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Show Me Your Legs: Summer Shorts for Men

I went to see the South African Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet in Johannesburg, and came home to watch the final minutes of the fantastic victory of Barcelona over Manchester United. Mas que un club? Definitely. So what do ballet dancers and soccer players have in common? Their ridiculously powerful, well-defined, sexy legs. Thank you Ronaldo.

I love a man with good legs. The strong muscular quad and prominent curve of the hamstring, all tapering down into a lean calf… delicious. Since summer is coming – two pointers. The first is:  go to the gym and don’t only work on what you can see. There’s nothing worse than a man with a great upper body and toothpicks for legs. Start squatting, lunging and dead-lifting. Fitness is for the whole body, and the results will help you with my second recommendation.

If you’ve got the legs, please, show them off. The debate around men wearing shorts is over. I’m quelling it, right here. Its summer, and I want to see your legs. But you’re a grown man, no longer a college frat boy, so please, retire the jean or khaki 3/4 length army pants you lie around the house in. No one needs that many pockets. Instead, start investing in some classic shorts that highlight your hard work (or your great genetics), and your age (as in, maturity, not graying hairs). Here are some of my favorite.

Original Penguin has classics that scream yacht club or drinks  in Milan… and are available for not nearly that much at Urban Outfitters.

Stick to your cargos if you’re still harboring drunken nights at the cottage, but make them cotton Bottega Veneta’s and I’ll forgive you.

For a mid afternoon stroll through the city or dinner on the patio, stick to cool and comfortable. Dress it up or down, age clearly not mattering.  Thom Browne has a great selection, and although they might run you up a bill, the design and cut are worth it. There’s nothing worse than ill-fitting shorts on a man: although I’m interested in your legs, I don’t need to see everything. However, if you are a fan of short shorts, do it with style:

One of my closest friends wears the best short shorts. With a look like this, I’m a fan. Acne makes great tailored turn ups.

I love Tom Ford, but he’s not infallible.  See his 5 Commandments:

1. Be Yourself

2. Have a job.

3. Have some manners (hold your lady’s coat, make sure she walks on the inside of the street).

4. Don’t be an ass (pretentious, or racist).

5. Don’t wear shorts or flip-flops in the city (unless you are on the tennis court or at the beach).

Great commandments, but no shorts in the city? Not to work and not to meet the parents, but if you’re spending summer in New York, or August in Copenhagen, please, make my day.

Last remark – shaved legs? I don’t mind. Athletes do it all the time… So keep that in mind.




  • Anonymous

    Hahaha! Brilliant! I may not be a man of many shorts, but as always I love the way you break it down. Especially Tom Ford’s commandments. I never tire of that man’s eye for fashion. Sure I am a broke writer that wears strictly 501′s… literally. However, I do dream of being fashionable if ever I could afford it. At least I can cover the commandments mentioned :)  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000583209773 Sabrina Camp

    OMG that picture of Rinaldo!!
    I’m drooling lol
    guys in shorts with toned legs are hot.
    great read Clara :)

  • Chris Elliott

    WOW!!! What an amazing piece Clara! Utterly inspiring. I have been an advocate of short-shorts since 2004 and I have caught a great deal of flack for it since. I stand by my choice of low-cut summer attire and will continue to Jeff Spicolli every bathing suit I own! lol 

  • http://www.theternalist.blogspot.com Clara

    Thanks for the comments @facebook-100000583209773:disqus , yes. Miam. Delicious. And yes, Chris, its time for men to man up. Wear some shorts. Whats with men these days being permanently stuck in the college grad look? Do men think women are stuck in the same phase? Or is it just because we have more style…;)

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