Entertainment Style Who likes short shorts? The rise, and rise again, of a fashion curiosity

Who likes short shorts? The rise, and rise again, of a fashion curiosity

Man in shorts
Pulling off the short short: This gent would need to add a shirt for work. Photo: Getty
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I was mildly startled at work last week when one of my normally very quiet male colleagues was leafing though a GQ magazine and I heard him let out an enormous groan.

“What Tom, what?” I said.

“Apparently short shorts are in. Like really short.”

I peered over his shoulder and looked at the photographs. Yep, they were short. Like the tiny tight shorts the rugby league guys wore in the 1970’s. Hard Yakka, hot tradie short. But the two men in my department were not having a bar of the idea.

I read last week that a lot of British chaps were turning up to work wearing shorts due to the unusual sweltering temperatures, and it made me wonder why we don’t see more of it in Australia. Our climate is entirely suited to shorts and yet  men, especially in the corporate world, tend to struggle on in trousers.

But my colleagues feel it is a bridge too far. “Although we’ve never really been given a dress code, I would feel too underdressed, and I’d never wear short shorts,” said Hugh.

Orlebar Brown shorts
Walking the walk in Orlebar Brown short shorts. Photo: Instagram

He wears jeans to the office, but only with a good long-sleeved shirt, or a sweater. “I wouldn’t wear a sweatshirt either, unless it was designer,” he said.

Both were adamant about the shorts. “A tailored short would be great with a short sleeved shirt,” mused Hugh. “But then, what shoe?”

Tom nodded in agreement. “I mean, on some of the really hot days I have worn Birkenstocks with trousers but I feel it’s not quite right,” he said adorably.

Women have it so easy, we have so much choice. I mean, we work at a fashion magazine. I could rock up in a ball gown with fuzzy slippers and a tricorn pirate hat and nobody would bat an eyelid.

But the men were really feeling trapped, and unable to experiment. And hot, I would imagine.

Sean Connery Claudine Auger Thunderball
Sean Connery (with Claudine Auger) worked the angles in short shorts in 1965’s Thunderball. Photo: Eon Productions

Tom and Hugh dress similarly, jeans and puffer vests, and neat reefer jackets, but they part ways at the shoes. Hugh wears leather shoes with no socks, which Tom does not understand. “Maybe you buy a different class of shoe than me, that feels better against your bare skin,” Tom said forensically.

But back to the short shorts. Was it a look they were keen to see at large?

We all decided that there are many factors that would have to be taken into consideration, number one being that the wearer needs good legs. I chimed in that he would have to have a good bum too. Sexist? Yes, but there you have it.

The right amount of body hair was going to be an issue. I was worried about the shorts being so brief and the effects of gravity around the crotch area, especially if it was hot. You get my drift, gentlemen. And of course skin colour. Lily-white legs were not an option.

So bless them, they decided they’d just sweat through another Aussie summer, even though we as a nation we need to be shorts-ready.

I want photos of what happened in the UK. I’m sure our guys can do better.

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