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Short Styles For Men

The weather has officially become hot, gentlemen. While the true dog days are still a few weeks out we thought it pertinent to get ahead of the heat waves to come. Today we’ll go over different styles of shorts, how to wear them, and how Henry A. Davidsen can even make you some of your own. If you’re looking for a post on how long your shorts should be, click on the preceding link.

Shorts Styles

Not all shorts are created equal. There are different styles and cuts, and though they’re generally considered casual wear, some are dressier than others.

Below, we’ll explore some of the most common styles that exist for men.

Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts get their name from their home country, Bermuda. More “short trousers” than “shorts,” their sartorial origin comes from their status as part of the island’s business attire.

As you might imagine, it gets quite hot in Bermuda. When hemmed to about an inch above the knee, these shorts are a component of acceptable professional wear. Traditionally, one pairs them with a dark blue blazer, shirt and tie, dress shoes, and over-the-calf socks.

Remember, image is regional. While the look is de rigeur in Bermuda, it’s very “fashion-y” here in the U.S. and we advise against it in a traditional business setting.

Cargo Shorts

mens cargo shorts on white backgroundLots of men know cargo shorts because we wore them from childhood through our early twenties. With pockets on the outside of each leg, this functionality allows them to carry more “cargo” than other styles.

Cargo shorts have an understandable reputation as unstylish. Associated with children and sloppily-dressed dads, ready-to-wear versions tend to be too long and too baggy. You could be an adonis and you still wouldn’t look good in them.

With that said, if you can find a pair that fits well and has a streamlined look (no exaggeratedly large belt loops, for example), they can be a part of a smart-casual summer outfit. We, of course, suggest making a custom pair (more on that below).

Denim Shorts

young man skateboarding wearing shortsAlso referred to as jorts (a portmanteau of “jeans” and “shorts”), denim shorts can be a challenge to pull off. If you’re going to wear them, keep the following in mind:

  1. Avoid “cutoff” styles that have strings of thread exposed at the hem, unless you’re intentionally going for a young hipster look. Fans of the show Arrested Development will also think of the Tobias Fünke, a cringe-inducing character of many foibles, one of which was a penchant for cutoff shorts.
  2. Like any article of clothing, they should fit well. Opt for a silhouette that flatters your frame, not one that makes you look like you’re swimming in jeans.

Khaki Shorts

grey mid length shorts on young manKhaki shorts are far and away the most popular shorts styles for men, and with good reason. They dress up or down easily, they’re comfortable, and they pair easily with t-shirts, polos, or button-down shirts.

Most men can easily get by with a few solid colors – think navy, khaki, grey, and white. If you’re a bolder dresser, try mauve, green, goldenrod, or light blue.

Chambray Shorts

Chambray is similar in look to denim, but they’re not quite the same – chambray is a plain weave while denim is a twill weave. Chambray also tends to be very lightweight, so it’s a natural fit for summer clothes, namely shirts and shorts.

If you’re looking to keep your cool in the dead of summer, you can’t go wrong in a pair of chambray shorts.

Athletic Shorts

Elastic waistband, moisture-wicking properties, 4-way stretch, and other benefits of athletic shorts are lovely. Still, you should only wear athletic shorts when you’re engaged in athletic endeavors. Outside of that context, they transmit an image of slovenliness.

Custom Shorts For Men

In addition to suits, shirts, and denim, Henry A Davidsen also offers made-to-measure shorts in Philadelphia and New York City. If you’ve ever had issues with fit or can’t find a style or color you prefer, we’re here to help you get the most out of your summer wardrobe. Contact us today to start a conversation about our shorts styles for men.

When & Where To Wear Shorts

When should you wear shorts? Not to be too on the nose, but warm weather is the best indicator.

Where should you wear shorts? That question is a bit more complex, but it’s best to keep the “shorts are casual wear” mantra in mind.

Unless your office is extremely casual, it’s best to relegate shorts to off-hours. In the Northeast, a simple pair of khaki shorts in the summertime is perfect for outdoor lunches and dinners, hitting up a bar at the shore, or just walking around town. Anything on the more formal side, however, may require lightweight (full-length) trousers.

In very casual places like Florida, on the other hand, people might look at you funny if you’re not wearing shorts regardless of the context.

More Reading

We hope you found this information to be helpful! Reach out to us at 215-310-0219 or info@henrydavidsen.com to further the conversation. In the meantime, we invite you to read our other clothing and style articles:

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