Not two weeks ago, spring sprung. So I was out and about, cleaning up the February detritus on the lawn, enjoying the sunshine, and burrowing in my closet for a pair of shorts. Shorts! I was so excited. Happy to show off my pasty white legs of winter, giving em a bit of sun to celebrate the season.
As I pulled out last summer seasons' short collection, I was reminded of a certain sun drenched frustration. That being, the rise of baggy shorts. For years now, it seems that men have had no choice but to wear shorts that had a vague suburban rap singer pastiche. Male bloomers. Big and hippy, with 16 pockets and falling below the knee. It was akin to wearing a full on military flak jacket around your waist, with the stiff cotton scratching below your knee caps.
Desirous for my legs to at least see some sunlight each year, I suffered through this unhappy trend. Schlepping around in my voluminous cargo capri shorts I found myself saying "dude" alot, and at least could carry a weeks worth of groceries in all the pockets. My knees never saw sunlight. It was a distasteful fashion.
Go forward to 2010 and the fitted, above the knee short is the new hip trend for men. This year it's all about slim fitting shorts for the summer. How great! The new shorts are above the knee, fitted to the leg and no longer baggy and voluminous. A slim silhouette for men, tired of the blooming shorts of the past. Designers are encouraging men to go slim, go above the knee, and show off those spindly chicken legs. As one observer pointed out, Men focus on the chest and abs, but ignore their waist and legs. This resulted in the cargo baggy shorts look of yesterday. Now, with the slimmer look, men are encouraged to go down one size (use your imagination as to why), and to choose shorts that are tightly fitted and above the knee.
For retailers, especially college retailers selling to a trend conscious youth market, this trend means putting all your baggy rap shorts on sale,and embracing the fitted wear of 2010.
At least this year I can tan my knees.