August 25, 2005

Men in shorts?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

That's the short answer about shorts. Men in shorts? No such thing. If you are in shorts, you are not a man. I'll make a small exception for certain sports, or if you are staying at home or in your own yard. But if you're going out in public in a non-sports capacity, put on some pants! This includes the postman!

This outburst was provoked by Prof. Yin, who wrote this, about what a lawprof ought to wear:
The specific question about jeans isn't relevant to me, since I don't own a single pair of jeans. While I do show up in shorts and a T-shirt on the typical summer day (and truth be told, even right now, since I am on pretenure leave and therefore not teaching at all this semester), during the regular school year I tend to wear slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie.
Well, at least he doesn't teach in shorts. I recently attended a talk led by a male lawprof who wore shorts (with a T-shirt and sandals). He stood up too, putting his boy-clothes on full display.

This isn't just some special, quirky little view of mine, guys. Women are on record on this one. I've posted on this topic before — here. Please don't make me tell you again.

127 comments:

Robert said...

Sorry, ladies. It's 92 in the shade, and not all that much cooler in my non-air-conditioned office. It's shorts, or nothing.

I'm very apologetic that my gender has put pressure on your gender to wear uncomfortable clothing for our aesthetic pleasure. However, that empathy does not extend to embracing reciprocity.

I don't wear stupid clothes. Long pants in August = stupid clothes.

Goesh said...

I don't think men are very honest about their legs. They like to take risks with their legs and won't admit it. Most have skinny, fish-belly white legs that stray dogs would love to bite if ever given the opportunity. What dog could resist a quick chomp when at eye level this piece of white, ofen hairy, piece of quivering flesh came by that resembled an uncooked chicken leg?

Eddie said...

What about me? I sweat like a pig in summer. I am not fat, just sweat a lot. The idea of wearing shorts in summer just isn't good for me.

Paul said...

I hhave fought the good fight against shorts all my life, they are a No-No, they reveal an ugliness and parade it around the grocery store, restaurants and my God, even churches.
If we need air-conditioning, we can slice a horizontal gash just below the knee - they'll even look cool.

Nick said...

When it's hot out (and I do tend to sweat), I'm wearing shorts to stay reasonable cool... so I'm not sweating under those jeans that you apparently think I should be wearing.

I also work my ass off training for triathlons in spring and summer. So, I like to show off the fact that I have firm, muscular legs. Oh yeah - I wear Teva's too!

We get so few warm months during the year, I'm not about to delude myself and pretend that its winter.

Nick said...

With my last little rant out of my system... I don't wear shorts to church, work, or other places. I do have a sense of decorum. But on the weekends when I'm out and about in public, and even after work I put on the shorts.

vnjagvet said...

With all due respect, in Atlanta even the old geezers like me wear Cargo Shorts from Spring til Fall. All of mine were purchased, I might add, by my twenty something daughters.

Tee shirts too. No black socks though.

Looks don't count, comfort does.

OTH, I wouldn't think of wearing such a costume to work.

WANNAMAKESOMETHINGOFIT?

Cat said...

Sorry Robert, but if I have to go to work in at least pants or a skirt, then so do you. Where clothes for a BBQ to a BBQ. A friend of mine married a jerk who hosted BBQ's in cutoffs and a tie die with sneakers that were 2 years past their trash date. All the other MEN at the BBQ had a nice pair of shorts (tailored looking) and a decent shirt (we're talking over 35). It was a sign to me that this guy was not ready for a marriage and family and sure enough he bailed. MATURE men and women dress appropriately as a sign respect for other people.

I couldn't take seriously a professor who showed up for a lecture dressed in shorts in a t-shirt, never mind a law professor. It says I DON'T CARE.

Anne - I also have a pet peeve with the flip flops as shoes trend. I have women in my office who wear flip flops to work. In NYC where I live I also see women on the street in a $500 suit with no hose and $1 flip flops. Makes me nuts.

I have yet to see a man in the office in flip flops, but have to say in general the male foot is a scary, unpedicured mess. I hate riding the subway to look down at the floor and have a wicked ugly foot cause me to nearly lose my breakfast. UGH!

Brendan said...

Hysterical rant from Ploopy in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

Pogo said...

The progressive blugrass group The Horsflies referred to the phenomenon with the lyrics legs as white as priests.

I dunno. Ninety degrees, a picnic, and pants are a poor combo. Heck, 80 degrees, beer, an outdoor concert, and pants are a poor combo, too.

But my heavens, aren't we the ugliest things! Two shiny knobbly sticks, devoid of grace and form, an abject disaster whether at rest or in motion, and wholly unimproved by T-shirts with words, and dirty ball-caps.

Hence my aversion to the male gender. There are few things more homely than men over thirty, I among them. As becoming under thirty is no option, I thereby embrace my utter uglitude, and wear the hated shorts, except where protocol, shame, or public outcry demands.

Jack said...

When I was a graduate student at Arizona State University, it hit 122 for the first time.

Long pants of any type on either sex would have amounted to at least heat stroke and serious illness, if not a death sentence.

So, sorry, I have to disagree with you on the "no shorts for men outside of sports, ever..."

If it's only 85 outside, I can live with long pants, but once it tops 95, I would rather look a bit less attractive than sweat like a pig, smell worse, and drop dead of heat exhaustion.

Unless, of course, you allow kilts. Women get to wear "sun dresses" in summer...

Art said...

When I was growing up in Houston, the British Govt considered it a tropical duty posting (no argument there) and thus the local consul was always seen in an open collar khaki shirt and shorts. You gotta wear the uniform.

On recent visits I've noticed Houston to be more "dress up" than most cities in the summer. I suspect it's a way of demonstrating that you can go from an air conditioned office to an air condition garage to an air conditioned car....and never contact the natural environment.
Kind of like the rich in England used to relish pale skin because it showed they didn't have to do actual work.

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Long pants aren't hot if they are loose and made of the right material. Try linen. It's wrong to think that baring as much skin as possible is the best way to be cool. In really hot places people often use fabric to shield themselves from the sun. It's healthier for your skin too.

And Robert, you say "Sorry, ladies," but there are all these women thinking "Sorry, Robert."

goldsoundsz said...

I am a man Ann and agree. And for those who say it's too hot out a pair of lightweight cotton or linen pants do the trick just fine.

Brendan said...

Dare I mention my butch, female Econ 101 TA of yore whose legs were hairier than mine? I'll abstain from shorts if she does.

Barry said...

Nothing like criticizing someone's sense of style (or perceived right to physical comfort) to provoke a response...

At church, at work (when I have to go to the office or a client), or where otherwise necessary, I'll wear long pants even in over 80 degree heat and 90 percent humidity. But shopping at WalMart or the grocey store or out to a casual place to eat or at home or to a casual party, once we're above 75 it's all about the shorts. And sometimes my huge leather Catapillar brand sandals, but more often sneakers.

I reserve the right to be comfortable, and wouldn't restrict that right from anyone regardless of gender.

It bothers me slightly that someone would think I look overly boyish (or foolish) with my hairy (but shapely - mind you!) legs sticking out from my casually-almost-hip cargo shorts (which is obvious by the mere fact of having to reply to this post), but then again no one has ever accused me of being stylish. I would hope, however, that my company would get over my faux pas and treat me (and remember me) with respect to my other, nonphysical attributes.

bill said...

It’s Atlanta, and the heat index is 109 (like wind chill, but hot, for you cold people), I’m wearing shorts and still turning into a ball of sweat when I step outside at 6am. For casual long wear, I’ll wear some nice light khakis, but no jeans from May-October; to paraphrase Cole Porter, “it’s too damn hot.”

And I love linen, it feels great. Looks nice too, until you sit down.

Personally, I have two clothing taboos:

1. Socks with sandals. You could cure cancer and still I’m thinking “retard.”

2. Girls with words across their shorts. Usually drawing attention to an ass you do not wish to have your attention drawn towards.

And, if I may ask, as a father of an almost 4-year-old girl, when I can expect female fashions to move away from colorblind, cheap crackwhore? Could y’all quit worrying about knobby knees and get to work on the epidemic of skankdom?

Freeman Hunt said...

I am a female, and I have to disagree with the no shorts.

I think knee length cargo shorts are AOK. Men's shorts should not, however, be mid thigh. That looks strange, almost vulgar somehow. This mid thigh rule excludes athletic wear (short shorts are a must for running).

And I'm not into men's linen pants. That seems feminine. I don't like any sign of femininity in men's clothing.

A man should look like he'd rather be naked or wearing the skin of an animal but has been forced by society into dressing. Nothing trendy. Nothing 'metro.'

I doubt my tastes are popular.

Freeman Hunt said...

Could y’all quit worrying about knobby knees and get to work on the epidemic of skankdom?

LOL

Sean said...

Skankdom is a problem, and is there also a way to stop women over 25 years old or 125 pounds from wearing bare midriffs? I mean, I'll take knobby knees and hairy thighs over those rolls of white belly flesh any time.

Brendan said...

Could y’all quit worrying about knobby knees and get to work on the epidemic of skankdom?

Don't listen to this man! Continue with the skankdom!

I'm not a big fan of shorts myself, but exceptions should be made for touristy places like the boardwalk, Disney World, baseball stadiums in mid-summer, etc.

Robert said...

Cat - I agree, if you have to wear long pants to the office, then so do I. But this isn't about a dress code for a particular office; it's about social acceptability.

Ann - (1) When your legs look as good as mine do, there might be some women who'd rather not see them, but I seriously doubt it's a majority position, and (2) being happily married, sexual rejection from other women is a null factor. You'll have to persuade me on rational grounds. ;)

mcg said...

Well, the only woman whose opinion on this issue matters one iota to me... doesn't mind me wearing shorts. And no, it's not my momma. So there. :)

mcg said...

Oh, and as for sandals. I can count the number of days per year I wear real shoes on my hands. I have tan lines on the tops of my feet where my Naot Laplanders don't cover.

I do have one nitpick though, if you're going to wear sandals, for the love of mercy, please don't wear socks.

mcg said...

I suppose I should register the disclaimer that I am an engineer in Silicon Valley. Franky, we nerds ruled the roost here for a good decade or so and did a darn good job undoing impractical dress codes in the process.

Now, when I'm somewhere else where the social pressures dictate it, I'll wear more traditional garb. Heck I even broke out the tailored suit, slacks, ties, and polished shoes, the whole works... when I had business in London.

But when in Rome...

vnjagvet said...

Ann:

I hate to say it, but this is the first time I have found you to be unpersuasive.

Of course, the Wisconsin/Georgia gap may be a bit too much to bridge in this instance.

Besides, at my age I just don't give a damn about fashion any more.

Ann Althouse said...

MCG: "Oh, and as for sandals. I can count the number of days per year I wear real shoes on my hands."

I never wear shoes on my hands. You're weird!

Stephen said...

Sheesh. I can't buy this one, Ann. Khaki or Cargo style short are perfectly acceptable casual wear for men.

It is casual of course, and not business casual. You may not wear shorts to an office job, and that includes teaching. But to a casual restaurant? Sure.

On the heat issue: there are no long pants that are light and cool enough while still being acceptable men's fashion. So shorts it is.

Mark Daniels said...

For thirty-one years, my wife has badgered me to wear shorts. She claims that I'll be cooler and that only a dork who doesn't have to do so would wear long pants when it's hot. But I've never liked them, feeling way more comfortable in long pants. Besides, I have chicken legs that particularly stand out on the sunny days of summer.

Henry said...

This reminds me of Screwtape's remark that it was the devil that made women not like beards.

Women who don't like shorts on men? It's the devil at work.

* * *

Cat, I don't know about tie-die, but I personally like really old sneakers. And, in my world, if someone hosts BBQ they can wear whatever they want.

* * *

Pogo -- The Horseflies! Wow. I have a couple of cassette tapes of their stuff that I've long given up for dead. You from Ithaca?

* * *

So what's the word on short sleeve shirts with ties?

mcg said...

I never wear shoes on my hands. You're weird!

LOL!

Lance Burri said...

Robert, I agreed with your first comment. But then...Cat didn't say if she has to go to work in pants, then so do we. She said "...if I have to go to work in at least pants or a skirt, then so do you."

So we'll just start wearing skirts, and the whole argument becomes moot.

Okay, fine. Kilts.

Lance Burri said...

I wear short sleeves with a tie. I know, I look like a dork. I've made my peace with it.

Hey said...

Shorts...

To be appropriate they must be tailored khaki, about knee length, and worn in relatively casual environments (yacht club, golf club, beach towns) in a very dressed up manner, such as the aforementioned British Consul in Houston. If you're not out of place in an ad for Bermuda or some other tropical British outpost, it's all good.

They can also be appropriate if you're in a resort area and on or travelling between the beach/boardwalk/lake and your beach house/cottage/hotel. And of course they're fine for use while engaged in sports.

Otherwise, suck it up and dress like a man. Were we all dying during the heat wave in our suits? Yes, but that's what AC was invented for.

Any sort of social gathering should involve at the very least tailored shorts, but ideally the minimum is khakis or linen pants. If your office isn't air conditioned, it's a clue that you need a real job. A real job is defined as one where a suit is appropriate attire.

Unless you're a genius named Sergey Brin or Bill Gates, you should be wearing grownup clothes. Yes that means admitting that you're not as smart as they are. But you're also nowhere near as smart as Larry Ellison or Tom Siebel, and they wear real clothes. So grow up and go to Brooks Brothers and buy some clothes.

If the British Empire can be run by men in linen suits in places like Malaysia, India, and Kenya, then you can do the world the decency of handling Miami in a suit. Yes Phoenix is insanely hot. That's why no one except for the illegal immigrant help goes outside between February and January!

mcg said...

A real job is defined as one where a suit is appropriate attire.

Well, that's it, then, I don't have a real job! Thanks for making that clear! Only thing is, if I had to get a real one, I'd make less money and I'd see my family less. Lousy trade just for the pleasure of wearing "real" clothes... sigh

mcg said...

Lance: Um, excuse me, I believe you have my stapler. :-)

Noumenon said...

I hate to say it, but this is the first time I have found you to be unpersuasive.

It's because she has NO AUTHORITY. The fashion police do not speak through blog.

Me said...

But I like the shorts. If you started wearing them in spring, your legs shouldn't be all white and silly-looking.

Our office doesn't allow them except on the rare "blue jeans casual" day. Given our professional look, I agree with that. But when they're allowed, by all means wear them.

amy said...

Maybe it's just because I live in Texas, but so long as the shorts are knee-length, they are fine by me. It's not even the heat that's the problem, it's the humidity. Even linen feels nasty when stuck to hot sweaty skin. Blech. I wear skirts when I have to be outside for more than 5 mins, and my hubby wears khaki shorts.

Pogo said...

Henry Woodbury

Wow, someone else who's heard the Horseflies! I am a mere Midwesterner, though, not Ithican. I have their two CDs, often lovely, certainly eclectic, even a bit odd.

They have, I just learned, since become the group Boy With a Fish., about which I know nought.

Bruce Hayden said...

I will suggest that there are at least two things going on here.

First is climate. I grew up in Colorado. Jeans are acceptable there almost everywhere, except in the stuffiest places, esp. with a sport coat. But not nearly that many shorts. So, I am most comfortable in jeans to this day.

But I have lived in Austin and Phoenix. I will get to Austin in a minute, but no sane person wears long pants out in the middle of the day in the summer in Phoenix. 120 degrees is hot, even if it is dry. I do, but that is because I am over 50. Around town during the day, the men are mostly wearing shorts.

When I worked there as in-house patent counsel, no one wore shorts to work. But if you saw any of them on the weekends, they all wore shorts.

So, don't hold it against those in the sun belt wearing shorts, when you live up there in the frost belt.

Secondly, as one poster pointed out, high tech companies take the anti-dress code to an extreme. When I was in Austin, as an atty., I had to wear suits to meetings. So, during the summer, I would attend patent committee meetings, and be the only one there in a suit. The engineers were all in shorts and T-shirts, unless they were director or VP level, when they would move to collared shirts and kacki pants. And I would be wearing one of two ties in the room. These were all guys with at least masters' degrees, and usually PhDs.

The entire time I was there, I got constant flack for my dress from my engineering friends - until they saw me out of work.

But I still don't wear shorts - despite the laughs of my friends. It was bad enough going to collared short sleeve (Polo type) shirts almost a decade ago.

Brendan said...

Never owned/wore a pair of sandals and never will. Maybe your legs need to breathe, but not your ugly feet. Down with metrosexuals.

Joan said...

The fashion police do not speak through blog.

Clearly, someone needs to become aquainted with The Manolo.

I live in Phoenix. Everyone wears shorts, except me. I wear dresses, skirts, capris or linen pants. But even the linen pants are too hot for most days in the summer here, even unlined ones, and even though everywhere there is A/C. Just getting from your car to the building is enough to turn you into a puddle.

Ann has no standing on this issue, living as she does in the Great White North. I agree that shorts are unprofessional and should not be worn to work (unless you are a life guard, or are scooping ice cream in a truck) or to church. But for casual situations, there is no problem.

knoxgirl said...

I'm an extremist-- I don't like shorts on anyone, male or female, who's not exercising, gardening or the like. However, I do think if they're at the knee or below, it's slightly more acceptable. I don't want to see a man in linen pants or sandals either. effeminate.

tcd said...

mcg,

Totally agree with you. One need not wear suits to have a real job as Hey would like us to believe. My husband is an electrical enginner who works in an air-conditioned office and he is not required to wear a suit. I smell a bit of the elitist in Hey's post.

Isaac said...

In France (even the South, and even in the summer) shorts really aren't acceptable. People wear pants (except for the pale Parisians on vacation). In Dakar and Senegal in general pants are mandatory -- except maybe on Sundays, and on tourists. And it's not like Dakar is universally air conditioned.

mcg said...

tcd--honestly I wouldn't be surprised if Hey had tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's why I have standing: I have to see guys in shorts even when the temperature is in the 50s! I have reason to be irked!!! Yes, I pity the men who face temperatures over 95 degrees, and they can ignore what I have to say. But I'm dealing with a problem of men wearing shorts even when it's LESS comfortable (from a temperature standpoint). I am sorely provoked!!! Don't tell me I don't have standing. I am faced with the most dire manifestation of the problem, here in Madison, Wisconsin!!! Even when it's in the damned 30s around here, there will be some guy in shorts.

knoxgirl said...

"In France..shorts really aren't acceptable."

I'd give them credit for this except that men wear Speedos there.

Brendan said...

Generally speaking, men are always looking for a reason to take their clothes off, temperatures be damned. I'm sure a lot of these students wanted to show off all their winter weight-room work. Others are just fed up with the salty slush and are trying to trick their bodies into thinking summer's arrived.

Something tells me your ex was a shorts wearer, which of course is grounds for divorce. :-)

jeff said...

I was surprised to see a Salem, OR policeman - and not a bicycle cop - wearing shorts as part of his uniform yesterday.

I can't wear them at work... but a set of khaki cargo shorts are in my wardrobe.

Thanks for the reminder about Manolo... I'd quite forgotten about "his" blog.

Ann Althouse said...

Brendan: You're definitely wrong about my ex. But I'll bet many women have to deal with the problem of trying to remain attracted to a man who wears shorts.

mcg said...

Even when it's in the damned 30s around here, there will be some guy in shorts.

Ha! You should see my wife and I walking downtown for our morning coffee. Even when it hits 80 degrees or more in the afternoon, it can be 60 degrees or less in the morning.

She's dressed for the morning... I'm dressed for the day :)

Must be the skier's instinct: if you dress warmly, you'll just sweat once your blood is pumping.

Now, as for whether you have "standing", sure, I suppose. Influence is another matter!

Brendan said...

Simply put, most (straight) men don't care how they look. "Shame" and "self-awareness" are not in our lexicon. Ever notice that most of the jokers who take their shirts off at sporting events are fatties? As Dave Barry once observed, most men think they look great. My father is 72 and mom still has to dress him every day. Otherwise, he'd leave the house wearing striped pants with a striped shirt. The horror!

alan said...

How interesting, I've never considered shorts to be unacceptable casual attire. I'll have to survey my female friends. Equally interesting is how this post generated more comments than many others by a factor of 10.

My personal feelings about shorts is that they are fine for casual occassions, but never for work (when did this ever become a question?). However, I refuse to wear shoes with shorts, except when exercising. For me, it's always sandals -- preferably flip-flops. Jean shorts are never okay on men. Cargo shorts are standard for me (though I will grant Ann this -- if climate permits, jeans are preferred).

The solution to not showing ugly legs and pock-marked feet? Maintain a regular work-out routine and avoid walking barefoot over beds of hot coals. Why mask the problem with pants and shoes? Why not attack its root cause?

While I'm ranting away, I may as well touch on some other fashion pet peeves of mine. Regarding the comment on the pairing of ties with short sleeve button-ups, this assumes that wearing short sleeve button-ups as work clothes is okay. This is never okay. Short sleeve button-ups are only for casual occassions and worn are to be worn untucked. All short sleeve shirts worn in work environments should be polo shirts.

Yes, I am finished, thank you very much.

Ann Althouse said...

Alan: My problem with shorts isn't excessive casualness, but excessive unattractiveness. And I'll concede that I'm capable of visualizing an idealized man in an idealized pair of shorts or a decently shapely man in these cargo khaki shorts so many of you have mentioned. But basically, a lot of men are making themselves needlessly unattractive by wearing shorts, and the less hot it is, the less their behavior makes sense. Again, I'm speaking as a person in a cold climate who sees men wearing shorts when there would be no comfort sacrifice in wearing actual pants.

ploopusgirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
george said...

At my age I personaly don't care about the uglyness factor. I wear shorts yeararound at home for comfort. Other than Culvers, I wear long pants off my property as my wife won't be seen with me in shorts.

ploopusgirl said...

Actually, I'm not done with you, Hey. I overlooked your last paragraph at first because you grew tiresome, but I just read it and: I was soooooooooOOoOOoOoOoOooo shocked to find out that you're a bigot as well!!!!!! Only the dirty illegal Mexican help goes outside in Phoenix anyways!!! Yah!!! Everyone else drives down indoor highways and walks along indoor sidewalks and plays at indoor playgrounds, I'm so sure!!! You.. just might be my favorite ever..

george said...

I forgot to mention, we once had a math teacher who had bare feet with his shorts. I don't remember his students being disadvantaged.

tcd said...

Mcg,

I don't think tongue ever touched cheek in Hey's post. You may want to read what Ploopusgirl thought of Hey's post. I'm not the only one to interpret Hey's post as elitist.

Ploopusgirl,

I noticed that last sentence in Hey's post too.

Kev said...

Here's another Texan weighing in. Sorry, Ann, I agree with you on a lot of things, but there's a world of difference between Madison and Dallas in terms of climate. I agree that shorts are taboo for most jobs (though I've seen them on convenience-store clerks and the kids who pick up the carts at Super Target), but when work is done, shorts are perfectly acceptable casual attire in a place where it hit 102 today.

However, I will say that shorts have gotten much better with the recent invention of "long shorts"--i.e. the ones that go to the knee or past it. They just look way more masculine than the ones from 20 years ago.

Oh, and I'm a flip-flop fan too, for comfort reasons as well. Guys don't seem to care if they're "pedicured" or not, and I've found that people's feet usually end up being conisderably less gross if they're not cooped up in stinky shoes and socks all day. But don't worry, Ann, I don't wear sandals on my hands! ;-)

Brendan said...

Ploopy, you're the last person to be delivering lectures about "hate" or "ad hominem" attacks. Since you're always spoiling for a fight--no matter how trivial the topic--I dub thee Angrygirl. And I never want to see you in shorts. In fact, the more clothing the better, because you sound like a real heffer. Cheers.

ploopusgirl said...

Oh, Brendan. I'm aware I'm hateful. It's true: I do. I'm hateful, however, to your obnoxious opinions (and those obnoxious opinions of others on here). I don't believe I've ever written anything that even came close to being as asinine as "a real job is one where a suit is considered appropriate attire" or "Yes Phoenix is insanely hot. That's why no one except for the illegal immigrant help goes outside between February and January!"

I don't think you're stupid enough to actually be defending these comments (I really don't). So this just proves to me that you no longer even read what I write; you just assume the worst and attack me no matter what. At the very least when I attack you, it's because I vehemently disagree with the opinion you've expressed. Not simply because you're present..

Brendan said...

Oh, Angrygirl. If you and your fellow lefties can use the term "day laborer" instead of "illegal immigrant," then I'll cut Hey some slack when he calls a spade a spade. Since I'm no fan of fire-breathing, easily-offended, hairy-legged, man-hating dykes, that means I don't bother to troll NOW's message boards. You, on the other hand, clearly don't like Ann. Yet here you are, spreading your daily dosage of gloom and bile. Ann innocently takes some pictures in a shop and you erupt. Ann comes home early from a vacation and you interrogate. Ann gets up in the morning and you snarl. Do you detect a pattern? I sure do. So break the suspense, sweetie, and tell us why you roost here. We're owed a window into your dementia.

Sloanasaurus said...

I suppose shorts is just another nail in the coffin of formal dress in our society in general. Perhaps men will start growing long hair and scraggly beards again (wait..they are). However, I can understand Althouse's cringe with the abandonment of formal dress with the modern male. How ridiculous would it be to see our heroes in the center square embossed in bronze...with head up high...and sword in the air...wearing shorts from Banana Republic (Unless your William Wallace of course!)

Long Island Bob said...

I live in a beach town, Belmar NJ, and every guy wears sandals, shorts, and hawaiian shirts.

Finn Kristiansen said...

First of all, I agree that shorts are okay if they are long, neat looking, earth tones, maybe kacki/dockerish with a nice pair of shoes. No jean shorts, no sandals, no flip flops (exceptions for backyards and sports).

But frankly, women should hardly be saying a word given what we have had to put up with of late, what with these hideous women of every size amd age with their fat bellies rolling over their jeans and hideous tatoos. Women have assaulted men's eyeballs only forever, and in every style of dress. We just keep our mouths shut and look for boobs peaking through.

Oh, and I live in Phoenix, and the only people I see walking the streets (and taking the buses) are usually Mexicans, students, homeless, and me (and with a sprinkle of poor whites thrown in). It's not necessarily racist to point out the obvious. You just see way more Mexicans using feet and public transportation (though a large proportion have cars too as well).

bos0x said...

Way to stereotype lefties, Brendan!! ...except, is that even a leftie stereotype anymore? Isn't it your g****** President that wants to commend and cuddle all the pretty pretty little brave patriotic illegal immigrants now? Also, I haven't ever seen ploopusgirl use the term "day laborer" but really, who am I to complain if you want to pull random leftie caricatures out of your ***** and pretend that they are actually relevant.

I love how someone is a fire-breathing, easily-offended, hairy-legged man-hating **** (try not to be so vulgar, Brendan!) just because they don't waste comment space fawning over Althouse's virtues, or agreeing with extremist versions of Althouse's opinions, or whining about liberals, or writing smug little stories about their daughters and, uh, erstwhile girlfriends and the super-mature real job that they have to wear suits to. I feel sooo bad that ploopusgirl is ruining this wonderfully relaxing and intellectual atmosphere.

Oh, and is it okay if I rename you? I was thinking something like "ScrotumBoy" or something. I mean "S******Boy", sorry.

mcg said...

tcd---seems I don't know "Hey" well. In fact, it was that very sentence about illegal immigrants that made me suspect that something was actually fishy. Because that pushed the post beyond the point where I felt no decent human being would actually write seriously.

Joan said...

This whole comment thread is cracking me up. One of the best ever. Everyone is free to have an opinion about something so trivial, and no one is adverse to expressing it! It's a free-for-all!

Ann, I'm sorry I said you don't have any standing. But you understand that it's not men in shorts you are railing against, per se -- you are trying to hold back the tide of ugliness that surrounds you, and I'm afraid there's nothing that can be done about that.

It's a function of college towns that men will walk around more poorly clothed than they might do if they lived otherwhere. A quick stroll around Tempe confirms what I lived with back in good ol' Cambridge, MA: college town men think they don't ever have to grow up, and they dress accordingly.

bosox, enlighten me, please? What's the bleeped word that starts with "g"? I've been wondering it for decades now, ever since I first got "Thick as a Brick."

XWL said...

Joan, I believe bos0x's g****** means goddamn, and believe it or not, I think that's still off limits during the 'family hour' on network television (as far as curses go it really only carries weight if you take oaths and gods seriously, plus it's kind of a paradox, can a lowly human damn god?)

Oh and back to the original point of this thread, bad clothes choices and college (or tourist) towns go together like whichever cliched pair best illustrates the point in your world-view. In otherwords dressing unprofessionally is part of the uniform for student, T.A.s, and even lecturers as a way to maintain a group identity and assert their status as a person who does what they do without regard to financial reward (even though often the opposite is true) whereas men at say law firms know they are professionals and that with the practice of said profession come certain expectations.

Slocum said...

Here's why I have standing: I have to see guys in shorts even when the temperature is in the 50s! I have reason to be irked!!!

Well, I don't live in Madison, but another midwestern college town. Shorts in the 50s? That's pushing it, but the 60s definitely (I'm warm blooded, and I hate being hot). But it never occurred to me that I might be offending middle-aged law professors as a side benefit (so I've got that going for me, which is nice).

In fact, as it happens, a middle-aged law prof is just moving in next door. Don't really know him yet, but he's a distinguished looking -- I see him walking home in a suit even on hot summer days. Will he be bothered by living next door to a 40-something guy who wears shorts half the year and doesn't appear to have real job?

Henry said...

What about ugly noses?

Now where did I put my beekeeper outfit?

Wasteland Fan said...

Careful, Ann. Your age is showing.

Simon Kenton said...

LeroyW wrote:

"...if you take oaths and gods seriously, plus it's kind of a paradox, can a lowly human damn god?"

I think actually this is an implied hortatory subjunctive: (May) God damn (this or that other target).

Simon Kenton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. G. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chuck b. said...

Hmmm... sometimes the things I read here make me feel like we're all neighbors, and then there are times I like this when I think we must all live in very different worlds.

Summer shorts are a perfectly acceptable casual dress option for men and women, adults and children alike.

Reading this post is so weird and jarring it's almost like hearing someone say men and women should not co-habitate before marriage.

Simon Kenton said...

Chuck wrote:

"Reading this post is so weird and jarring it's almost like hearing someone say men and women should not co-habitate before marriage."

Perhaps not afterward, either: "It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilized society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together."

-- Johnson

Renee said...

The French laugh at Americans in shorts because they think we look like overgrown toddlers.

It kills me to admit they're right about anything, especially Americans, but on this, they are.

It doesn't help that so many American men do that masculine waddle thing.

If they're even slightly pudgy and you're looking at him from the back, the overgrown toddler image is so obvious it's comical. Chubbier, baby faced men carrying oversized drinks evoke the image even front on.

Ann Althouse said...

Renee: When I've been in Paris, I've been overwhelmed by the intense perception of how much more attractive the local men were than American men. And pants were just part of it.

Ann Althouse said...

"That masculine waddle thing" — oh, how accurate that is.

Another thing is the loud talking, as if it proves masculinity. I have sat in Parisian restaurants and loved hearing the quiet voices of the men, blending softly with the voices of women into pleasant background noise. Among Americans, you hear the men's voices sailing over the women's. Why must they do this? Marking the territory?

FrankinSlim said...

Ann,

More women than men should not wear shorts. I have seen more women that have disgusting ripples and dimples and cellulite, big butts, and disgusting flab!!! More men, as an aggrahate whole, look better in shorts than women!! I'd bet your legs look worse than mine! I'm 6 feet 4 inches tall weight 190.... and my legs would make you ashamed to be a woman.

LongHairedWeirdo said...

That's the short answer about shorts. Men in shorts? No such thing. If you are in shorts, you are not a man.

Heh. Heh heh heh heh heh.
(Loud "BWAHAHAHAHA!" held back with nearly inhuman effort.)

If you let some bossy, uptight person tell you what you're allowed to wear, you're not a man.

Sorry Ann, manhood is a lot more, and a lot more important, than one person's view of fashion sense.

If the sight of my hairy, heavily muscled legs bothers you, well, don't look at them.

Ann Althouse said...

Long Haired: I hope you read the linked article. It's not just me! And "heavily muscled"? Yeah, sure. I mean I believe the "heavily" part.

Jerry J. said...

I love hairy man legs (provided the guy is in shape) but the poster is correct...barring some special sporting event or gym workout men should not wear shorts. I can be seen traipsing about town occasionally in my gym shorts but it's pretty clear that I just came from a workout...otherwise, I don't care how hot it gets...no shorts. Certain jean styles are made of thinner cotton and there's always lightweight pants. I stopped wearing shorts when I read about how Italians and Greeks considered it poor fashion for men to go around in shorts and it DOES get hot in those countries.

pianoman said...

I live in Hawaii, however that is neither here nor there, I don't need anyone's approval to wear shorts of any length in public,as a man I've been told that I have great legs so if you got em flaunt em

pianoman said...

Oh yeah, one more thing, I am NOT governed by dictates of fashion, I wear what I want and when I want if that irks you, so what!!! As a man the older I get, the less I care about what people think!!!!

nobux59 said...

I don't believe a woman has a place to dictate what makes a man or not a man just because of the pants he wears. This is absurd. (Of course however, one can give their own opinion)

It just goes to show again that American women has the mind to dictate what is socially acceptable as to what makes a man a man when in fact, women can wear anything they want (dresses, skirts, jeans, shorts, etc) and no one complains about that. This makes women the biggest cross dressers there are!

But as soon as a man puts on a pair of shorts....oh my, he's anything but a man! By what standards? His white legs?

If a fellow feels intimidated because of wearing shorts, then runs to change his clothes because of what is socially unacceptable, then his manhood may be questionable as is. Or at least he isn't thinking for himself when it comes to what he wants to wear. This is as bad as the "big breast, little breast" problem that women have too.

As a man, I wear shorts (3 1/2" to
4" inch inseam) all the time in warm weather, and I feel completely comfortable in them :)

Atul said...

Well, as a guy I wish to say, shorts are shorts, meant for the same purpose, whether worn by us (men) or girls.
So, lets cut out this no no bit. They have been worn for ages. There is no merit in the arguments, be it the knobby knees or uglyness. I am sure if a quick survey is done in any area where women wear them, it would be pretty obvious how manyu, if not most, of them are just as "ugly" due to them being either fat, or too skinny.
The purpose is simple: Comfort. Not sex appeal or to please a certain section of the opposite gender (or even the same gender).

jean said...

What is the problem with guys wearing shorts even short shorts. Why would a guy not be allowed to show his legs. Some of you people are so backward..... Maybe be the result of puritanism.....

It just amazed me how we let women wear nearly nothing and some think it is not acceptable for men to show their leg....

What is that rule about knee high shorts. I hate bermudas, they look ugly and the only reason men wear them is to hide they overweight upper body....

My point if you are a men and want to be confortable and wear any type of shorts, do it! Be yourself.

robbo said...

"Tailored khaki"? "Real men"?

That's a good one. Tailored Khaki shorts. Ha Ha.

ZenDenizen said...

I mentioned on my post today that I refuse to watch 300 because I hate the sight of men in shorts. My friend that I lost my mind and referred me to this post. I've never met another woman who agreed with me on this. I refuse to believe the area between the knee and the ankle gets that much hotter than the rest of the body. Will you be my new best friend? :)

Will said...

I'm a guy, and I work for an amusement park. During the summer we have a uniform we have to wear. It consists of a Checkard shirt, which we have to tuck in, and kahki shorts. I have no choice but to wear shorts, or I can't keep my job. Besides, I like the uniform, it keeps me cool on hot days. My legs are'nt hairy, so I'm happy to show them off.

Stephen said...

Did it ever occur to you ladies that the very reason men's legs or so apparently repulsive is that we've been forbidden to wear shorts in the first place? Just imagine how ugly your legs would be if shaving and wearing short shorts was taboo for women as well. So come on... can't we at least try to be a little open minded instead of getting all defensive and insecure. Yes, some guys do have sexier legs than you. The world keeps turning.

Robert said...

well, I will wear em, and im in great shape too, hell Ive even worn square cut speedos to go and get something from the store, or on the beach of course. I'm in excellent shape and deserve to wear shorts, tights when mountain biking or cycling and short shorts when working out. what foolish thing to say about men, this should state that if you are not in shape don't wear em, or something along those lines.

Robert said...

Boys wear shorts. Men wear pants.

Dr. Sebastian said...

In Florida or any state that is not a frozen tundra during the winter, men wear shorts. Hell, look at Magnum PI! I rest my case.

LUETOLER said...

Bad idea! Shorts are for kids, teens, and badly dressed suburbanites. There are very few instances where a [fashionable] man should be wearing shorts. If you're not in the gym, running, at the beach, then don't wear them.. And what shoes do you wear with the shorts? Sneakers and/or flip flops? That only make an already bad fashion move worse.

Substitute those shorts for linen pants. Leave the sneakers for working out and try some slip on loafers with no socks. Both Gucci and Prada make some good one's. Sometimes I prefer a pair of brown Prada lace up sneakers when I want to be a bit more casual. I pair that with a either an untucked linen shirt or slim fit T-shirt. (Hugo Boss has a good line of these in various colors.)

Now order a glass of something white and light up a cuban at your favorite outdoor venue and you're good to go.

The Live Well Team Blog said...

you
guys
are
all
crazy
...go find something important to discuss.

Mark said...

Hey peeps, Im from Scotland and spend a lot of my life in Los Angeles. I like to wear shorts but while there, do you wear them just above the knee, at the knee or below the knee????? I'm confused after reading all your comments.

By the way, the kilt is too hot even in winter in Scotland as it is made from 5 yards of cloth...

Kenny said...

Why not?For the summer!

Xie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xie said...

This is the stupidest thing I've ever read. It's like looking at word vomit.

Drew said...

This just strikes me as very provincial thinking from someone up north. Climates are different. This sounds as illogical as me telling someone in Madison to just STOP wearing big parkas as they are so ugly, and do not compliment the beauty of the human form at all. I presume Ms. Althouse doesn't spend extended periods of time in the south. In Austin, where I live, 35+ days of over 100 degrees, with no end in sight. Worst drought in over 50 yrs... it started in 2006, and has not abated. The heat is merciless. Perhaps Ms. Althouse's rant makes sense north of the Mason Dixon.

Frank said...

Women shouldn't wear skirts. Their legs are terrible to look at.

Metal Marx said...

I used to never wear shorts, not even in 90 degree weather. I was always worried what someone, like you it seems, would think about my legs. Then I grew up. I can honestly say I don't care what you, or anyone else like you, thinks about me, my bald head, or my skinny, white legs anymore. I have already wasted too much of my life worrying about what others thought of me. I'm so over that now. Say what you will. It's my body and I'll go nude if I want to.

TwoShort said...

No shorts? Really? I mean, at the office, dress within the general ballpark of the professional norm for your area/profession. But I'm pretty glad I'm a geek in Colorado, not a lawyer in NY.

Full disclosure, I drink more beer than I ought, but bicycle obsessively. Calves are all I've got.

mike said...

Dear Ann, I have stumbled upon your blog because Sullivan linked to Goldberg who linked to you because you apparently think his taste in poetry is shoddy. What a tremendous waste of two mouse clicks and apparently some keystrokes that was. Thanks for providing me with the free time gained by never returning to this site again, I appreciate it.

Neilson said...

I like to wear shorts when it gets above 75 degrees or so because I get hot really easily. I have several pairs from J.Crew that are pretty nice looking and because I bike, run and row on a regular basis, I have shapely athletic legs. So I'm not worried about offending anyone.

I don't get the whole "shorts aren't grownup clothes" thing. There are a lot of clothes I dislike intensely including cargo pants/short, khakis, pleated pants, crocs etc...but I don't feel the need to denigrate the manhood of the guys who wear those things.

Adam Powell said...

Well Anne, I am wearing shorts and the last time I checked, I was a man!

Doug said...

My girlfriend loves the look of my tanned, strong, and shaved cyclist legs. She buys the shorts she wants to see me in and they are about mid-thigh. I have to laugh when some homophobe calls me gay. Why the hell are they gazing at my gams anyway? And why are they so people so threatened by men's thighs? Sheesh.

piper said...

Here in Vancouver men are starting to wear SKIRTS!! I'm wondering WTH is happening to men....seriously. I don't mind the cargo type shorts in the summer NOT in the winter. Who ever came out with skirts for men should be SHOT!! This is just disgusting and sorry guys but you look cross dressers who have gone public!!! keep your pants on PLEASE!!!

spinoza1111 said...

Please do not presume to tell men what to wear, and we men shall not presume to tell women what to wear.

Tolerance is a beautiful virtue and it is on the wane in favor of a pseudo-hip, but profoundly intolerant, anti-urbane, and childish presumption on the part of women that it is somehow liberated to start dictating what men shall or shall not wear.

lee said...

if its really hot i think shorts should be allowed.women can alter their skirt length easily as they see fit.ive seen women wear all sorts of pieces while men are stuck with long sleeve shirt and pants.doesnt seem fair.

lee said...

in case u havnt known shorts are meant for boys/men.yet everywhere girls/women are wearing them too.so i dont see anything wrong nor does it challenge their identity as a man

Jeff Smith said...

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Jayman said...

The feminist movement has gone way too far. It has created (in America at least) a situation where women demand equality in the workplace and in politics, but they don't want equality of responsibility. Examples of this include:
1) The requirement that a man buys his woman her engagement ring even if he makes less money than she does.
2) That men must pay on all dates and that asking a woman to put in her share is out of the question.
3) In schools, girls are often given more attention and the boys are suffering as a result.
4) If a man makes a comment deemed slightly sexual, he's accused of sexism or even sexual harassment. but if a woman makes such comments, it's OK.
5) That men have to be ultra-restricted in what they wear, while women can basically wear whatever they want.

The time has come for true equality, and what that means is no more paying for engagement rings or dates, no more settling for being extra sensitive around women, and men wearing whatever the hell they want, be it short shorts, skirts, tight pants, loose pants, or even tank tops to formal functions (If women can bare their shoulders at formal events, so should men be able to.).

I wear short shorts whenever it is hot outside, and I dare anyone tell me that I look gay (I'm happily married) or feminine. I'm six foot one and weigh 265 pounds, and no, hardly any of that is fat; I happen to be built like the biggest football player you ever met.

There are countries where it is perfectly acceptable for men to wear short shorts, including Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The time has come for it to spread back to the United States, and for it to be a symbol of men's liberation.

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