What’s going on with men’s shorts these days? If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed shorts are trending shorter this season – a day in men’s fashion I never thought I’d live to see. But, alas, it is happening. The world hasn’t seen this much American man-thigh since Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies shocked our senses back in the eighties.
You’ve been seeing all those viral videos for “Chubbies” leading the “sky’s out, thighs out” charge circulating the internet for a while now, I’m guessing? You didn’t want to believe it was for real, did you? Yeah, me neither. If this shrinking inseam scene works for you, great, but if you’re not quite ready to climb aboard the thiceps-are-the-new-biceps bandwagon, there is an alternative.
While most retailers are carrying these dudesy dukes in their stores this season, a counter-movement is happening. No, not “shants” (you know, shorts that are the length of pants) – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Titus Andromedon may stand alone in those principles – but some hemlines are, in fact, lingering a little longer. No, we’re not talking man-pris either. I’m talking about the roll-cuff, slim-fit, cigarette shorts trend.
The key to this look is definitely the slim fit. They should wear close to your anatomical leg. The days of big, baggy, below-the-knee, cargo shorts are behind us. It is time to tighten it up and streamline your look. And perhaps, like the short-short, this also is a millennial nod to eighties fashion when pegged jeans were all the rage. We’ve just cleaned it up and simplified it a bit this time around.
You may have seen brands starting to call out inseam lengths on their shorts more prevalently; you’re going to want to look for 11 or 12+ inch inseams. And they’ll usually specify slim or skinny fit. My DIY tip for you, however, particularly if you’re tall or large in stature, is to find a good, inexpensive stretch or flex denim on sale at your local department store. Get something with a snug fit that has some give in it. I even sized down and didn’t worry at all about the length of the pair of pants I purchased. Then, take them home, cut them off at just the length you want, and roll the cuff up to hide all your at-home handiwork.
Allow for 2 to 4 extra inches beyond the final length you want so you can create a double-rolled 1-to-2 inch cuff. Your cuff width can be less if you are smaller in frame or have slender thighs. Once finished, though, the shorts should hit the top of your knee or just above it if you feel so inclined.
Start with a dark-wash, blue denim – the darker the better. If you want to branch out from there, I recommend a gray or charcoal color denim and maybe a black as well. I try to find something with enough contrast on the interior of the jean to get some impact when the cuffs are rolled. This isn’t a big deal, but I like the look of the lighter color cuff.
For a really chill, beachy vibe, reach for an extremely light or acid-wash denim – something really faded or bleached looking. You can even opt for a distressed or ripped jean here. You can also experiment with white or tan if you’re up for it.
I guess, all in all, the bottom line, and the top line for that matter, is be proud of your man-gams this summer. Don’t disguise them under billowy bolts of shapeless fabric. Leave those super-sized leg-skirts to your dad and his barbecue buddies. As for the rest of us, we are marching confidently into the future, high on thigh pride!
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