We at Business Insider rail against cargo shorts — a lot. But it’s for a good reason.
Cargo pocketed shorts are the single worst item a man can wear in spring and summer. Yes, we’re willing to go that far. We feel that strongly about it.
The first issue is this: a gentleman does not wear shorts that cover the knees. Some claim a gentleman never wears shorts at all. We wouldn’t go that far, but if you’re covering your knees, you’re not bold enough to be a man in shorts in the first place.
Go sweat through the summer in some pants, and then leave the shorts-wearing to the men who can actually handle staring at their own kneecaps.
Most (all) cargo shorts are at least 11 inches long, which will cover the knees, creating a silly imbalanced look that pretty much ruins the whole point of wearing shorts to begin with.
The second issue is the actual disgusting cargo pockets that hang at the side of the too-long short leg.
What are you even putting in those pockets? You’re not a carpenter. You don’t need space for a level. If you think you need those pockets, let me ask you this: why is a four-pocket jean fine most of the time, but a four-pocket short isn’t? Exactly.
If you’re still looking for places to keep extra items, there’s always the possibility of carrying a bag with you. You know, like everyone else.
If the only issue was a few extra pockets, that would be one thing. But unfortunately, the extra pockets add considerable weight and bulk to the shorts, dragging them down even further from your hips. They also completely ruin whatever trim silhouette you might have on the sides of your legs.
In effect, this creates a juvenile look no matter how old you actually are.
But there is a solution that goes by the name of chino shorts. They’re pocket-less, generally shorter, and just all around slimmer and more flattering.
Just take a look at the picture above to see the difference between the two. To the left is the cargo shorts Gap inexplicably still sells ($59.99), compared with a pair of J. Crew chino shorts ($69). It’s clear which one has cleaner lines, and which one makes the wearer look like a real adult.
Many, many other brands make chino shorts, likely including whatever brand you bought your terrible cargo shorts from.
Make the right choice.