Men's Shorts Are Getting Shorter


Men-especially younger men-are making like Bob Benson these days and, with increasing frequency, opting for precariously short shorts come summertime.


The Wall Street Journal reports-in an account that no doubt caused some older gents to drop their crumpets in their coffee, or whatever, in shock-that shorts are getting shorter.

Over the past few years, the standard men's short length of approximately 15 inches has dropped significantly-first to a "knee-length" 11 inches, then a "knee-baring" 9 inches, then (bear with us) a "quadriceps-exposing" 7 inches to, finally, a "newly fashionable thigh-flaunting" 5 inches.

So what has caused this 10-inch drop? Well, there seems to be an "if you've got it, flaunt it" mentality at play here, to a certain extent, as one designer told the Journal, "We spend too much time in the gym to hide under frumpy shorts that say, 'I don't care how I look.'"

For others, aesthetic concerns are the driving force: "I just don't like the longer lengths. They cut off your body in a strange place," a different retailer said.


So does this mean you're going to start seeing bare male thigh with the same frequency as ads for dermatologists on your morning commute? Well, many brands-like J. Crew, Bonobos, and Club Monaco-continue to offer shorts at many different lengths (usually 11, 9, 7, and 5 inches).

So you can decide which length you feel comfortable with, depending on how much you're feeling like David Beckham that day. (The Bonobos vice president of design notes that the 5-inch pairs are generally preferred by "men in their 20s who want an on-trend look," while the 11-inch shorts "work for guys in their teens who aren't up for very short.")

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