The Dos And Don'ts For Wearing Shorts This Summer

No one said it would be easy

Most Popular

Cast your eyes across your average high street, park, beach, cafe, pub, supermarket, bowling alley, garden centre or artisanal butcher once the mercury breaks 20, and you'll quickly realise that we men really do struggle to dress well for summer...

Especially when it comes to wearing shorts.

In contrast to the wooly obfuscation of winter, with all its friendly knits, overcoats and dark monochrome, summer offers a glaring, mean-spirited spotlight on our physical and fashionable inadequacies, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

While we can't help too much with those pasty white drumsticks, we can tell you how and how not to style your shorts this summer.

Read on, amigos.

Do | Pay attention to fit

Obvious? Maybe, but you'd be amazed at how many men fall short (so sorry) when it comes to picking out the right length for their shorts.

A solid rule of thumb is to never let your shorts fall below your kneecap, while conversely refraining from buying any that finish more than two-or-so inches above said cap. It's a matter of small degrees making a big difference.

Don't | Buy cargo... ever

While we love Leo, we certainly don't love his choice in legwear

While we might live in post-ironic times where slouchy fits are back in vogue, that luxury does not extend to the cargo short; a sloppy, unflattering, lazy and (did we mention sloppy?) style that should be left in a cupboard inside a house that should then be burned down... twice.

Unless you're eight. They're pretty handy if you're eight. Lots of pockets for yo-yos and fidget spinners and stuff.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Do | Keep it simple

Along with finding the right fit (see point 1), another key element to the perfect pair of shorts lies in their style and colour.

For style, a simple chino with two pockets is a steady favourite. Shorts are one of those rare items in your wardrobe that don't really need to be experimented with. It's hot, you don't want to wear trousers. Don't overthink them.

For colour: navy, charcoal, black, tan and olive are all solid bases. Just steer clear of white. You're not a Serbian playboy.

Don't | Clash patterns

That said, if you do choose to opt for a pair with a subtle pattern, be sure to then keep your top half as unfussy as possible.

Leave the Hawaiian camp collar shirt for your navy chino shorts, basically.

Do | Pay attention to socks

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Another easy one that's so often overlooked, either wear those invisible socks that make it look like you're not wearing any at all (just without the hygeine and sweaty shoe problems), or - if you're brave enough to go for the skater look - buy a calf-length pair with minimum branding that suit your Vans Old Skools and non-existent skateboard.

Those in-between sort-of ankle socks that poke two inches over the top of trainers are the absolute worst.

Don't | Overdress them

OVERKILL

Just because you're wearing shorts doesn't mean that you can't look smart, but you should still understand your limitations, which means not pairing them with a double-breasted blazer, tie and tan leather monk strap shoes.

Yes, there might well be that one Italian sprezzatura street style hero on Instagram who can kind of make it work on the cobbled streets of Florence in July, but you (and we) should really be wearing trousers when looking to dust off the seersucker or linen blazer this summer.

(*Bonus) Don't | buy an all-in-one playsuit for men

But you already knew that...

Some Inspiration

From left: Shirt, £200, Fanmail; Espadrilles, £70, Castañerer; Shorts, £135, Beams Plus

From left: Breton, £110, AMI; Shorts, £120, Oliver Spencer; Trainers, £49, Novesta

From left: Shirt, £119, Folk; Loafers, £430, Gucci; Shorts, £125, AMI