September 20, 2014

A Shorts Story


Nantucket navy/red plaid shorts and True Religion Camo shorts at Nordstrom

In the U.S. and Europe, short trousers were usually only worn by boys—rarely by adult men, other than sportsmen. That all changed during World War II when soldiers deployed in tropical locations were provided with “shorts” as an essential part of their kit. Since then, they’ve been a staple in a man’s casual summer wardrobe and a year round choice in Southwest Florida. Here’s a few short tips for choosing yours:

If your legs are on the thin side, go for a pair of shorts with a slimmer cut. Anything too loose or too wide will result in excess fabric flapping around your lean limbs like sails around a mast.

The aim is to keep your silhouette long and lean, but if you’re hesitant as to how slim you can go, a tapered cargo short with pockets positioned just above the hemline will give the appearance of a straighter leg without bagginess.

A word of caution about pockets on cargo shorts. Just because they’re there, they don’t need to be stuffed to bursting point—you’ll spoil the outline and weigh yourself down.

Your own body proportions (i.e. long body/short legs) need to be considered in choosing your best length but in general, shorts should finish around 2 inches above the knee. If they’re too long, it’s a simple alteration to have them shortened, and it can make all the difference to how they look.

Go sockless. The line of a sock cutting across the ankle will visually shorten the length of your leg. After all, if you’re wearing shorts, it’s because it’s hot—you don’t need socks.

Fashion expert Cheryl Lampard is the founder of Style Matters International, www.stylemattersinternational.com