BorderStyle: He Wears Short Shorts

by June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1,799 1 Comment

"Shorts for men"

The shorts a man needs for summer in DC. Details below!

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]

Happy Summer, Borderstanis! Okay, I get that the season doesn’t officially start till June 20, but I’m wearing white below the waist and no socks with my penny loafers, so close enough, eh?

Seeing that we’re past Memorial Day, gents, it’s time to have a serious discussion about a whimsical part of the wardrobe. And in case you couldn’t figure it out by the title of this column, I’m referring to shorts (BTW, I’ve been accused of burying the lead too often in these columns. I promise that I’m totally trying to get better at it).

For many, shorts tend to be an afterthought. We all know at least one person who’s sporting cargos from Old Navy circa 2003 in his regular rotation. Today’s the day we stop the madness. Build a bonfire in your backyard, on the street, etc. and burn them in effigy along with those ratty old flip flops.

Ahem. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The 6 (or 7) Pairs of Shorts You Need

Regardless of what anyone tells you, there are only six pairs of shorts a man needs to get by in the warmer months. Can he have more than six? Sure, go nuts! Less than six? I wouldn’t advise it. (In addition to the collage at the top, you can click on my links below for a close up of the items in my collections on

  1. Classic white shorts: Chubbies. As I said earlier, it’s past Memorial Day so get yourself a pair of crisp white shorts (cotton or linen) that literally go with anything. Well, except for a white top. Thanks to my friend Chris, I recently discovered a brand called Chubbies that emphasizes form and function with a sense of humor (check out their site, it’s pretty entertaining).
  2. Khaki chino shorts: Steven Alan – The West is DeadNow that we’ve got the white ones out of the way, it’s time for another staple: the khaki chinos. I really dig this pair, “The West is Dead” by Steven Alan.
  3. The navy shorts: Stanton Tie-die Indigo shortsFilling out the classic trifecta (besides the white and khaki shorts) is a pair of navy shorts. But a fun variation on a simple navy pair are these tie-die indigo shorts from J.Crew.
  4. The bold pair: Steven Alan Boyscout Short. And now things start to get interesting. You’ve got the basics out of the way; it’s time to show off that personality a little. Pick a bold color that suits your personality (and your skin tone). It can be pink, orange, Nantucket red, electric blue, whatevs. I’m partial to this green pair of “BoyScout” shorts by Steven Alan.
  5. Cargo shorts. Nah, I’m just kidding. Remember… burn them in effigy. (As an aside, no one and I mean no one needs to wear cargo shorts in the city. If you absolutely must carry around your entire life, don’t stuff it in a plethora of extraneous pockets. Man up and invest in a messenger bag.)
  6. The subtle pattern: Oliver ShortJust like the bold pair, let your imagination take over. The beautiful thing about a subtle pattern is that it’s almost as versatile as a solid pair…with a little extra personality. Love the “Olivers” also by Steven Alan.
  7. The louder pattern: Gant Rugger Checked Shorts. Obviously, not nearly as versatile as the subtle pattern, but they’re intended to make a statement. Check out this plaid (surprise!) pair by Gant Rugger.
  8. Addendum: Jorts. Jorts, or jean shorts for the uninitiated, have risen in popularity over the last couple of years, especially in the slim/skinny variety, but they’re really not for everyone. The taller and slenderer (y’know, thin) a guy is the better these will look on him. Shorter and stockier guys should avoid them.

That’s it for me this time around, folks. Talk to you next time.

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