Summertime Preview: Men in Shorts

Elsewhere, summer is around the corner and here in the Bay we’re about to be fog-dampened and freezing. So why am I thinking about summertime? Because our wacky weather has given us a week of 70 degree days which we’re all enjoying in that frantic way we enjoy good weather out here, knowing how brief our romance with short sleeves (even at night!), reading a book outside, and backyard BBQs will be.


No time like the present, then, to address a sartorial concern that arises during all warm weather periods: men in shorts. We’ve all seen the trainwreck that is cargo shorts or the blah effect of jean shorts and a t-shirt. Is there any way to do shorts without looking a teen, skater, tourist or gym rat? Actually, yes. We’ll get there in a minute.


Summer-y weather brings about the inevitable do-I-or-don’t-I shorts dilemma for Monsieur McBee. Personally, I have been more interested in white cotton pants since my return from the Yucatan, a la:


Junya Watanabe Spring 2011


Really lightweight pants keep you cool without compromising your dignity. Plus, you need something to wear to work and/or other formal occasions, anyway. I desperately wanted to wear shorts to my wedding with a suit and decided against it because, sadly, I’m unconvinced that anyone can pull a shorts/suit combo off without looking like a prep school dork (I guess this is cool now but it feels too precious to me) or a four-year-old at a christening.


Here is how to look like an adult in shorts:


From the Sartorialist, last summer


If you’re going to do it, maybe just really do it. But you need to be at a picnic to pull that business off. So if you’re not, or if seersucker isn’t your jam:


Junya Watanabe Spring Shorts 2011


I love mix of white/off-white and the clean, sailor-y look of this outfit. The shorts work here because they’re not the focal point. Or, for a more bad-ass look:


Band of Outsiders Spring 2011


I’m kind of split on this situation because I totally disagree with drawstrings outside of jammies and swimsuits. But I do like the leather jacket/collared shirt combo with slim, tailored shorts.


This look is my favorite:


James Marsden in Band of Outsiders


I think he might also be in drawstring shorts but pretend he’s not. This hits the right note exactly. Everything is slim fit and well-made. He looks casual without looking sloppy. He’s not making a big point out of his shorts. He’s OWNING that shit.


I mean, truth is, women will always do shorts better. Check out Kirstin Dunst pulling this awesome look off:


Kirsten Dunst in Boy. by Band of Outsiders


Totally amazing. But have heart, masculine people! You can wear shorts without looking like a tool or a dweeb! I mean, look at Kanye! He looks like a million bucks:


Kanye at Lanvin


Dress it up, but not too much. Wear a jacket or a collared shirt. Don’t make a big deal about it, and work out those calves. You got this!


About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here:


  1. Pingback: Seeking Summer Savings & Style: Swimwear « Ironing Board Collective

  2. Pingback: Lighten Up–It’s Summertime! « Ironing Board Collective

  3. Pingback: DENIM PSA FOR DUDES «

IBC LOVES your brain, and we encourage thoughtful, lively discussion. We will, however, moderate comments that are abusive or disrespectful. Stay classy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: