Fran Lebowitz On Shorts

Woman about town, style icon, writer/critic, and New Yorker Fran Lebowitz does not like men in shorts. In speaking with Elle, she explained.

I have to say that one of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. There are few things I would rather see less, to tell you the truth. I’d just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It’s disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they’re wearing shorts? It’s repulsive. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can’t take them seriously.

Oh, and it doesn’t end there. It goes on for a few more paragraphs, another highlight being:

My fashion advice, particularly to men wearing shorts: Ask yourself, ‘Could I make a living modeling these shorts?’ If the answer is no, then change your clothes. Put on a pair of pants.

This, of course, is in the context of being in New York City, where you have to “dress up” to live there. While I mostly reacted to this with “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you…” there is some truth to these statements: you shouldn’t wear shorts unless you feel comfortable enough to model in them. You also do look a little bit like a child, which is partially the appeal to me since my aesthetic is a little boy playing dress up. Thus, you need a confidence and a youthfulness to pull off shorts as a man. It is something embodied in a mental and physical capacity. I can agree with that, Fran.

Yet, the most important note on fashion comes directly before the shorts critique—and it’s quite important to anyone who seeks fashion advice online.

Because of the Internet everybody sees the same stuff. You can buy the clothes of New York, even if you’re not living there. So I think that the accessibility, in this case, drives buying choices more than anything else.

Absolutely. Especially in an age of samesie phenomenas like this and this, the Internet is not helping our fostering fashion originality. Taking influence from other people sounds good but, really, you’re probably looking more like another person than yourself. I can take that note, Fran.

But shorts being “disgusting”? I can’t get down with that. I can get down with you—but I can’t get down with shorts hating.

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