While women have a wide range of styles to wear, men often feel like they have only a couple options when it comes to picking an outfit. Fortunately, men’s fashion is expanding, and more and more guys are looking to add some exciting variety to their closets. With summer in reach, it might be best to start expanding men’s wardrobes with shorts. There are five essential men’s styles of shorts, and they are as follows:
The invention of the athleisure category of clothing has caused some men to become confused about when it is appropriate to wear athletic shorts. Unfortunately, some guys think that elastic-waisted, performance-material shorts are appropriate for all occasions, when in truth they should only be reserved for activities in which athletic shorts are necessary, like the gym or the beach. It is possible to dress up colorful and attractive athletic shorts with a camp shirt or a polo, but even this outfit is only suitable for the most casual of occasions.
Like athletic shorts, performance shorts also tend to be made of moisture-wicking fabrics that stretch comfortably, but unlike athletic shorts, performance shorts are constructed like typical guy’s shorts, with a regular waistband, a zipper fly and pockets. Often, performance shorts are intended to be worn during low-intensity activities, like golfing or fishing, but because they are almost indistinguishable from classic shorts, they are appropriate for almost any casual summer event. Solid colored performance shorts can be paired with a graphic T-shirt or a simple printed button-up; they can even be dressed up slightly with a sweater or relaxed jacket.
When one thinks of men’s running shorts, one usually imagines the retro short-shorts that show a healthy hunk of male thigh — and that is exactly what we are talking about. Retro running shorts are back in style in a big way, but because of the high cut, not every guy feels quite comfortable enough to fit them into his regular wardrobe. For the daring men among us, running shorts are cool and comfortable options for casual summer get-togethers, like pool parties and backyard barbecues. These shorts should be paired with a simple top, like a graphic Tee or a loose tank, and comfortable footwear like slides or flops.
While “jorts” or jean shorts are often the butt of fashion-related jokes, the truth is that denim shorts can be chic with the right fit and styling. Generally, men’s denim shorts should not look like jeans that have been cut in half, and they should not be too tight or too baggy. The perfect denim shorts have a five- to seven-inch inseam, falling just above the knee, with a tapered fit that gently hugs the skin. Once the fit is fixed, shorts should be dressed up a bit with a bold patterned top and clean, simple sneakers. This helps elevate the feel of the shorts, creating a semi-smart-casual look.
With origins in New Zealand in the 1960s, walking shorts were among the first shorts appropriate for men to wear outside of athletic activities. These shorts tend to fall lower on the leg than other shorts, hitting at the knee, which makes them a bit more modest and more comfortable for the average guy. Walking shorts with pleats tend to be suitable for casual office wear during the hottest summer months, especially when paired with a long-sleeve button down and dignified loafers. More casual walking shorts are available featuring fashion-forward details like rolled hems, which men can top with a polo or a sweater to maintain a smart look.
As global temperatures rise, no man wants to endure the summer in long, heavy pants. Men who want to gain fashionable reputations need to know how to wear every type of shorts, and hopefully this guide is a great jumping-off point for building a safe and smart summer wardrobe.
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