When the temperature rises, it’s time to ditch the stiff jeans and bring those ghostly legs into the light.
(Now, pale legs are an undeniable part of the beginning of summer. But don’t worry, the sun will fix that for you in time, and for those in a hurry, a quality self-tanner can speed up the process.)
For you men out there that lack a keen eye for fashion, please be aware that you can make shorts season a pretty scary scene. Follow these tips and avoid looking like a hot mess this summer.
1. Choose the Right Length
The first step in finding a perfect pair of shorts: choose the right length. We’ve all seen the guy with shorter-than-short, all-too-revealing shorts on, and it’s never a pretty sight. And most of us have likely been a witness to the confusing “those pants are actually shorts” scenario. If you are guilty of either of these sins, please pay attention.
Find a length that is suitable to your body type. If you’re a shorter guy, opt for a shorter short. Believe it or not, longer shorts will not fool the world into thinking you have grown longer legs: it will actually have quite the opposite effect. Looking like you’re swimming in your clothing is never attractive.
Keep your hem range between lower-middle thigh and just below the knee. Any shorter and you’re in too-much-blinding-white-thigh zone. Any longer, you’re entering capris territory. Also, do the rest of the world a favour: keep your pants around your waist where they belong. No one wants to see your underwear.
2. Choose Appropriate Material
In terms of fabric, opt for lighter material to keep comfortable and sweat-free. Avoid the baggy jean shorts that look like they came with a matching jean jacket. Instead, try a nice woven cotton or twill cargo short, like these, from Banana Republic ($62).
If even those materials aren’t breathable enough, throw on a stylish swim trunk (on the most casual of days only.) Urban Outfitters has a great selection in fashionable patterns and prints that are durable and attractive enough to be worn both in and out of the pool, like these Insight desert trunks ($60). Match with a plain white tee and you’re set.
Also remember: gym shorts are to be worn in the house, and to and from the gym only. No exceptions. They scream “I didn’t try”, and that’s not the message you want to send.
3. Choose your Shoes Accordingly
Next, make sure you don’t fall victim to one of the most repeated summer fashion faux pas that exists: the awkward combo of shorts and shoes (and sometimes socks).
Sandals and shorts are a no brainer. They are a classic combo that not only look attractive, but are functional. Find a quality leather pair, like these Oakleys, for just $60, and you’ve got your go-to summer shoes. (But never, I repeat never, no matter how nice the sandals are, may you think it is okay to wear socks under them.)
If you do opt for nice sandals, please, take it from a woman: give your feet a little TLC before slipping them on. There is nothing worse than a man with hobbit feet.
Now for those who prefer to keep their feet covered, make your selections wisely. A lightweight, ankle rise shoe is your best option. Try something in canvas, like Toms. They come in a variety of styles, are super lightweight and very comfortable. They’re perfect for summertime, no socks needed. Although, if you do go with socks, keep them clean and low.
There are also the classic vans. Year after year, they are always a great choice to pair with shorts. They are inexpensive (most costing between $50 and $70) and come in a wide range of styles, colours, patterns, and finishes.
4. Have Fun with It
Don’t be afraid to throw some bold colours and even bolder prints around, like these Hawkings McGill shorts, available at Urban Outfitters for $44.
After all, fashion should be fun, and reflect your personality. But keep in mind: if your shorts are a wild print, keep it fairly basic everywhere else.
So whether you’ve been committing fashion crime for decades and have only recently realized, or are a fashion guru preparing your summer swag, consider these small tips that will make a big difference. Looking put together makes you appear confident, and remember: confidence is one of the sexiest qualities a man can carry.
Megan Briggs is a freelance writer who enjoys fashion, thrift shopping and old-school rock. She is a Niagara College graduate and runs an online vintage and handmade shop in her spare time.