LOS ANGELES Who wears short shorts? This summer, men wear short shorts, according to a delightful fashion dispatch from the Wall Street Journal’s David Coleman.
“In the past few years, the low-water-mark length of a 15-inch-or-so inseam receded to knee-length (11 inches), then a knee-baring 9 inches, then to a quadriceps-exposing 7 inches and on to the newly fashionable thigh-flaunting 5 inches,” Coleman reports. “If men’s shorts were a glacier in Greenland, scientists would be freaking out.”
Is this a fake trend story? God, I hope not.
“Since the turn of the century – the late ’90s, early aughts – we have been plagued by unsightly shorts. It’s unclear who is to blame. Hip-hop? Rave? Surfers? Skateboarders? It doesn’t matter, really. The hideous trend slithered onto men nationwide, curling its tentacles around the legs of innocent dudes and sheathing them in the most terrible way. And it’s held on for so long,” she wrote.
“Bring up that hemline!” she compelled the men of summer. “Show us your legs.”
Not everyone is on board. “We love @Jezebel but this post is not only wrong, it’s dangerous,” Mother Jones magazine squealed. Another armchair hemline measurer was more to the point: “Men in short shorts, it’s just wrong. Don’t wear short shorts out … we don’t need to see it.”
If short shorts on men are dangerous, then I welcome a state of emergency. The shorter short can, of course, make for a compelling visual – Daniel Craig emerging, boy-shorted, from the sea in “Casino Royale” – but short shorts on men also confer social benefits to everyone.
A man needn’t reach Hollywood levels of fitness to play. To the contrary! All body types are welcome in this Campaign for Short-Shorted Men. The Huffington Post called resurfaced photographs of Bill Clinton and Al Gore on the 1992 campaign trail in itsy-bitsy running shorts “embarrassing,” but in my view, discriminating against the body of the short wearer would be antithetical to the very spirit of the hemline lift.
So bring on the Luke Dukes. But hold off on accepting the news that socks with sandals are suddenly fashionable – that story is totally bogus.
Hess is a writer in Los Angeles.
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