely hot I find wearing shorts with a nice polo is idea and a comfortable way to enjoy the concerts thanks for the video

  2. honestly yeah the picture of cargo shorts in the video looked awful but you'd be surprised how stylish well fitted tan or grey cargo shorts can be, plenty of people wear them, not to mention they're comfortable, not everyone likes to wear flimsy shorts

  3. Perfect timing Sven!!! I was doing research yesterday on this same subject… I'm glad you provided a video that is so practical for summer time!!! You're the man!

  4. Please speak louder, because at times because of the way you vocalize certain syllables, it's difficult to understand

  5. The sad truth is that, just like corduroys and turtlenecks, there is still a time and a place for cargo and jean shorts. However that time and place seldom (if ever) occurs for adult men or gentlemen, as it were. Both one's age and the image one is trying to project at a given occasion has a great deal to do with it. Even at a back-yard-bar-b-que, a 55 year old man can't pull off cargo shorts and a football jersey. While the 22 year old might appear properly attired in the same outfit eleven feet away.. But, I suppose, if I was attempting to sell a tractor trailer load of plaid Bermuda shorts, I might give the same advice. Fashion trends come and go and come and go. I'm not burning my turtlenecks just yet. I'm still holding on to my Bugle Boy tapered leg jeans from 1987. Lol. You never know.

  6. In Florida, flip flops are a part of the common culture. I own a cheap pair for the beach and around the house, as well as a 'dressy' pair. While they are more casual than a boat shoe, flip flops can be worn in FL much more commonly than in other places. (source: me, a 36 year native)

  7. Very informative, but it seems that the volume of your voice is much lower than the volume of the music (and is just quiet in general). Other than that, good stuff.

  8. My most favorite is a Beige/Navy Flat Front Shorts….i want to own both but i haven't wore any bcoz i just prefer chinos as they r kinda dressy 🙂

  9. What, you're from Germany? I didn't know that! Great to finally see some great style advice from your own country!

  10. I am from Austria and Lederhosen are actually quite common here. I'm not talking abot an everyday setting of course, but people often wear traditional Tracht instead of a suit when they attend a formal event. I hate it and I don't own Lederhosen, because I don't think they're appropriate in church, at a wedding, or a funeral, but people often wear them. Now that I'm done I'm starting to question my own sanity, because we both speak German as our native language, but I still commented in English.
    Auf Wiedersehen aus Österreich!

  11. Hey! Does Sven has always had that light beard shadow?, maybe he intentionally led it grow to give a more casual touch to the video jeje I think is cool.

  12. Morning sarks😘 it's deffo a sweat pants day, I'm still in my basket & im staying here for at least another hour☕️📖☕️

  13. idk what to wear for shorts anymore honestly, I know everyone says not to wear cargo shorts I personally like their practicality but if they're ugly not much you can do about that. Other shorts just look so plain and boring to me, pleated or flat front, idk I have a tough time finding something I like. Athletic shorts of all kind seem ok on hot summer days but I feel pretty scrubby and or lazy wearing them around constantly. Jean shorts look like shit too but I have seen a lot of dudes pull them off if they're cut offs or rolled up a bit and more tight, I usually see this look on more hipster or surfer types.

    idk what to wear dudes, I hate regular khaki looking shorts that are super short, Im cool with slightly above the knee but some dudes are riding a bit high if you follow me.

    im kind of opening up to madras but idk, there are some okay patterns I've seen for them, they're kind of ugly I think though.

    I know pants look better but got damn it gets hot where I live I cant wear pants half the year.

  14. Cargo shorts are ok if they fall above the knee and have flat pockets. Denim shorts should definitely never be worn: they make men look feminine!

  15. I'm like 5'6" I been wearing 9" shorts at least I roll them up but I think I need to start wearing 7" shorts it might look a little better on me.

  16. Hello Raphael, I was wondering if you could wear shorts with suspenders? Or is that a faux pas?

    Thanks in advance! Kind regards,
    Remco

  17. Mr. Sven, would wearing a hat with shorts work. If so, what type of hats should I wear. I live in Tucson AZ, so wearing shorts is a must. I like the look of hats and would like to know if it is possible.

  18. Here in Baden-Württemberg Lederhosen are worn to all sorts of events in the summer, so they are not excusively bavarian and they are not quite as rare as you make them seem to be

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