What is ‘Thigh Guy Summer’ you ask?
The style rules of the short shorts-season are laid out on TikTok, where users have been trending the hashtag #5inseam, daring men to bare with shorts worthy of their name and ditch their baggy, basketball pairs for good.
Luxury fashion has now given its stamp of approval to the trend, too. Men’s shorts were everywhere at the Spring/Summer 2022 menswear shows at Milan Fashion Week; brands like Fendi, Prada and MSGM all proposed higher hemlines. For his menswear debut, London designer Erdem had models flaunting floral short shorts, even if it was a little chilly along West Wittering Beach where he shot the lookbook for his collection.
If you’re not used to showing that much skin, fret not. Given that you don’t skip leg day at the gym, you’ll find that Thigh Guy Summer is the perfect chance to celebrate what you’ve been working so hard for. And to initiate your legs into a world of breezy, unfettered movement, we’ve rounded up…
5 ways to wear men’s shorts for summer:
Throw on a cardigan
Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowski have all made the case for it: cardigans can be sexy. Especially if you throw the knit on with nothing underneath, and left a couple of buttons undone. The styling trick is bound to work on men, too, as we saw at MSGM’s Spring/Summer 2022 lookbook. Granted, a cardigan is the last thing you’ll think to wear to the beach, but the piece can be pretty versatile: it’ll keep you warm after a dip in the waves, and it can be unbuttoned so that you can really take in that seaside breeze. Be sure to accessorise with bucket hats and slides.
Embrace the romper
At Prada, models seemed to be gearing up for what Wall Street Journal called the “one-inch inseam summer” with their teeny-tiny, knitted shorts. But what’s even more intriguing from the collection were the romper suits, which made perfect sense in the Mediterranean beach setting that models walked into. Adding to their appeal was that they were cut from airy cotton in nautical whites or tropical stripes. You can just imagine the ease with which you can move around in the sand and sea with those turned-up short hems.
Add a dose of English elegance
London-based fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu is best known for his romantic aesthetic, which he has translated well into his first menswear offerings. While you may think of men’s shorts as casual clothing items, Erdem shows us that you can, in fact, wear them with elegance — even to the beach. His models achieved that by sporting crisp button-downs in starch white or exquisite florals, creating ensembles that toe the line between femininity and masculinity. Their matching bucket hats didn’t just underscore the accessory as the It item of the summer, but also took away from some of the primness the shirts may have offered. What you’re left with is an outfit that is fine and fun.
Play with proportions
At Ermenegildo Zegna, designer Alessandro Sartori is known for offering clothes with perfect proportions. This is true of his latest menswear collection, which included boxy shorts paired with boxy shirts. It may sound sloppy on paper, but Sartori’s balancing act comes through in the resulting outfit, which resembles a smart, urban uniform for the modern man. Go for shirts and shorts that are made of thicker fabrics like wool to get that same sense of structure, and look out for subtle design details like wide, raglan sleeves and a sharp collar.
Try a crop top
In the words of Rick Owens, “No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body.” If you’ve got a hot bod and you’re proud of it, why stop with a pair of thigh-grazing men’s shorts? Bare those abs with a crop top, like those that appeared in Fendi’s latest collection. Designer Silvia Venturini Fendi shared that she “really wanted to give a sense of freedom to this man. I think it’s the time to break boundaries.” You may think it’s a bold styling choice, but it’s been a thing for a while now: see Kid Cudi’s iconic Coachella 2014 look, or dig further back into the Nineties and see how well Will Smith and Johnny Depp pulled off the sporty piece. And guys, there’s never been a better time to get into crop tops: Lyst reported a 148% increase in searches for them since last month, along with a growing interest in cropped sweatshirts and hoodies.
(Main photo credit: Prada)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.