For all my whinging, moaning, and complaining about the frigid cold through our excruciatingly long winter, I really don’t have a leg to stand on talking about how gosh darn hot it is outside. Actually, I have two – two legs to stand on, and this article is all about showing them off, wispy, neglected leg hair and all.
In spite of my unsightly, blindingly bright white legs, it’s that time of year where decisions oftentimes come down to comfort and practicality edging out preference.
For men like myself who prefer pants nine times out of 10, here are 10 pairs of shorts that get the stamp of approval for the odd scorcher here or there.
J.Crew Wallace & Barnes Pleated Cotton Shorts
Normally I prefer a shorter pair of shorts, but it’s features like the side-tab waist adjusters and single pleats (so hot right now) that draw me towards these classic cotton khaki shorts by J.Crew’s Wallace & Barnes brand. They’re interesting and a little different than what you might normally expect from a pair of shorts, especially at this price, so getting them hemmed or just cuffing them a few times over is a small trade-off I’m willing to pay for these. Either that, or this is a great opportunity to test out how to rock shorts with a longer inseam.
$104, Buy now at Mr Porter
Prada Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Twill Bermuda Shorts
Liking that length, but searching for something simpler? Prada’s got your behind. These pure white stretch-cotton twill Bermuda shorts will essentially go with the rest of your S/S wardrobe, making them just about as versatile as they are apt for those especially hot post-lunch strolls.
$639, Buy now at Mr Porter
Frank And Oak Recycled Poly Summer Short
As previously noted, my preference is for a shorter short. I figure if it’s hot as heck out, don’t dally, cut to the chase. We’re all about heatwave practicality here, and Frank And Oak delivers in that department with these lightweight, 7” inseam shorts. The minty-green colour is almost as refreshing as a cone of mint chip ice cream on a hot day. Who says the best accessories can’t also be edible?
J.Crew Printed Cotton-Ripstop Shorts
Not a mint chip man? Don’t worry, taste isn’t something everyone’s got. Rest easy, however; these cotton shorts by J.Crew have tasteful (in the form of a tropical floral pattern) written all over them. Pulled again from the Wallace & Barnes collection, it’s easy to see why Mr Porter likes referring to the classic Americana brand for go-to staples.
$91, Buy now at Mr Porter
As evidenced twice above, drawstrings and shorts are like biscotti and espresso – made for each other. Hugo Boss knows this, and have accordingly executed the two together perfectly with this pair of simple-yet-stylish all-black shorts. Cut with a mid-rise, these really do live up to their “Sophisticated” name.
$90, Buy now at SSENSE
Prada Slim-Fit Logo-Appliquéd Mohair And Wool-Blend Shorts
How far out are these? On my personal spectrum, these are out there. Despite running dangerously close to Sean Connery in Zardoz territory, these Slim-Fit Mohair Wool-Blend Shorts by Prada are the kind of luxe statement piece that could (worn masterfully) provide an intriguing focal point to a summer fit. Match simply with a white tee or polo and you might just be onto something.
$1,396, Buy now at Mr Porter
Making cargo shorts appealing is a tough ask. I’d have said it couldn’t be done, but then again, I never consulted Brunello Cucinelli. The Italian tailoring guru has brought this jungle-inspired staple to the streets, and potentially your closet, with this military green pair, which somehow features full cargo pockets without sacrificing a slim, streamlined silhouette. Details like the front button tab closure and pocket pick stitching elevate these away from the cargo clichés.
$927, Buy now at Mr Porter
Moncler Navy Mare Swim Shorts
The Swim: my favourite variety of short, and a completely necessary addition to your shorts rotation this time of year. The key is finding a pair that seamlessly transition from poolside lounger to a seat at the bar, which these simply-styled Navy shorts by Moncler will do with ease. After all, you aren’t going to go for a dip in your brand new Loro Piana linen trousers, are you?
$395, Buy now at SSENSE
Versace Underwear Red Greek Key Border Swim Shorts
Like your sportswear a little more flashy? Not a problem – Versace’s usually got a tasteful alternative. These swimmers are a little more traditionally trunk-y (think vintage boxing attire). Cut shorter and with more of a statement waistband, you’ll be squaring up under water à la Muhammed Ali after a few G&Ts above deck.
$370, Buy now at SSENSE
Frank And Oak Lincoln 5-Pocket Twill Short
Capping off this listicle is a very agreeable pair of washed black shorts in a stretch denim fabric by our tried-and-true Frank And Oak. They’ve got all the traditional fixings you’ve come to expect from a pair of jeans, like a five-pocket construction and metal rivets, but stop short at a 10” inseam, making them the perfect choice for daily summertime commuters. I’m honestly not sure which requires more balance and poise: riding a jam-packed subway train or your bike, but either way, these will ensure your journey gets you where you need to be in record time and comfort.