The Style Guide to Men's Summer Shorts

Summer’s on its way, which means that people will be heading outdoors, looking for more sun, and showing more skin—both the men and the women. For you men, that means you’re going to be showing more skin, too, unless you want to inordinately sweat during casual get-togethers or family functions.

So how do you maintain your sense of style when you switch from pants to shorts? Heck, how do you develop a sense of style when it comes to wearing shorts? After all, if there’s one thing many men do wrong with their wardrobe, it’s incorrectly pairing shorts with clothing articles that have no business in your casual summerwear.

To solve these conundrums, let’s take a look at some of the most common concerns and questions men have when it comes to shorts:

Pleated vs. Non-pleated: What’s the Difference?

Peruse the shorts here at Berle and you’ll notice that there are two essential kinds of shorts: flat front and pleated shorts. So what exactly does this entail?

Flat front shorts tend to be more modern and athletic; the kind of thing you might wear to a trip to the beach or a family barbecue where there’s going to be volleyball or a game of football. These shorts are simple, straight-forward, and come with no frills, which is perfect for anyone with a minimalistic/modern streak in them.

Pleated shorts come with a subtle “fold” that’s essentially the same as what you’ll see in a pleated pair of chinos. The pleat gives the shorts a freshly-ironed sort of look, which means it’s a bit “dressier.” If your office ever hosts a casual day that allows you to wear shorts, these can often be appropriate for that kind of setting. Pleated shorts also have the advantage of looking a bit dressier for formal (but still sweat-inducing) occasions.

What Should You Wear with Shorts?

There are a few basic rules of thumb here:

Don’t wear showing socks. You’d be amazed at how this one tip will completely change the way you look in shorts. Don’t ask us why, but something about wearing socks with shorts gives you a “tourist” look—maybe because it’s the most common sartorial sin committed by the poorly-dressed tourist no matter where you are in the world. Instead, buy no-show socks or simply go sockless.

Shoes can include anything from sandals (ultra-casual) to oxfords and bucks shoes—the latter being far more appropriate for any occasion that doesn’t take place directly on sand.

Shirts give you some flexibility; a button-up is often a little too dressy for shorts, but button-downs work perfectly fine, as do polos, which are essentially collared T-shirts: perfect for summer. A nice T-shirt is fine for casual events.

Keep most color complementing in mind with wearing shorts; generally, the louder the short (plaid shorts, for example), the more muted you’ll want the shirt to avoid clashing.

With summer (and hotter temperatures) just around the corner, there’s no reason you can’t purchase one or two shorts to completely change your summer wardrobe into something a little more fashion-appropriate. Just follow these rules and you’ll be the best-dressed guy at the beach in no time.

March 12, 2015 by Berle Editor
previous / next