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A man should never wear shorts, but is it time to show off his legs? | Culture

A man should never wear shorts, but is it time to show off his legs?  |  Culture


Fashion is a world full of unwritten rules, but some of them are written down on paper. In his book ABCs of men's fashionBritish designer Hardy Amies, official designer of Queen Elizabeth II and one of the leading proponents of the Savile Row style, laid down the law: a man should never wear shorts unless [when] actually on the beach or on a walking tour. This is how a belief born much earlier and which still exists today was published: short pants are not allowed in men's style beyond a few occasions of sweating. The natural desire to relax is often the cause of abandoning all standards of taste, writes Amies in the same book. In other words, wearing them beyond a few specific moments is tantamount to becoming a careless individual lacking even the slightest sense of elegance.

But fashion, on the other hand, is also a world in which no rule is safe from being broken. Recently, some men have dared to show their legs in situations that would have drawn disapproving looks from Amies or Tom Ford, who declared in a 2011 interview that short pants were only allowed on the tennis court or on the beach. We would never know it from the look worn by Pedro Pascal at the Met Gala last year, in Valentino red, or that of Jacob Elordi during the last Milan Fashion Week, black and associated with a leather jacket, the work of Pierpaolo Piccioli . Pharrell Williams, who previously won a fitted version of the trend, included shorts of different shapes and lengths in his latest collection for Louis Vuitton, and street fashion icon A$AP Rocky became an expert in combining them with blazers and heels. Indeed, Paul Mescal seemingly claims the men's leg every time he leaves the house. So the question seems relevant: has the ban on men wearing shorts finally been lifted?

To understand why short pants are traditionally associated with bad taste, we must look to a history of puritanism, class struggle and chance. Until the French Revolution, the upper-class male outfit of choice involved breeches, usually complemented by stockings. The use of long pants was limited to the lower classes, thus giving rise to the term sans-culotte. Later, with the rise of the bourgeoisie, ankle-length pants became the default look in almost a few cases. British colonialist troops adopted beige cotton Bermuda shorts in their uniform to combat high temperatures and humidity. The other context in which short pants were acceptable concerned another uniform, that of schoolchildren. Here again, the British influence was decisive, since the country's private schools had adopted this garment as part of their dress code. Letting one's ankles see the sun, regardless of the season, was reserved for children, exempt from adult rules of behavior, making the moment of adding fabric to one's legs a rite of passage into maturity. Unlike briefs, the association of shorts with childhood continues to this day. As such, their ties to rebellion make sense: Many rock stars, perhaps invoking the sartorial heritage of typically adolescent activities like skateboarding, now opt for sagging, cut-off pants. Several musical groups of the 1980s shared an affinity with the gay community for the shortest, tightest shorts money could buy.

Carlota Barerra, one of the few Spanish men's fashion designers, goes a little further in her analysis: On the one hand, short pants take us back a bit to the school uniform, but I think there is also that part of traditional masculinity in which men do not show skin, which is more related to women. Barrera designs shorts in different versions, from very short models, very inspired by the 70s and more associated with the feminine world, to others in wool up to the knees, which play on the concept of tailoring. Archie Alled-Martnez is another designer who has claimed the use of cropped pants in his collections. I started using the sportier style as a touchstone for the queer community, and I liked that they were a statement, meaning they were as small as they needed to be. be. My tailor actually calls them panties, he laughs. His view on short pants and their use is free from prejudice: I think we should celebrate diversity, not just in bodies, but also when it comes to not talking too much about other people's decisions.

Fashion is breaking stereotypes and movie and music stars are daring to wear short pants in traditionally forbidden situations. But what about the real world? Venting your knees at work or at a social event can still result in a call to human resources or jokes at your expense. However, this is starting to change. I believe that things are changing, because those who cause change in all areas are creative people, emphasizes Barrera. Alled-Martnez dares to dream: as car use decreases and bicycle use increases, people will probably start going to work in shorts. For now, he recommended a less daring look: I'd take the typical formal pants that show off your butt and cut it out, literally. So that it also looks like it's coming undone. This way you can do them for as long as you want, period. Barrera advocates playing, mixing them with more formal elements. I think it's fun to combine them with something very neat and elevated, that doesn't seem to fit in. With a suit jacket, a tailored shirt or maybe even a tuxedo jacket. That and some stylish shoes. Wear a very polished look so that the garment, traditionally more informal, rises and functions.

Sky is the limit. But even if you can't or don't dare, don't worry: always take a vacation.

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