Shorts might be the most divisive piece of clothing in your summer wardrobe, so much so that we've dedicated multiple pieces about how to wear them — from how to make long shorts look good, to the best shorts and sweater combos, and even pants for people who hate shorts — we've been paying a lot of attention to the skimpiest part of your outfit. However, things are about to get a lot more polarizing. Enter — short shorts.
Last summer, TikTok became obsessed with short shorts, namely ones with a 5-inch inseam. It was a hilarious time on the app with endless transformation videos where men pulled off their frumpy knee-length shorts to reveal thigh-bearing shorts, while the background music shouted "Oh my god so handsome." Basically, these videos were the sartorial equivalent of the bookish girl in a rom-com taking down her ponytail and suddenly becoming hot. Helped along by that viral photo of Normal People's Paul Mescal wearing GAA men's shorts, 2020 was officially the summer of short shorts.
Now, however, we have an even shorter shorts inspiration for summer 2021. Milo Ventimiglia (from This Is Us and Gilmore Girls fame) was photographed wearing the shortest shorts we've ever laid eyes on — and the internet got excited. Then, Harry Styles was spotted showing love for the look as he filmed upcoming movie My Policeman. As WSJ editor Jacob Gallagher put it on Twitter, this will be a "one-inch inseam summer."
If you already jumped on the short shorts trend last summer, perhaps Ventimiglia can convince you to switch up your inseam to something even tinier. For everyone else, maybe he can inspire you to finally let go of the board shorts and let your knees have some sun at least.
We've rounded up the best short shorts for men this summer
ON Running Race Shorts
We'd wager that Ventimiglia was wearing similar running shorts in the image above — only athletic shorts are cut that small. These On Running race shorts are cut high on the outer thigh and dip slightly longer on the inner seam.
Patagonia Baggies Shorts 5"
Patagonia Baggie shorts are a cult classic among short short enthusiasts and we can see why. Made from 100 percent recycled nylon, these fairtrade shorts double as both everyday wear and swimwear, helping you in your journey towards finding swimwear that's actually cool.
SMR Days Vathi Patchwork Shorts
Vathi Patchwork Shorts
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Patchwork print is still having a real moment, and summer is the season it likes best. A newcomer founded in 2020, SMR Days is all about warm weather, a label set up to make the men's vacation wardrobe much better. These shorts are a good start.
If you're still not convinced by the short shorts trend, shop some regular-length versions below
Story mfg.Yeah Shorts Sun Clamp
Designed by self-described "slow brand" STORY mfg., these naturally dyed shorts are slightly longer but still keep the laid-back feel of short shorts. These are a great everyday option too, with the ombre effect enough to stand out, yet still subtle enough to not take over your whole outfit.
Bstory x Highsnobiety Shorts
Our recent Not In Paris virtual exhibition saw some of our favorite brands from across the planet come together to create for our figurative merch stand. Conceived by Brick Owens and Dieter Grams, the Bstroy capsule puts a Paris-by-way-of-New-York spin on on-court-ready gear. These basketball-style shorts are a definite antidote for those that are sickened by the though on anything less than a 7-inch inseam.
Issey Miyake Pleated Shorts
After one wear of these, you'll be thanking the genius that is Issey Miyake for developing his pioneering pleated fabric that knocks it out of the park when it comes to extreme comfort. Another reason to rue the end of summer.
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