AA Gill On... Suits With Shorts

Our resident agony uncle tackles your dilemmas

AA,

I've never really liked the look of those suits with shorts (you know, the ones that get photographed every year in the summer), but I saw a guy in a magazine wearing one and he did look quite cool and I'm thinking maybe I should take the plunge and try it. Can you talk me out of it?

Dear Nick,

This is simple: don't. It will never look like the picture. The boys in magazines are there to fool you into imagining that you will look just like them, but even models wouldn't wear shorts suits unless they were paid to. This particular fashion is a practical joke that originated in Bermuda. Bermuda is a small island, placed as far away from everywhere else as possible because it is the Alcatraz of golf courses, idiotic ideas, misers' money, and it's where they sent Edward VIII. The real reason you don't want to be seen in a suit with shorts is because it projects mixed messages: your top half says, "I'm ready for work and I'm serious"; your bottom half yawns, "I'm going to the park and I'm an idiot". If you're going to work, no one will believe your heart is in it and if you go to the park you'll look like a twat. So either way, it lacks self awareness, is indecisive and undermines its own purpose either way. Designers always want to muck about with suits, to deconstruct them, particularly the trousers – don't be taken in or up by them.

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