Shorts are fantastic fashion staples but at the same time they are extremely versatile pieces. Shorts can be a wonderful thing to wear: they are comfortable, they look amazing and they let you feel free even if you choose to dress them up! They were introduced to the world on a wide scale after WW II and became the staple of sports, summer time and hot times. Shorts come in many styles and can be matched with a very wide variety of outfits! The more you know about shorts, the better you will be wearing them! In this compact guide, we go through the things you need to know about shorts, such as how they should fit, how long they should be, with what you should wear them and so on, so that you make an informed decision the next time you decide to put on a pair of shorts.
Shorts, even if they are short, are still pants and therefore should be treated as such. A good pair of shorts, regardless of their style or length, should fit your waist well, without being too loose or too tight. Remember that your waist size is your pants size. This way, if measure your waist before your buy a new pair of pants, you can always be sure you will know exactly what size you are.
A pair of shorts should not be too baggy, even though some shorts can be looser than others. Some shorts are too tight, which is OK only if you want people to think that you forgot to put on pants over your winter underwear. Back to the loose pants, these are not as dressy as those that form a parallel straight line to your legs, which is why you should keep them for doing physical activities, such as working outside or playing sports.
Shorts come in various lengths, but there are three major categories: long, medium and short.
Long shorts, as amusing as that might sound are any shorts that go below the knee. While these might work in some situations, they are usually quite hard to pull off, as they the neither long nor short. We generally think that pieces that look clear and sharp are the best and this is why we recommend avoiding this type of pants. Also, try not to go for baggy pants unless you really need all that movement space. Note that if you use mobility as a reason to wear baggy pants, you should know that baggy pants are rather uncomfortable and are more movement-restrictive if you think about it, due to the fact that there’s so much fabric that needs to set. Well-fitting pants will take the shape of your leg and more along with it. Also, we don’t recommend bands or dangly stuff as they don’t look well and can get you tangled in all kinds of things.
Medium shorts are any shorts that end somewhere on your knees or a little higher. These are very common because they look amazing and are very comfortable. They allow your legs to breathe and move and can be matched to any type of outfit. Medium shorts can also end just where your knees end, but if they are longer than that, they will fit in the “long” category.
Different types of medium shorts. These are the most common and versatile styles. Notice the other pieces: the shirts, the shoes and the socks (or the lack of)
Short shorts are one of those things about which most men have a clear and unmovable opinion. They either like them very much, or they can’t stand them. Some guys claim that men should never wear such short pants, but we don’t think that there’s a limit to how short you can go, as long as it is clear that you are wearing pants. If you can’t tell whether what you are wearing are pants or underwear (both in terms of length and cut), you should drop those pants.
There is no right or wrong color for shorts. They can be anything from simple beige to bright yellow. Remember that neutral colors can be matched with anything. These colors are: beige, black, white, gray, khaki, dark blue etc. If your pants come in any of these colors, you can wear with pieces of any other color. The same goes reversed as well: if you are already wearing something in a neutral color, your pants can have any color you want: from light pink to bright green.
When it comes to fabrics, we think that you should always go for light, natural fabrics. The reason for this is because these fabrics will allow your legs to breathe and they will feel extremely comfortable. You can wear linen pants, chino pants or even cotton pants, but we recommend that you stay away from denim (because they don’t look great) or nylon shorts. Wearing synthetic fibers will make you feel either too hot or too warm and they can lead to feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes wearing synthetic fibers can make the wearer so uncomfortable, that his whole attitude changes!
You can also wear patterned shorts, even though they are not very common. Remember that horizontal stripes usually make you look slimmer, while horizontal stripes make you look somewhat bigger. Seersucker is a great pattern that works great on shorts.
You can even wear patterned shorts with patterned shirts, cardigans, socks or jackets. The rule to mixing patterns is that if the patterns are very colorful, they should go together well. You can use the color wheel to learn how to put colors together, but if you choose to be safe, make sure that the patterns are of the same saturation and that at least one of the colors comes about in both. The number one rule to matching patterns is that they should be of different sizes, especially if you are wearing the same pattern twice.
For example, thick stripes always go with thin stripes; big dots make a good match with small dots. The only time you are allowed to break this rule is if you are wearing the exact same pattern, just that in different colors or with another small variation.
When and how to wear them
Shorts are appropriate with any type of outfit, and at pretty much any occasion, with the exception of formal events, business meetings and other similar settings that is. You can wear shorts both during the day and during the night, with t-shirts or with shirts and they always look better if you add a belt. Don’t forget that it is not recommended to tuck your t-shirt in your pants, even if you are wearing short pants.
Shorts are great because they can work great with any kind of outfit. Just make sure that you keep your outfit color-coordinated and that you keep it in a line. If you decide to wear a shirt with your shorts, you should probably add a pair of dress shoes such as boating shoes or loafers; nothing too dressy or shiny, as these are reserved for long pants only!
Notice how these outfits are very similar, but how the details make all the difference: there’s one thing to wear shorts with sneakers and another to wear them with dress shoes. Also, choosing a shirt over a t-shirt can really set the whole vibe of your shirts and of your whole outfit!
On the other hand, if you wear a scoop-neck t-shirt with shorts, make sure that your belt is not too dressy and you can even match your outfit to a pair of sneakers for a sportier look. Sneakers are hard to match, so make sure they go well with your outfit.
There you have it! Shorts are amazing fashion pieces; you can go below or above the knee and you can dress them up or down, depending on your style and taste! Just make sure you keep them in line with your whole outfit and with your shoes and you are ready to go!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What do you think of shorts? Do you like wearing them? What length do you opt for? Do you like to wear them with casual outfits or with semi-formal ones? Leave us a comment or a question and make sure you follow us on our social media!
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