Perfect shorts length is one of the world’s eternal questions. Each year, style enthusiasts lie in their hyperbaric sleep capsules wondering what inseam will dominate that summer.
The search for inseam perfection is a debate that's had people divided for months, both on social media and in the virtual meeting rooms of Highsnobiety. Some of us find comfort in the familiarity of the 5-inch Patagonia Baggie, while others are strictly knee-length-only; no compromise.
With the inseam debate still raging, I called upon Highsnob editors across the planet, from New York to Berlin, to try and settle the matter once and for all, by way of opinion on my pick of the season's latest, greatest, and downright wildest shorts on the market right now.
Things got heated — and not only because of the wild 2-inch inseamers that we began with. You'll find all the hot takes on this pair, and way more, below. @ us in the comments, by all means.
From barely-there to cursed Capri, scroll to settle the shorts length debate for yourself.
Lazoschmidl Hotpants — 2.5" inseam
Graeme Campbell, Senior Features Editor: These are so you, Jake.
Jake Indiana, Senior Features Editor: Really? I was going to say how much I think I would be into them if it weren't for this ripped trim. I really don't like how raggedy they are.
Graeme: What do you call the rope lacing system? Cause it's a very old English kind of thing, right?
Jake: It's a very Renaissance way of tying shorts. Very pageboy.
Christopher Morency, Editorial Director: I definitely don't have the ass for those.
Telfar Track Shorts — 4" inseam
Christopher: These are very pajama-like.
Jake: Very John Travolta.
Malaika Crawford, Market Editor: I love these. They come in red, too. I prefer the red.
Patagonia Baggies — 5" inseam
Louis Almond, Style Editor: Supposedly the "perfect" length short. What do you think?
Graeme: Yeah. Classic. I've got three pairs of those, but they're not really a fashion short. I just wear them on normal days.
Louis: Can you get bored of them though?
Malaika: No, you can never be bored of baggy. They're classic.
GCDS Boxer Shorts — 5" inseam
Yulia Pankova, Market Editor: If these were too long, they'd look too busy, but I feel like they work here.
Graeme: You know the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch? I was thinking it looked like that at first. It's just never-ending.
Jake: A Bosch take on kitchenware.
Bode Rugby Shorts — 6" inseam
Christopher: I fuck with these. I want these, but I cannot justify that price for corduroy shorts. In any way.
Herbert Hofmann, Creative Director: I wouldn’t want to sweat in them. That paint might stick on the ass of your chair.
Louis: What about the length? I think this is the perfect inseam length for me — 6 inches.
Christopher: I think my perfect length is just above the knee. No, I'm lying. I like short shorts. It's between hips and knees. That's what it is.
Jake: I'm about as short as possible while still being tasteful.
Christopher: So what is that?
Jake: The shorter the shorts, the closer to God, honey!
Lazoschmidl Cycling Shorts — 9" inseam
Graeme: Biker shorts? Unless you're using them for performance, just don’t.
Malaika: Yeah. It's not the look. Also, who looks good in biker shorts? Nobody.
Herbert: I know some pretty hot guys that do.
Bottega Veneta Wide Leg Shorts — 11" inseam
Graeme: Yeah, those are sick.
Jake: I love these.
Malaika: I am absolutely not convinced. I think they're fashion victim shorts.
GmbH Vinyl Shorts — 11" inseam
Christopher: Oh my. Wow.
Malaika: Hot, hot, hot.
Yulia: If you see these shorts in real life, you just can’t look away.
Jake: That crotch zipper is something special.
Christopher: I mean that shit is going to get so hot, though. Whatever's on the inside is going to get hella sweaty.
Jake: Yeah, I can't see this being worn practically outside of a rave. So it would absolutely get sweaty. I mean, what else is this front pocket designed for?
Herbert: To let the steam out.
Acronym SP28-DS Shorts — 12" inseam
Louis: Good gateway for those unsure about the whole men in skirts thing. Almost a skort.
Graeme: Yeah. I mean, being Acronym, these probably do something crazy too.
Herbert: Too much fabric in the crotch. I don't want to know how they look at the back.
Yulia: Like a full diaper.
CDG Homme Plus Crinkle Shorts — 12.5" inseam
Graeme: CDG do the best fashion shorts.
Jake: Yeah. And I think the length really works for this design.
Herbert: You could sit somewhere in the sun drinking a cappuccino, with the light shining from your crotch into your face — double the tan.
Jake: Now we know who this was designed for.
JW Anderson Skater Pants — 13" inseam
Christopher: These are unacceptable. Price and length.
Herbert: It's really not sexy. And it looks a little like a mascot for a chocolate honey brand or something.
Jake: It looks like a Playmobile action figure. Not a human.
Louis: Or a picnic blanket.
Malaika: I would actually like these if they were short shorts. I like the print.
Christopher: But brown and yellow?
Malaika: Yeah, come on!
Balenciaga Denim Shorts — 14" inseam
Jake: Grunge kid?
Christopher: It's full '90s teenager at the shopping mall.
Graeme: How do you guys feel about denim shorts? It's quite a political question.
Herbert: They could be working again, I think. The past week saw a lot of people wearing cut-up 501s with the fringes hanging out.
Namesake Crochet Shorts — 15" inseam
Malaika: Again, shoot me, but I think these are cool. The colors are cool. The print is cool. They're just a little long, but I actually think there's something about them.
Louis: Do you think this length ever works?
Graeme: I don't think these are shorts.
Malaika: Is it a Capri pant?
Herbert: Yeah. It's a Capri.
Yulia: Yeah, that's not shorts.
More of this summer's best shorts
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