Summertime calls for the liberating experience of wearing shorts and the men’s spring 2014 fashion trends call for shorter styles perhaps as a natural response to the rising temperatures. What started off as a subtle movement in Paris two or three seasons ago, morphed into a proper trend as more and more gentlemen dared express their preference for the short shorts over the past years. And although we already established that the safest length range for men’s tailored shorts is having them hit an inch above the knee, or directly on it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in showing a little bit more leg.

The key as always is finding the appropriate styles to fit your body type, as well as selecting the right kind of materials to complement your seasonal wardrobe choices.

More about the trend and how you can wear it now, after the break.

how to wear men's short shorts

Men’s short tailored shorts: spring 2014

The spring 2014 runways welcomed the short, or super-short alternative cuts as further proof that menswear continues to evolve and become a little more casual without appearing unkempt. Today it’s not impossible to be dressed up in shorts, and even the short shorts have been made to look flattering, modern and rather polished. Here’s what you must know about this season’s highly popular style:

The perfect fit.

As with everything else building the modern men’s wardrobe, finding the perfect fit to a pair of short tailored shorts becomes key to sporting the trend the right way. When shopping for a pair of short shorts this season make sure you:

  • pick a pair that complements you body shape (if you have long/skinny legs you need a longer cut, if you have hunky or short legs you can go for a more relaxed fit and shorter length).
  • go for a pair of shorts with little bit of room to the cut (you don’t want them too tight);
  • also avoid short shorts that are too baggy;
  • sit down while trying on the shorts because that’s when you really notice if the style is too tight, too loose, or showing too much leg.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Men’s short tailored shorts at Neil Barrett and Les Hommes, S/S ’14

How to style the men’s short tailored shorts.

The short tailored shorts can come across as highly versatile if styled correctly. They look just as a good when cut in a printed fabric, as they do in solid colours.

  • keep in mind that pale legs look much better in neutral tones like navy, beige or chocolate, while the brighter tones (summer blues, yellow, pink, orange, green) along with the white, black and gray basics tend to look best with more tanned legs;
  • if you opt for solid hues, the easiest way to sport the short shorts is by integrating them in colour coordinated outfits; you can use the upper body part to play with texture, or to get creative with light layering;
  • if you opt for prints, make sure you keep the top and accessories quite plain to avoid for the entire outfit to become too overwhelming.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Men’s short tailored shorts at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Neil Barrett, S/S ’14

A touch of leather.

The easiest way to infuse the short tailored shorts with a little bit of edge is by adding a touch of leather to both your casual and dressier outfits:

  • to complement the theme, keep the colour palette dark (or opt for the standard combination of black & white);
  • keep the accessorizing as minimal as possible to enhance the clean cuts;
  • pick a leather biker jacket for a laid-back/cool look, and a leather top that you can layer upon a classic button down to spice up a dressier outfit.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Men’s short tailored shorts at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Les Hommes, S/S ’14

The short tailored short suit.

Although not recommended for the work environment, unless you work in the creative industries, a short suit based on the alternative short cut can make for an interesting approach for the high summer parties. The key is to maintain the overall look clean and pulled-together, for the business up top, party down below outfit to make total sense. Here is where you can also complement you personality by choosing between lively prints/pastel hue combinations, or smart silhouettes enhanced by classic colour schemes.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Short tailored shorts suits at Alan Taylor and Les Hommes, S/S ’14

The casual approach.

Needless to point out giving their relaxed nature that the short shorts look best in a casual mix. That can translate to either a basic t-shirt + pair of short shorts combination that you can reserve for the holidays, or to a much more urban inspired interpretation which sees that the short shorts are being smartly paired to a light bomber jacket and a light-printed shirt.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Casual men’s short tailored shorts at Louis Vuitton and Les Hommes, S/S ’14

Keeping it simple.

Simplicity can easily become your biggest ally when sporting the short tailored shorts. As long as you nail the fit of your shorts, you can stick to logical colour combinations, minimal accessories (a pair of shades and a cool bag will do) and clean lines:

  • don’t go wild on prints unless you’re confident you can pull them off;
  • if you fear coming across as too safe, you can opt for some interesting textures instead;
  • stick with a more casual type of shoes, but feel free to experiment until finding the style that suits you best;
  • pay attention to the colours and the cut of the other pieces you pair your shorts with, and make sure they both complement your shorts;
  • pair materials of similar texture with your shorts and don’t fear opting for flannel shirts and lightweight wools during spring.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Men’s short tailored shorts at John Lawrence and Wooyoungmi, S/S ’14

Avoid:

  • short shorts that are too tight, too short, too wide;
  • for the top to entirely cover your choice of shorts, you still want people to know you’re wearing bottoms;
  • showing off the leg version of the trucker’s tan;
  • tucking your shirt in, unless your goal is to age yourself;
  • wearing something too boxy, cropped, sheer or low-necked on the upper body if you still want your shorts look to come across highly masculine.

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Men’s short tailored shorts at Dries Van Noten and Lanvin, S/S ’14

Key styles

With the perfect fit and what you’re going to be wearing your shorts with bared in mind, you can now proceed to pick out the shorts styles that will round up your seasonal wardrobe. Below you will find some of this spring’s key styles that we have gathered for you:

Mens short tailored shorts for spring
Shop the styles: Rake Contrast pocket-panel tailored shorts at Matches Fashion; Dolce & Gabbana Temple-print hemp shorts at Matches Fashion; Orlebar Brown Bulldog Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts at Mr Porter; Incotex pocket shorts at Farfetch; Orlebar Brown Setter Short-Length Swim Shorts at Mr Porter; MSGM print short at Farfetch.

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