March 24, 2011

"A man should never wear shorts in the city.... Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach."

Tom Ford is more hardcore about men in shorts than I am.

76 comments:

Mark O said...

Obsession. Let it go. Enjoy life. Let Meade be Meade.

EDH said...

A man should never wear shorts in the city.

Which reminds me, for the longest time listening to the radio back in the 1970s I thought from the vocals "Hot Child in the City" was sung by a woman.

(Not that the video changes that impression much.)

I wonder if Nick Gilder wears shorts?

shoutingthomas said...

You must subscribe to Elaine's (from Seinfeld) view of the male body:

The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it's for gettin' around, like a jeep. . . . It's hideous. The hair, the lumpiness. It's simian.

David said...

" Don’t be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background."

Instead, judge them by their political views. It's all the rage.

edutcher said...

When the city's thermometer reads 105 and the humidity is 99% and the heat not only beats down on you, but throbs up from the asphalt and out from the buildings, shorts are the only sensible thing to wear.

So there.

(you know this, Madame. You've been in Philadelphia and New York when those lovely Bermuda Highs came calling in July and August)

Gimli 4 the West said...

Men wear shorts under the fantasy that women are as interested in legs as men are. The first comment I received from a young lady about my legs only confirmed the fact. My wife of 23 years who said, "you're losing your muscle tone" reinforced the delusion.

My wife married me for reasons other than my muscle tone but I still dig my wife in a skirt.

ironrailsironweights said...

The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it's for gettin' around, like a jeep. . . . It's hideous. The hair, the lumpiness. It's simian.

Well, there's certainly no longer any hair associated with the female body. God damn it.

Peter

Rob said...

Meade:
Please explain to the lady the difference between summer in Wisconsin and summer in the Hoosier state. I don't care how dorky I look in shorts, it is too dang hot.

traditionalguy said...

Big Boy Pants are stylish on grown men now. That is a good sign. Men who wore Shorts were originally the British Military in the tropics who went madly out in the noonday sun. We called them Bermuda Shorts and laughed saying where else but on a golf course are men allowed to dress like clowns.

Ann Althouse said...

"The female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian, it's for gettin' around, like a jeep. . . . It's hideous. The hair, the lumpiness. It's simian."

Obviously written by a man. (A heterosexual man.)

As for extremely hot weather... I've always made an exception there. That's why I said I'm less hardcore than Tom Ford.

john said...

I agree with Tom ford. People are way too casual in cities. Cities demand the respect of their inhabitants. On our way to Paris for 5 weeks in June and already deciding what we need for daily wear so that we don't look like rubes, feel comfortable and fit in, in a relaxed way.

In south and central america it is quite interesting; you very rarely see men in shorts, even in the very hot climates. Obviously it's cultural, but I appreciate the formality.

But most would consider us weird.

John & Celeste

Palladian said...

"Obviously written by a man. (A heterosexual man.)"

Absolutely.

It's funny, today some of my students were talking about men in shorts. One of the young women said "I think shorts make men look like little kids!" and the other women in the conversation agreed. And I knew, wherever you were today, Althouse, that you were smiling.

bagoh20 said...

I...My...You...ahh, bite me!

Palladian said...

Another sartorial sacrilege is men wearing tank tops in the city. The Puerto Rican and Dominican men have done it for years (complete with a terry cloth sweat towel draped over one shoulder) but in the last few years the hipsters in Williamsburg took a fancy to the style. But of course, the hipsters have to maximize ugliness and vulgarity, so only the hipster boys with the smelliest, hairiest armpits wear sleeveless shirts. I'm as much of an admirer of natural, unshaven human bodies as ironrails (well, except I like hairy men) but there's a time and place for everything. I don't want to look at someone's matted, damp armpit hair 5 inches from my face in the subway in August.

And of course, the wearing of flip-flops (or Zoris as my grandmother called them) in New York Freakin' City is just repulsive. Again, hairy, dirty toes are just grotesque when forced upon one in the subway or, worse, a restaurant.

CachorroQuente said...

Who is Tom Ford and why should anyone care about his opinion?

Oh, he's some sort of fashion person and there is no reason.

Screw'm.

Drew said...

Cities demand the respect of their inhabitants.

What does Madison demand of its inhabitants?

Palladian said...

"What does Madison demand of its inhabitants?"

Union dues.

EDH said...

Oh great, now I've got that ubiquitous, 1970s top-hits AM radio, cheesy electric guitar sound in my head.

Listen to a few seconds of Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing.

Now, a few seconds of Hot Child in the City.

The Crack Emcee said...

Stuff White People Like #86 Shorts

One thing prized by white people is making the most of situations. They like to maximize opportunities for all that they are worth. It applies to jobs, vacations, investments, books, education, and perhaps most importantly, warm days.

After a prolonged cold snap, white people are very excited at the first hint of a warm day. It is their opportunity to go back outside, to enjoy nature and thrive.

In order to get the most possible enjoyment out of these days, white people turn to one of their most trusted allies: shorts.

It is a known fact that white people believe that they can bring spring early by wearing a pair of shorts on any day that is above seasonal temperatures. This myth runs so deep that they will often wear shorts the following day when temperatures drop, at which point they will refuse to recognize that it is cold.

When you encounter a cold white person in shorts it’s best to say “I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to go windsurfing.” They will likely give you a high five.

vbspurs said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

Obviously written by a man. (A heterosexual man.)

But agreed with by a woman. A heterosexual woman -- yours truly.

I love the sinewy tautness of a man's forearms, especially in the way they tense their biceps, and no matter how old, you can still feel raw strength in them. Or how about the cascade of curly hair that goes down from their collarbone to their nether regions: a treasure map with an interestingly-placed 'X' as your prize.

Yes. A man's body is a machine, with each part playing a very specific, and oft-satisfying role.

But the undulations, crevices and mounds of a woman's body -- well, you look at it and there is no way you doubt that there is God.

Cheers,
Victoria

ampersand said...

Back in the day there was only one way to properly fold and wear your toga.

vbspurs said...

Tom Ford intoned:

1. You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.

Completely agree. If I may be frank, the reason foreigners often doesn't take Americans seriously, is that they shamble along the corridors of the world in shorts and ripped tees. Sure, they have a wad of benjies that could choke a horse in the pocket of those shorts, but no one wants to be ruled by a schlepp.

Also, and this goes to no one nationality in particular, tidy up your house before receiving visitors. That "lived in" look is really saying you don't think the person is important enough to merit your effort.

john lichtenstein said...

Long pants are stupid and men should never wear them so long as the temperature is above 20F. In San Diego, it's common to see right thinking men wearing shorts and a jacket when it's "cold" (55F). Shorts let you bend your legs any way without catching pant knees and causing wardrobe malfunctions around the waist. Shins are cheaper to clean than pants. Lots of guy stuff (motor oil, sharpie, paint, blood) is essentially impossible to remove from pants but is guaranteed to come off shins within 45 days. Nobody cares if you scratch your shins up walking through roses, climbing a fence, slamming yourself against concrete, or doing any other normal guy things. But if you walk around in shredded pants, the same people who complain about shorts will complain even more. It's impossible to scratch an itchy knee while wearing pants.

vbspurs said...

Palladian wrote:

or Zoris as my grandmother called them)

Oh, how interesting! In Peru, due to the concentration of Japanese there, they call them 'sayonaras'.

vbspurs said...

John L wrote:

In San Diego, it's common to see right thinking men wearing shorts and a jacket when it's "cold" (55F).

You know, the first thing I think when I see men (or women) wearing shorts in unseasonal weather: do they have eczema? I heard that cold weather exascerbates the condition, but long pants irritate the skin.

John0 Juanderlust said...

There's no stopping some men from wearing shorts.
The worst is to be stuck on an airplane next to a guy in shorts and a wife beater tee shirt.
I have no idea who this Ford person is, but I have to agree that shorts for men was a bad idea. Especially when they are in public in close quarters with innocent bystanders.

john lichtenstein said...

Yes vbspurs. While slamming concrete and spilling mustard are year round pastimes, its the wintertime combination desiccation of Santa Ana wind and forced air heating that makes knees itch. You don't need to have particularly bad skin to dry out in the Santa Anas.

edward said...

Ann Meade and all those who comment here I need help with a sign. I will be in southern Wisconsin next weekend or the following and wanted to visit the capital with a "cleverly worded" sign (and perhaps wear my new-ish shorts).
IF you remember the "protest warrior" group(s) who went to anti-war protests and carried signs that looked like they belonged but if you actually read them they were counter-protest signs.

That's what want. I need help with making a clever sign. I was thinking something like:
"Union, spending your money so you don't have to."
"Unions, we're so weak we have the government confiscate dues for us."
"Union: Government that's bought and paid for (by you, not for you)."
"Purple Power: Regal colors for the regally inept"

Any suggestions....

cross posted on two threads, which is really bad form..... I guess Ann will just have to "spank" a fellow professor..... :)

edward said...

Oh BTW shorts should Not be worn when the snow is deeper than your surplus combat boots......

Rules for living in Minnesota... OH ah, you betcha....

Julius said...

Tom Ford lives in Santa Fe. Is that a "city"? New York City is certainly a city; it's part of the fucking name for Christ's sake. But Santa Fe? I think it is just fine to wear shorts in Santa Fe.

I think the Ford Short Rule only applies to cities that count pretension as part of their character. Then again, Santa Fe can be quite pretentious, even though it publicly prides itself on being non-pretentious. Oh my head is spinning!

edward said...

One last comment then back to grading tests.......

For the song stuck in your head crowd..... ZZTop Legs....

vbspurs said...

You don't need to have particularly bad skin to dry out in the Santa Anas.

This is why one should always have that creme that Neutrogena has, that was made to soften the rough, chapped hands of Norwegian fishermen in winter. Dab that on your knees, John, and you'll be purring like a kitty.

wv: suffert (in silencet)

john lichtenstein said...

It's impossible vbspurs to apply lotion to your knees while wearing long pants. In shorts, you can spray knees with antihistamine or pour lotion on them. And beyond the wintertime concerns, in shorts you can adjust your knee brace or your prosthetic leg. In long pants, these types of minor chores require removing the pants multiple times a day.

vbspurs said...

Edward, some suggestions:

- "Union dues and don'ts. Too many dues, and not enough don'ts"
- "There's too much 'I' in SEIU and not enough 'U'"
- "What do you call a union worker who can't face reality? Employee of the Month"
- "In Soviet Russia, unions picket you!"
- "Unions mean never having to say you're sorry"

For Gawker-readers, there's always:

"Don't Unionise, A-F*CKINGSAP!"

And as an inside joke to any passing commenter you might encounter:

"An Althouse divided against itself cannot stand"

Good luck, comrade.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

It's impossible vbspurs to apply lotion to your knees while wearing long pants.

So there's not a trick men can do, like when we gals take off our bras under our shirts? Shame.

wv: dorca (dorkette)

Barbara said...

Oh, how interesting! In Peru, due to the concentration of Japanese there, they call them 'sayonaras'.

In Hawaii we call them "go aheads."

Palladian said...

"If I may be frank, the reason foreigners often doesn't take Americans seriously, is that they shamble along the corridors of the world in shorts and ripped tees."

You would hate me in person then, Victoria. I dress in rags, like a pauper.

vbspurs said...

Dude, what are you talking about: I'm wearing my yoga shorts as I type. With a natty Clorox stain around the hem.

Palladian, though I clean up real good and talk a good game, I am no catwalk Kathy.

Coketown said...

I wear shorts solely for hiking. Pants are a hindrance. But nobody looks good in shorts. Just like beanies. Everyone wears beanies because everyone knows that everyone looks stupid in them. I even advise women against wearing shorts because there is roughly a 2-inch grace-length of fabric between looking like a fusspot and looking like a whore. I witnessed that today downtown. A pack of girls was sauntering (do people saunter anymore? Or is sauntering a social construct?) downtown, some looked like moms and some like whores but all were in high school.

I grow old... I grow old
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled [if I'm ever in need of shorts]

vbspurs said...

Barbara, for real? Heh. Any island reason why they're called 'go aheads'?

vbspurs said...

WHAT NOT TO WEAR.

All of it, just fricken all of it.

MarkW said...

Now there's a shocker -- pillar of the fashion industry argues that men should avoid dressing down. I'm sure this is purely aesthetics and his interest in selling more expensive mens clothing has nothing to do with it. Sheesh.

rhhardin said...

Shorts are for everywhere.

I pioneered shorts on airplanes in 1968.

Even today that's disparaged, proving it's a matter of comfort and not style. That's the real guy thing. Everybody else is a poseur.

On very cold days, wear sweat pants over shorts, which gives an ideal leg cooling gradient.

Writ Small said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Writ Small said...

Show me a man who says all men look simian, and I'll show you a man with a chimp-like physique.

Show me a man who says men shouldn't wear shorts, and I'll show you a man with unattractive legs.

If you've got 'em, flaunt 'em. If you don't, hide 'em, but please don't tell everyone else to hide 'em, too.

The same goes for women who want other women to dress modestly on a sunny day. Dress appropriately for yourself, but please don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Pogo said...

To my children's everlasting shame, my wife and I still call "flip flops" by the term we knew in high school:

'Thongs'.

Pogo said...

Tom Ford is handsome, and handsome men should do as he says.

I am one of the invisibles, the thousands of faceless males that serve as a backdrop for those more blessed in countenance.

Their splendor is made even greater by our bland style and inappropriate look.

My father said when he retired he was going to ride an old beat-up Schwinn with balloon tires, wearing bib overalls, high tops, a garish ball cap, and no socks. He figured that when people were having a bad day they'd see the doofus on the bike and think, 'Well at least I'm not him.'

We invisible men live to serve.
You're welcome.

LarsPorsena said...

"In south and central america it is quite interesting; you very rarely see men in shorts, even in the very hot climates. Obviously it's cultural, but I appreciate the formality."

Think about the abundant and ferocious insect life that abounds in the tropics and you'll understand the necessity of long pants. As for the heat, think about the Arabs, Berbers, Mongols. What do they know that we don't?

Lucius said...

Tom Ford is more hardc core about everything.

I refuse to wear shorts, regardless of heat. Though that's a tiny pittance to the gods, considering my other crimes against the eyeballs of neighbors.

mishu said...

I'm sure this is purely aesthetics and his interest in selling more expensive mens clothing has nothing to do with it.

Wait, so shorts are a no-no but that rose print blazer in his Spring 2011 collection is a must? Now I know I'm doing the right thing by wearing shorts.

mishu said...

Jeez his line horrible. It looks like a bunch of hideous throw backs from the 1970s. The blazers are ill-fitting and the colors are ridiculous.

steve said...

You so should not go to Sydney, Australia in summer. Your head would explode.

Surfed said...

Shoot surfers break that rule 24/7/365. I get in conversations all the time with my brethern wave riders that real surfers wear kahkis rolled at the ankle and no shirt. Everywhere and anywhere. But that's just coastal culture far removed from the inland world of a Wisconsin.

al said...

I wear shorts whenever possible - usually April through October. If that means that foreigners don't take me seriously - oh well. I'm too busy laughing at them because men should not wear capris.

dbp said...

I would normally dismiss out-of-hand any rule against shorts but Tom Ford's other rules seem fairly sensible, so I'll take the shorts rule under advisement.

bagoh20 said...

Shorts = Humility

You know Jesus would wear 'em, if he had 'em. His father? Absolutely not!

ricpic said...

Do men get a dispensation for wearing shorts in the suburbs?

Firehand said...

Ann, how are you on kilts?

Paddy O said...

What about mailmen? Are they not allowed to wear shorts in the city, or is this just a rule for the bourgeoisie?

Anyone whose job it is to walk around all day has pretty good legs. I worked as a mailman for about 3 summers and one Christmas season. They gave me the worst routes usually (non-union temporary worker after all), and my calves were a sight to see after a couple of months.

Personally, and I blame the fashion industry for this blight upon humanity, I'd like to see an entire ban of men wearing skinny jeans.

Paddy O said...

I'm still waiting for when OP corduroy shorts come back into style.

WV: endipatt. Endipatt? I barely even started!

Surfed said...

@Paddy. Still have my Op's! My daughter is appalled when I put them on. She covers her face with her hands. Truly, they were classics.

John said...

Shorts are comfortable, and I look good in them. Therefore, I will wear them wherever I wish (with the exception of my job, which I would like to keep).

I agree with Paddy O, though... men should never wear skinny jeans. They are simply not flattering.

MadisonMan said...

I do the laundry in my house, most of the time, and 4 pairs of shorts take less space than 4 pairs of pants. Shorts are the green alternative :)

If it's warmer than 80, I'll wear shorts. Unless I'm going to be outside around dusk, in which case I will wear pants because skeeters love me.

My legs are fabulousity defined, of course.

Oligonicella said...

ampersand @11:55 PM

Brilliant, the entire history and shallowness of fashion distilled into one sentence.

Joaquin said...

PLEEEASE!
If you live up north, away from the coast, maybe. Here in the South, clean, pressed kacki, navy or madras shorts are always in style. Be it an outside lunch, early cocktails or on the golf course, bermuda shorts are fine.
Ann, there are shorts and then there are shorts. You need to jump out of that Puritanical box.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For the song stuck in your head crowd..... ZZTop Legs....

Ooooh thanks a lot! I love ZZ Top.

Men and Shorts. There is a time and place for shorts and more importantly a length of short that is acceptable.

There is something very weird and icky about a man wearing 'short' shorts. Too long, looks like a gangbanger.

Fabric too, can make for a strange and disturbing image of men in shorts. Lycra!! Yikes.

My hubby wears shorts on rare occasions. When it is really hot, when he is not at work and we are in a very casual outdoor situation. Never ever would he wear shorts to go to a restaurant.

BTW: searching for 'men in shorts' gave my virus program the heebie jeebies...warning warning....porn!

E.M. Davis said...

I have never felt cooler by wearing shorts (And I mean in the heat/humidity sense. It's usually the shirt/shoes that make more of a difference in my temperature.

Although I was wearing them yesterday at the Magic Kingdom.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In Hawaii we call them "go aheads."

Interesting. That's what we called them in California when I was growing up in the late 50s early 60'. Also Zoris and Flip Flops

Michael said...

I rarely wear shorts, even in the hottest weather. I wear a coat and tie daily despite the fact that my partners all appear to be on their way to the golf course or Home Depot. I do it partly to piss them off and partly for the reason that Ford suggests; to show a bit of respect to my family and clients. Little by little the smallest trappings of a civilized life are falling away, giving way to a sameness that never existed in the grayest of the man in the gray flannel suit era.

Methadras said...

Next to Tim Gunn, Tom Ford is a man of style for me.

Methadras said...

I wear short for comfort. COMFORT, GOD DAMMIT!!!!1eleventy!!!

Fred4Pres said...

You know something, Tom Ford's old school advice is spot on.

MarkD said...

Tom Ford has not been to Honolulu. Otherwise, I have to agree. However, in terms of sartorial horror, sweat pants on the obese are obscene outside the gym or the track.

John Clifford said...

Who appointed Tom Ford the sole arbiter of taste... besides Tom Ford?

A man wears what he wants, and he doesn't look to others for permission or approval.

Re Nick Gilder wearing short, the way he sings they must be very tight.

wv: anidem - what people respond when they are asked why they own shorts for hot days

Lionheart said...

I say wear shorts when you want to wear shorts. If that gets you in trouble, reassess your choices or the people you with whom you deal. Now those who wear red socks with a suit just to show what iconoclasts they are should be avoided at all costs.
Thongs, etc called slippers usually on Maui.

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