Wall Street Journal reporter David Colman is very stressed about the inseam of men’s shorts these days. You see, they just keep getting shorter. This is an issue women have been dealing with for years, but for men, it’s pretty funny.
In the past few years, the low-water-mark length of a 15-inch-or-so inseam receded to knee-length (11 inches), then a knee-baring 9 inches, then to a quadriceps-exposing 7 inches and on to the newly fashionable thigh-flaunting 5 inches. If men’s shorts were a glacier in Greenland, scientists would be freaking out.
He notes a “trendy company” named Chubbies, that only sells 70s inspired short shorts (a 5½-inch inseam), stating the founder is searching for a “sweet spot of sorts” when it comes to length for consumers not ready to show a little leg. A sweet spot of sorts for shorts! He says that could live somewhere “between the conservative 9-inch and the 5-inch party boy,” both of which may sound very suggestive to dirtier minds.
The Journal goes on to explore other menswear companies that have found themselves in a pickle when it comes to outfitting those dudes who just want ditch pants for the summer, but don’t know how short is too short. Lengths for both cocktail attire and casual outings must be considered — as shorts are equal opportunity outfitting — leading mass market retailers, like J.Crew and Club Monaco, to offer multiple cuts of shorts with varying inseams. This has become a learning process for men of varying heights and body types, who are just learning to pick an inseam that flatters them best.
Honestly, this doesn’t seem like much of an issue to me. Men now have options. When men are trend-driven to start wearing completely polarizing nonsense like crop tops and booty shorts, because that’s all retailers are stocking anymore, then you can call me to complain. Until then, take your short shorts and own them.
h/t Vanity FairRachel Raczka can be reached at email@example.com. Tweet her @rachelraczka.