Ask Janie Cai: Short shorts

How short should shorts go? Our Fashion Director answers

BY JANIE CAI | Jan 21, 2016 | Fashion

Photograph from Flickr Commons


“I usually wear over-the-knee shorts with pockets on the side, but recently I’ve been noticing that men’s shorts seem to be getting shorter. Whilst I don’t want to look like I’ve taken a detour from the swimming pool, I do want to try wearing, erm… shorter shorts. But how short is too short?”

Esquire Singapore Fashion Director

Ditch the over-the-knee shorts immediately and get a pair (or two, or three) of flat-front (that means no pleats), solid-coloured cotton shorts that just skim the top of your knees.

The key to looking good in shorts, and everything else, is to observe the fit. Ensure they aren’t too baggy and that the seat of the shorts doesn’t bunch up with excess fabric when you try it on.

The waistband should sit comfortably flat around your waist with enough give for you to slide two fingers around the band and the shorts shouldn’t crease up around the crotch area—that means it’s too tight, so level up a size.

If the waist and fit is great but the length’s a bit too long, you can always get them altered to fit. Avoid going any shorter than a handspan above the knee unless you have David Gandy’s legs. And only roll’em up if you’re at the beach and you’re wading out into the sea to retrieve an errant beach ball.

If you have questions on style, please post them in the comment box below or send it to Selected questions will be published along with your full name.