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Men's Shorts - The Do's and Dont's of Wearing Shorts

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I recently chatted with a girlfriend about a man she was dating and an unfortunate fashion blunder he was prone to make. She described this man as having unusually nice legs. She even went as far to say that this man’s legs were “just about perfect” in an athletic, muscular, toned sort of way. But the one issue she had with these particular legs and their owner was that they were often seen wearing extra short shorts. As she described it, they weren’t Daisy Duke style cut-offs that are worn by Lieutenant Jim Dangle on Reno 911, or those weird running shorts saved for emaciated speed walkers. This man was going more for Tom Selleck a la Magnum PI. All of this talk of men and shorts got me thinking about the do's and don'ts of men and shorts and so I made a list of both.

Let’s cut to the chase and get to the Don’ts.

  1. Don't wear pleated shorts unless you are golfing. If you do decide to wear shorts with pleats you might as well put on some black socks and white shoes as well. Just add a walker and you've got the old man vibe down with this fashion choice.

  2. Don't wear gym/athletic shorts during a dinner out, a day out around town, and especially don’t wear them on a date. No matter how great your jump shot is or how fantastic your toned legs look, it's just best to save gym shorts for the gym, otherwise you're screaming "I've given up." Note: wearing them around the house and to and from the gym is okay.

  3. Don't wear cut-offs or jean shorts. Jean shorts or "jorts" as they are warmly referred to and cut-offs, their ugly step-sister, just don’t make fashion sense. And putting on a belt, tucking in your shirt and/or clipping your cell phone to your waist won't help the situation. Stick with a nice pair of light weight denim jeans, a nice summer shirt and leather flip flops if you have the urge to wear denim in warm weather. You'll end up looking handsome and put together, not a fashion victim.

  4. Don't forget "the ratio” of the cargo short pocket. There is a specific size of cargo pocket to age of wearer ratio to be aware of--the older the wearer, the smaller the pocket needs to be. The larger size pockets should peak in the teenage/college age set, then grow smaller until they disappear all together by the age of 50, generally speaking. It’s sad but true.

Are there any Do's for a hot guy who wants to stay cool this summer in both in the literal and figurative sense? Yes! Here is a list of Do's:

  1. Do wear a nice flat front khaki short. Don't like khaki? Then opt for a nice olive, stone or navy color. You will look put together and stay cool and comfy. Any length from mid-thigh down to mid-knee is acceptable. A flat-front short looks great with a short sleeve button-down as well as a tee.

  2. Do wear a cool pair of board shorts if you are in a hot climate or are in a beach community. But remember, if it is appropriate to the area you're in you'll look great, but if you are nowhere near water you are going to look like a poser, no matter how handsome you are.

  3. Do wear a linen short if you are going to an upscale party and it’s just too hot for pants. Pair them with a nice leather sandal and a short sleeved linen shirt and you will make heads turn.

  4. Do invest in a trendy short. If you are a fashion forward guy, then you might like G-star from Holland that makes a line of great fitted shorts or Nice Collective from San Francisco that makes some really fun cargo shorts and capris. They might be too trendy and/or expensive for some, but it’s worth it if you want something very current. Banana Republic also makes some trendy shorts which are less expensive.

  5. Do use a self tanner if you have scary white legs (this is especially applicable to me, unfortunately). A self-tanner can really help show off your legs. If you aren’t thrilled about this idea, at least use a self-tanner until you have a little natural color from being outside.

Want buying advice for shorts and swim suits? Then see:

Top Picks In Men's Shorts
Top Picks In Men's Swim Trunks and Board Shorts

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