We get it – the short suit, when styled terribly, can tend to look like you’ve just emerged from a burning building and the only item you were fortunate enough to retrieve and subsequently wear was your school uniformt.
Of course, for some the whole Angus Young-vibe is a thing. If you can shred a guitar like that guy, please, go for it. But sans guitar, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend strolling into the office looking like you got lost on the way to your Art History class.
Reflecting the ever-evolving nature of men’s fashion, stuffy suits worn throughout the year are a thing of the past. Now you can mix it up depending on the seasons. With a number of designers creating shorts that are a far cry from the thing you’d sport for a casual affair or an exercise class, there is a classic look that accompanies the shorts-suit, underscored by contemporary freshness.
You only need to look at fashion’s trendsetters and most stylish men to see how far the short-suit has come. Just recently A$AP Rocky popped in to Rihanna’s Diamond Ball and the Prada show at Milan Fashion Week sporting the style. Dressed head-to-toe in a look from Raf Simons’ spring 2020 collection, Rocky chose to pair his dress shorts with a glossy black boot and wide-shouldered blazer. At Prada’s show, the look was again a lesson in low-key minimalism with a navy blazer paired with matching pleated shorts and classic dress shoes.
Rocky may have garnered headlines with his look, but he’s not the first to rock the shorts-suit and do it well. At the 2014 Academy Awards, Pharrell Williams wore a Lanvin black tuxedo jacket with matching shorts and no socks. He followed it up with a camouflage Chanel suit and shorts to the 2019 Oscars ceremony. Setting something of a trend, those to follow, ahem, suit, include Odell Beckham Jr and LeBron James.
We’re calling it now: the shorts-suit is the summer outfit you need. Here’s how to wear it.
The shorts-suit still holds the allure of a regular suit, it’s just more practical for days where the sun is already causing you to perspire before you’ve even rolled out of your bed sheets. They offer you structure and the comfort of practical fabrics, and they’re also a sartorial twist that will see you turning heads in the office and on the street for all the right reasons.
As the name of the ensemble implies, the make or break aspect of the look is the shorts. While the idea of pairing shorts with a blazer might leave you reeling, it’s actually incredibly practical and something that will become a staple if you give it the chance. We’d recommend complementing the shorts to the blazer or jacket, as ultimately that serves as a principle component of the whole look.
Light colours and materials are also beneficial as they make for a great summer outfit. It’s also the time to experiment with colour and pattern – if you wish. But if merely revealing your knee caps is already a big step for you, stick with more traditional styles and hues.
Length is essential
It’s imperative that you get the length and width of your shorts correct as anything that sits at three-quarters will be a throwback to 2002 and not in a good way. The hem of your shorts should sit just above your knee cap and be no more than three inches above it. Remember – this isn’t a competition to see who can pull off hot pants like Kylie Minogue in her Spinning Around days. But it is a chance to wear something that’s stylish and seasonal.
It also goes without saying that shorts that have a slim fit are better suited to the ensemble than loose fitting or casual shorts that will just appear baggy and mismatched. You will also need to consider the material of the shorts so as to avoid stretching or shrinkage.
If finding shorts that suit your body type is challenging, consider buying a pair of full length suit trousers and having them shortened by a tailor to ensure they sit at a comfortable length. Avoid anything too baggy or tight as this will have your body looking disproportionate.
Linen dress shorts or light woolsack fabrics are our go-to choices, as they light and comfortable materials don’t only serve to be more formal, meaning you can wear them to any occasion – be it in the office or a wedding party – but they also contribute to the summery feel of the look.