We’ve talked about this before: cargo shorts are terrible. You would think that self-respecting men in 2016 would have been so scarred by the 1990s to know that cargo shorts, shorts that fall below-the-knee, and any “casual male” wear are sartorial, comic risks: wearing them is a near equivalent to donning Jncos, unironically.
Yet, some men still wear cargo shorts to the chagrin of everyone around them. People (Besides me.) are standing up, finally, to make the Man In Shorts better and to rid our culture of the Sloppy Dad male fashion trope. Thanks to Nicole Hong‘s wonderfully titled story, “Nice Cargo Shorts! You’re Sleeping on the Sofa” for the Wall Street Journal, we have a clear voice in our frustration about cargo shorts.
The story is a giddy playlist of everything we cargo shorts haters love: a call from Tim Gunn calling them “the least fashionable item of clothing in his closet,” mentionings of clinging to middle school flair, Abercrombie & Fitch bemoaning, and Michael Jordan’s cargo shorted fragile masculinity. However, an element at play here that is often overlooked is indeed that nostalgia factor, which is something urbanites and gay men and straight women forget is lost on Common Dude, USA. “It’s quite difficult to let go of what was cool when you were younger,” one man said in the story, illustrating the sting of letting these slop shorts go.
What’s most interesting aspect of this conversation is that cargo shorts are becoming as a symbol of rebellion in relationships, against fashionable, overbearing spouses who steal and protest against this particular look.
“Every time I put them on, I am conscious of the fact that I am now being disobedient in my marriage,” he said.
Mr. Lommel’s wife, Lyndsay Peters, disputes the idea that he tries to wear cargo shorts only when she’s not around. “I wish that were the truth,” she said. “If he was only wearing them when I could not look at him, that would be perfect.”
Like. I get it, dude, but if wearing cargo shorts is what tickles your rebellious part then maybe you need to get out of the house and stop into a Topman for some new “cool” styles to annoy people. There are lots of annoyances to be found there.
Although the article points at a future where the trend inevitably returns, Hong delivers the story in a way that is an anti-cargo shorts manifest for her friends or for herself. It’s been years in the making and, finally, we have proof that no one likes these shorts and that these many straight men clinging to their youth are ruining shorts for us dudes who are trying to elevate shorts from the schlub.
Thank you, Nicole Hong. You are doing the Lord’s fashionable work.