In response to a quote suggesting that men should never wear shorts, Drew Magary writes:

Then I have The Awl bitching at me about it too (“Men should not wear shorts. That is all.”). You listen to me, you anti-shorts gay mobsters: I WILL WEAR SHORTS IF I GODDAMN WANT TO.

I don’t give a shit what you deem appropriate or tasteful. I live in Maryland and for the next four months it will be 50,000 fucking degrees outside, and it’ll be so goddamn humid I’ll have to wear flippers to swim through the air. It’s HOT. It’s fucking deathly hot already. They don’t even have spring here anymore. There’s winter, then it rains a for a couple weeks, and then the entire landscape turns into A FIERY PIT OF HOT LAVA. There are elephants basting themselves with rain puddle water down my block. It is hot as shit.

Tom Ford, who is the guy staking out the anti-shorts position, would go crazy in the south or southwest. It seems that everyone wears shorts there for most of the year. And flip-flops, for that matter. Aesthetically, I actually agree with Ford. I think that men look better in long pants and consider flip-flops to be a little too casual. But the utilitarian in me does respect the fact that people who buck this preference are not frying in the heat. Which is pretty much what I do. I have finally given in and wear shorts in some circumstances. Limited mostly to expressly casual events, such as barbeques and family get-togethers at the Corrigan Compound or Shell Beach. But I’m never comfortable doing it.

Much to Clancy’s lament. She very much likes me in shorts. I have rather substantial legs (and did even when I was bone thin).

I am, of course, entirely double-standard on the issue. When i first met Clancy, she was wearing shorts and her marvelous legs were the first thing I noticed about her. She had a big bruise on one of the legs. Not only did that not deter my admiration, but it gave me an excuse to look at them. Though even with women, my feelings are mixed. Most of the time, I think that women look better in long pants (and full-on shoes). But as a “leg guy”, it seems partially tragic that they should cover them up.

On a sidenote, Redstone High School apparently does not have a minimum pant-length on shorts. For girls. They really, really should. Guys, meanwhile, are not allowed to wear shorts at all.

Meanwhile, some folks think that guys shouldn’t tuck their shirts in:

Pete has everything going for him. Including all of his aforementioned attributes, he’s a funny, gregarious, likeable guy. Pete’s makin’ it happen. Except for one thing. Pete tucks his shirt in too tight.

So what?… you say. Big deal. So Pete’s neat. He wants to be presentable. Look his best. Clean cut. Professional. An upstanding citizen. He should tuck his shirt in, and as tight as the lug nuts on his truck too. Right? Wrong.

And let me make this clear, I’m focusing on the social aspect of shirt tucking, at work, tuck to your hearts content. I’m not the boss. Maybe he likes it that way. They’re usually ‘tight tuckers’ too.

Socially, it never fails. I’ll step out with my buddies – and one of them (sometimes more… unfortunately) has their shirt jacked in so tight it looks as if it was painted on. It also never fails that when they make their approach (some are better than others) the first thing a woman notices is the ultra tight tuck. It’s never good, regardless of shirt type. Here’s why…

Bah. Just as pants (with beltloops) ought to have belts in them, shirts should be tucked in. Everything should be fastened, buckled, and tied. That’s just… the way it should be, dag nabbit. In addition to that, I typically tuck in my shirts because I wear the belts and without tucking in my shirt, the belt buckle can make contact with my skin, which is a sort of uncomfortable feeling. Clancy thinks I should almost always leave my shirts untucked (and thinks that of most men), but I just have trouble with it. I have trouble with things not being in their rightful place, and a shirt tail’s rightful place is tucked in. I actually take it to very unfashionable extremes, tucking in Hawaiian shirts and sports jerseys some of the time. Both are no-nos. And I recognize that it looks a little goofy, but that’s society’s problem. There is a practical element to it, too. I keep my phone on a belt holster (another fashion no-no, actually) and it’s more accessible when my shirt is tucked in.

The article mentions four things in particular that shouldn’t be tucked in and I actually agree with one of them. Sweaters should not be tucked in. It also mentions jerseys, which I agree is the norm but am iffy about myself. He’s wrong on button-downs and t-shirts, though.

The only real exception are for people who are overweight or have really odd body shapes. The only time I stopped tucking in my shirts was when I hit my peak weight. I bit the bullet, got a ton of undershirts (intentionally too small, though now they’re too big), and let the shirts hang. When the weight came off, that bow to aestheticism came to an abrupt end.

Incidentally, they also have an article on belts, which I actually agree with (for the most part)! Especially the parts about belts and shoes matching. Despite my devil-may-care attitude towards phone holsters and the like, I am meticulous about this. My boots, belt, and watch all need to match. I keep brown and black variations of each and, unless I’m off my game, all three are brown or black. When these three things don’t match, it just feels wrong.

All of which is to say that there are reasons why I had trouble with the ladies prior to meeting my wife.


Category: Coffeehouse

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22 Responses to I Don’t Wear Short Shorts

  1. Abel says:

    At my job we have to wear shirt with a collar. However, no one but the execs tuck them in.

  2. Peter says:

    “Leg guy” … heh, I haven’t heard that expression (or the similar “leg man”) in years and years. Not that I’m one. My main appreciation of the female body involves …. something else.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you quoted Drew Maqueery from Deadspin.

    Despite my personal dislike of him, I happen to agree with him in this case. When the weather is appropriate, a man should be able to wear shorts anytime he likes outside of work, outside a church or a funeral home.

    On a sidenote, Redstone High School apparently does not have a minimum pant-length on shorts. For girls. They really, really should. Guys, meanwhile, are not allowed to wear shorts at all.

    This is quite the double standard. The girls and guys should both be allowed to wear shorts, subject to the fingertip length rule. Of course, in college, students can wear whatever they want, subject to local ordinance.

    Since you have noticed the girls in the short shorts, have any of them made it into your rolodex?

    ===

    At work, shirts should be tucked in, as well as church and funeral homes. Otherwise, it is fine to go untucked. As a general rule, a full button down shirt should always be tucked, except for a baseball jersey.

    ===

    As for your lack of fashion, you have always given off the impression that William Truman and Clancy Himmelreich got together and decided to marry because no one else would have them. I don’t know how much this applies to your real life personas…

    ===

    Your Who’s Who in Hit Coffee link is 404.

  4. Brandon Berg says:

    My ribcage sticks out significantly further than my stomach, so if I don’t tuck in my shirt, it hangs straight down from my chest, implying a torso shaped like a Pac-Man ghost. I guess I can see it working if I had a potbelly that I wanted to hide or if I had a tendency to stand in a hunched posture that caused my ribcage not to protrude past my stomach, but I think a fit man with good posture looks much better with the shirt tucked in.

    On the other hand, I’m a heterosexual man, so who cares what I think about it?

    I’m with you esthetically on the topic of men wearing shorts. Maybe it’s just because Seattle doesn’t really have extreme temperatures, but I just don’t see an important distinction between pants and shorts in terms of tolerance for heat and cold. My legs just aren’t as sensitive to heat or cold as my upper body.

    Flip-flops I don’t like esthetically or practically. They’re just not stable enough for my comfort.

    By the way, I’ve been wondering: There’s an unwritten rule that your shirt can’t be more casual than your pants, isn’t there? That is, you can wear a button-down shirt with jeans, but you can’t wear a T-shirt with slacks, right?

    Peter:
    Out of curiosity, how many points, on the standard ten-point scale, is that particular trait worth to you? Would you take, say, a natural six over a depilated nine?

  5. trumwill says:

    My main appreciation of the female body involves …. something else.

    Except not the part. The hair covering the part.

  6. trumwill says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you quoted Drew Maqueery from Deadspin.

    I actually had no idea he was relevant.

    This is quite the double standard. The girls and guys should both be allowed to wear shorts, subject to the fingertip length rule.

    My high school didn’t allow shorts for anyone. Points for consistency. I wonder if that feeds into why I consider long pants normal. I spent my formative years surrounded by people that wore long pants. And I had to wear them every day. Before they instituted the policy (2nd grade), I was all about the shorts.

    At work, shirts should be tucked in, as well as church and funeral homes. Otherwise, it is fine to go untucked. As a general rule, a full button down shirt should always be tucked, except for a baseball jersey.

    If I am going to wear a shirt untucked, I’d actually probably wear a full-button than a golf shirt.

    As for your lack of fashion, you have always given off the impression that William Truman and Clancy Himmelreich got together and decided to marry because no one else would have them

    Bah! Twas (tis!) a romance for the ages! Actually, I was pretty much open to dating anyone that wasn’t dreadful but neither of us was actually looking for a relationship when we found one another.

    Your Who’s Who in Hit Coffee link is 404.

    Yeah, sorry, I should remove the link. Something has to be done on the back-end that I don’t have access to do. I asked Web to do it a long time ago, then we both promptly forgot about it.

  7. Peter says:

    I’d say that the trait in question is worth at least five or six points on the 1 – 10 scale. At least I can take solace in the fact that hair grows back.

  8. trumwill says:

    My ribcage sticks out significantly further than my stomach, so if I don’t tuck in my shirt, it hangs straight down from my chest, implying a torso shaped like a Pac-Man ghost

    I can’t say I’ve ever had that problem! On the other hand, I look back at pictures from when I was bone-thin and the ones where I have the shirt tucked in, I look really big above the belt. I suspect it had more to do with my shirts having been purchased when I was heavier and being too large, though. So I should have gotten new shirts, but absent that I probably would have looked better with my shirt untucked. Maybe.

    On the other hand, I’m a heterosexual man, so who cares what I think about it?

    As a married, heterosexual man, not only does nobody have reason to care what I think. I can afford not to care what they think. Though Clancy has made it so that it’s not worth wearing some of my pants anymore.

    Flip-flops I don’t like esthetically or practically. They’re just not stable enough for my comfort.

    I was surprised at the number of people that wore them in the Pacific Northwest in the summertime (especially at work). They don’t even have the southern heat as an excuse.

    I’m with you esthetically on the topic of men wearing shorts. Maybe it’s just because Seattle doesn’t really have extreme temperatures, but I just don’t see an important distinction between pants and shorts in terms of tolerance for heat and cold. My legs just aren’t as sensitive to heat or cold as my upper body.

    Didn’t you go to college in the south? Did you notice it then? Or were you too young to care?

    People look at me like I’m crazy when I’m wearing jeans when I don’t have to be, so maybe it doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers them. I would be hot, but then it’s always hot. The difference didn’t seem to me to be all that huge. Particularly if I’m wearing slacks or cargos.

    There’s an unwritten rule that your shirt can’t be more casual than your pants, isn’t there? That is, you can wear a button-down shirt with jeans, but you can’t wear a T-shirt with slacks, right?

    There is, though I don’t always follow it. Sometimes I do wear t-shirts with slacks. I used to do it a lot when I was younger and jeans-averse. Sometimes I do see people in slacks and white tees, though (always tucked in, now that I think about it). Or I used to.

    Peter: Out of curiosity, how many points, on the standard ten-point scale, is that particular trait worth to you? Would you take, say, a natural six over a depilated nine?

    My predilections are not quite as severe. It’s too much to ask ladies not to wear toe-nail polish (though Clancy doesn’t!), but it’s still worth an extra point or two if they don’t. For fingernail polish, it’s minus 3 at least (if they manage it really well) or 4 or 5 more typically. It’s a dealbreaker if they’re sloppy about it. The only girl I ever dated who wore it with moderate regularity was otherwise way out of my league.

  9. trumwill says:

    Yeah, sorry, I should remove the link.

    I forgot, I can’t remove the link without removing the page (which I’ve already started writing). Maybe I’ll put it in a buried post in the meantime. Or bug Web about putting it up. Or just wait for the upgrade. There’s a lot that I want to do that I’m holding off until I upgrade.

  10. Kirk says:

    Living in FL, I wear shorts probably 9-10 months a year, with flip-flops of course. Running shorts are coolest (no underwear). Also, sleeveless T’s are much more pleasant than regular T’s, and I can actually bump my ac up to 80 degrees while wearing them.

    “Formal wear” means a Hawaiian shirt.

    Last year, it stayed down in the 30’s for maybe three weeks straight. I thought I was gonna die….

  11. Brandon Berg says:

    Didn’t you go to college in the south? Did you notice it then?

    Yeah, I went to college in Atlanta. I mostly stopped wearing shorts sometime during my first year. I don’t remember whether I wore shorts in the late summer after I came back from my first summer break, and I was only there for two years. I really can’t think of any time since then that I’ve had to deal with extreme heat, as I’ve spent every summer since in Seattle.

  12. Brandon Berg says:

    For fingernail polish, it’s minus 3 at least (if they manage it really well) or 4 or 5 more typically.

    Huh. I don’t particularly like nail polish, but I can’t think of any single thing that’s worth that much to me, except maybe the difference between being completely bald and having waist-length hair. I guess that might be worth 4 points.

    On the topic of fingernails, I once had a girlfriend(ish) who grew the nail on the little finger of each hand out to about half an inch and cut the others short because she thought her little fingers were too short. It was the kind of thing that’s cute if you already like her and just plain weird if you don’t.

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    Brandon Berg: On the topic of fingernails, I once had a girlfriend(ish) who grew the nail on the little finger of each hand out to about half an inch and cut the others short because she thought her little fingers were too short.

    Ummm, are you sure she wasn’t using them as coke spoons?

    ===

    In terms of deal breakers, I really don’t like tattoos or excessive piercings. Sadly, they are becoming more and more common.

    Drew Magary is the kind of sports fan who gives other sports fans a bad name. He is just a big loser. He is obsessed with bodily functions and always mentions them in his writings. He transferred out of Michigan in tears because he made no friends his freshman year. Overall, I think Deadspin has become more and more juvenile over the years.

    I don’t understand why you don’t like nail polish. I don’t add points for it, but it doesn’t bother me, either.

    I am curious why you didn’t answer the rolodex question.

  14. ? says:

    “He transferred out of Michigan in tears because he made no friends his freshman year.”

    Is this for real? I have a hard time believing that someone would make such a significant decision on that basis, but maybe I’m just biased by my long-term minimal social life.

  15. trumwill says:

    Ummm, are you sure she wasn’t using them as coke spoons?

    I have to admit, that was the first thing that came to my mind. In high school I knew some people that let a fingernail grow because they were going to become a vampire and it was related somehow.

    In terms of deal breakers, I really don’t like tattoos or excessive piercings. Sadly, they are becoming more and more common.

    I find anything more than a single piercing in each ear to be unattractive (though Clancy, Eva, and Tracey don’t/didn’t even have pierced ears), though not typically a dealbreaker. Navel piercings (and navel tattoos, which were becoming popular when I was single) come closer to dealbreaker status. I don’t mind a tattoo, but it becomes excessive pretty quickly.

    I don’t understand why you don’t like nail polish. I don’t add points for it, but it doesn’t bother me, either.

    I can’t really explain why I am so adverse to it. I tend to think of it as an exemplar of artificiality. Someone once suggested to me that it was a class issue: women who wear nail polish come disproportionately from the lower and higher classes (though these days, the higher classes as often as not get their nails done without color masking). There may be some truth to it. My least disfavored color nail polish is black, which is more typically worn (if worn at all) by people in my social station.

    I am curious why you didn’t answer the rolodex question.

    You expected me to? Really, substitute teachers in high school are pretty invisible. Both to male and female students. Gannon would actually probably have more success with junior high girls than high school ones, if he lived up here.

  16. trumwill says:

    Is this for real? I have a hard time believing that someone would make such a significant decision on that basis, but maybe I’m just biased by my long-term minimal social life.

    If I went to college and had no friends, and I suspected that it was the college and not me, I would consider transferring. My roommate and I tried like hell to get my best friend to transfer from his religious school (a school which drove him to atheism). To no avail.

    On the other hand… Michigan? If you can’t make friends at a large institution like that, I don’t think the institution is the problem.

  17. trumwill says:

    “Formal wear” means a Hawaiian shirt.

    I hope you don’t take this mindset on job interviews with you…

  18. trumwill says:

    Huh. I don’t particularly like nail polish, but I can’t think of any single thing that’s worth that much to me, except maybe the difference between being completely bald and having waist-length hair. I guess that might be worth 4 points.

    Personally, I would take bald without nail polish (or excessive piercings or tattoos) over hair with nail polish. Except that I wouldn’t, mostly due to social response (unless she was bald because of cancer, or something, but that’s a whole different subject).

  19. Brandon Berg says:

    Ummm, are you sure she wasn’t using them as coke spoons?

    Ha! I doubt it. At least, I never had any other reason to suspect drug use. I guess she could have been putting on a show for me, but she didn’t really seem the type.

    On the other hand, I’ve never known anyone whom I’ve known to be a current user of cocaine, so maybe I wouldn’t recognize the signs if they were there.

  20. Brandon Berg says:

    Really, substitute teachers in high school are pretty invisible.

    I had one substitute teacher in high school who was fairly popular with students. He later got hired on full-time. But I have no recollection whatsoever of any of the other substitute teachers I had in high school.

    There was one student teacher that I remember. My classmates made him cry on his big evaluation day.

  21. Mike Hunt says:

    @ Omega

    Yes, Magary transferred in tears because he made no friends. At least that’s what he says, and I don’t think he would make that up about himself. Also, he was caught pleasuring himself by his roommate’s gf while watching The Price is Right, and that is a tough thing to live down. Speaking of which…

    @ Trumwill

    We have had a failure to communicate. When I asked about your rolodex, I didn’t mean if you got any of the girls’ phone numbers. By rolodex, I mean the mental rolodex that all of us keep. The rolodex of images that we think about during intimate moments. In other words, have any of them been good looking enough to think about while you were having an intimate moment…?

  22. trumwill says:

    Ahhh, well, I’m not sure I could remember their faces if I tried. That wasn’t the body part that caught my attention.

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