A good short these days is hard to find

We've talked before here about the difficulty of finding the right pair of shorts. One problem is that by the time you want them they’re probably sold out or been taken off the shop floor, because of the insane way shops change their stock over from summer to winter in July. Secondly, because getting a good shape and a good fabric in the same pair is rare.

Until recently we’d have said it’s near impossible, but then we paid a visit to Pakeman Catto & Carter’s shop in Cirencester (don’t worry they have a good website), and bought their modestly-priced drill shorts in three of the available four colours.

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 The shorts have two selling points. Firstly they are made from a heavy fabric so that they’ll wear well and hold their shape (fancier shorts in lighter cloth usually lose their looks after the first wash). Secondly the cut sits up on the waist rather than down on the hips, which is both more comfortable and appears to lengthen the leg. And they have turn ups, which we like this summer, and which allows us to refer to them as ‘Empire Builders’.

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For another, more expensive, style of eccentrically old-fashioned shorts try Rubinacci on London’s Mount Street. Better known as the world’s best-regarded tailor Rubinacci also does some ready to wear pieces including these gurkha shorts with a cross over waistband, which are very ‘The English Patient’. Resist the temptation to swap your panama for a pith helmet.

£130 for Rubinacci (pictured left), £38.50 for Pakeman (right)