We wear short shorts
The argument for the nut hugger
I’m not sure when the shift happened—men losing interest in showing some thigh when wearing shorts. It seems that tennis players started taking their cues from the NBA at some point in the 90s (who, since the leggy era of Bird and Chamberlain, had lost their way as well). The wonderful world of the exposed leg has turned into men wearing shorts so long they are virtually culottes (a style of trousers with a length just below the knee—worn mostly by women.) I miss the short shorts of the 70s and 80s, when no self-respecting man would wear a cut-off, OP cord, or tennis short with an inseam greater than 3-3.5 inches. Ralph wore them, tennis stars like Borg, Conners, Mac, Ash and Noah wore them, Magnum wore them, soccer stars like Diego Maradona wore them, and musicians like Jagger and Bryan Ferry wore them. There are even some great shots of some of my favorite style icons like Newman, Redford, McQueen, Wayne and Copper all wearing nut huggers. I was, and still am, obsessed with the short style of this era, and have dug out my vintage Fila, Tacchini, Ellesse and Adidas and now wearing them. I truly believe a shorter short makes you seem taller, more athletic, and, dare I say, even a bit sexier. I have photos of Steve Huff, the maverick salt water fly fisherman, pulling a 200 pound tarpon into his boat in Levi cut-offs dangerously creeping up to nut level. This was macho, this was cool, this was being a confident man. I find myself taking a pair of scissors to my old khakis, madras and denim to cut shorts to my desired inseam—short—no longer waiting for designers to give me what I want. That being said I have projects brewing with Hemingsworth (out of the UK) and The Original Madras Trading Co. to produce a line of shorts inspired with a shorter inseam. My hopes and dreams of this short length coming back into style are encouraged by brands like Sid Mashburn, Birdwell, Goodlife and Quaker Marine—who are all making strides to shorten their short length to a more exposed thigh level. I know I am not alone in my obsession with the short short—I see it on IG and in a few of my favorite style sites, and I am certain that the short short is coming back.