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Men in Skirts: Here’s What Happens When You Try to Ban Shorts

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2013 / IMAXtree

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2013 / IMAXtree

The battle over whether or not men should wear shorts (or as the Boston Globe called it, "shortsgate") has been raging ever since designer Tom Ford outlined his five commandments for being a modern gentleman to AnOther Magazine in March 2011. His comments were fairly reasonable and frankly, nothing more than a matter of his professional opinion — "A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach." — but ever since then, "Whither men's shorts?" has been a conversation that just won't end.

The most recent contribution to this fascinating and important debate: The only slightly hyperbolic polemic "Wear Your Shorts Proudly, Men," which was published on Gawker yesterday evening with the caption, "To refuse to wear shorts marks you as a fool." 

I guess. Do the extra few inches of fabric in pants really make such a big difference? Are some people's calves really sensitive to heat? Are boys just babies? Women are better at ignoring arbitrary fashion rules (to be fair, we have more rules to contend with and hence, thicker skin; we also have more choices about what to wear). Not long ago, fashion editor Anna Dello Russo laid out some of her own rigid guidelines for women's attire: "If you’re not that important, you cannot be wearing sunglasses inside," she said; also, "I prefer to go barefoot rather than wear cheap shoes." Obviously, we cherish and adore every sweet word ADR has ever said, but we're not going to throw away our Urban Outfitters flats just because some fancy lady wrote a list. 

Anti-shortsers: Here's a little perspective on where your tyrannical position will lead. Today the Telegraph posted a video reporting on a shorts ban (really) at a school in Wales, which has driven schoolboys to wearing skirts both in protest and to keep cool in the heatwave. Personally, I greatly enjoy the male skirt, but I suspect that shorts opponents may feel differently and should be fully informed if they want to continue along on their crusade. 

The video: 

[h/t Forum member Pricciao]

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