When Mr. Sunshine puts his hat on and sings hip-hip-hip-hooray, a lot of guys will match this enthusiasm by whipping out their shorts. In the UK up and down the country men will release their pasty legs from their dark long legged months of imprisonment and unleash them on the innocent eyes of the wider public. In a nutshell, you know it’s summer time when you start seeing men in shorts and pale chicken legs on the high street that didn’t originate from the meat counter at your local supermarket.
But when it comes to men and shorts – the main topic up for debate is – how short is too short? Retail caters for all tastes and preferences with men’s shorts falling into 4 camps:
1. Half-length – these reach no lower than the middle of the thigh
2. Knee-riders – reaching no more than 2in above the knee (‘riding’ the knee as it were – fancy that!)
3. Board shorts – these stop slightly below the knee
4. Clam-diggers, which reach halfway down the calf
Whilst retail reports suggest that the most popular shorts are knee-length, it is half-length shorts that have seen a rise in popularity over the past couple of summers and it is the half-length short that is also the most difficult to pull off. Whilst fashion buyers report that clam-diggers have seriously fallen by the wayside, along with a move away from the longer khaki cargo shorts look there has been a tangible move towards smarter, tailored shorts – with chinos at the helm. Chino shorts are typically 1-2 inches above the knee, so are not too revealing and pretty versatile. With high end retailers such as Vilbrequin and Orlebar Brown shifting serious units of the half-length style of short too, it’s no surprise to hear from high street retailers Debenhams that in 2013 sales of half-length shorts shot up by 156% – that’s a whole lot of thigh!
But how short is too short? With varying schools of thought ranging from ‘the older you are the longer the short’ through to ‘No-one wants to see a man’s knobbly knees’ and beyond ‘Clam-diggers, as we refer to three-quarter-length shorts, should only be worn in Australia by Australians. No self-respecting Englishman should ever wear them’ (Alex Bilmes, Editor of Esquire) the debate is open and ongoing.
The Love Summer team is divided too but we all agree on the fact that having body confidence is the best way to wear any pair of shorts – regardless of the length of the hem.
For a great summer time style statement we love these Jack & Jones Vintage Tour Short Length Palm Tree Print Shorts in Hawaiian Sun for informal relaxing by the pool style. Available from SummerFashion.co.uk now.
How do you wear your shorts and where do you fit in to the short hem spectrum?
Love Summer? Love Shorts!