“Because of the way they’re tailored, they are as dressed as a pair of long trousers.” Thom Brown’s words succeed in perfectly capturing spring 2014’s fashion trends prolonged infatuation with men’s tailored shorts in a single, but highly relevant sentence. Key to a refined summer look, the men’s tailored shorts are known for carrying an automatic elegance if worn correctly. And it’s not late to be adding them to your wardrobe.
This season the style that is bound to earn most popularity on the streets hits an inch above the knee. So you can forget all about the below the knee cuts, for they are definitely not in, but still keep an eye out for the short shorts as they managed to maintain their pertinence on the runways.
More about the trend and how you can wear it now, after the break.
Men’s tailored shorts: spring 2014.
Hitting an inch above the knee (or failing that then directly on it), slim cut or wide legged, made out of solid fabrics or bold patterns, these are the tailored shorts you should be dressing down (or up for those few exclusive occasions) come spring. If you’re already on the hunt for a similar pair, make sure you carefully consider their fit, length and colour before leaving the store with something highly unflattering. Because of their dressier element, the tailored shorts do require an exquisite fit: perfect at the waist – you should be able to wear them without the use of a belt – following the lines of your thighs, hitting an inch or so above the knee.
The perfect length: men’s shorts at Pringle of Scotland, S/S ’14.
Key fabrics & colours.
Once you got the fit right, choosing the fabrics and colours for your tailored shorts should be a matter of personal taste. From the traditional options of cotton and linen, to the modern alternatives showcasing shorts in leather and cashmere, the runways were generous enough in presenting all of the above as viable choices. Same goes for the palette of colours which can be defined by light pastels and neutral shades, the classic black and white hues, or other exciting tones such as dark red, vibrant blue and green.
The sharply tailored shorts can also be cut in geometric prints, dark florals, modern paisley print renditions or refined stripes. Whatever the choice, just make sure it reflects your personality, it fits the occasion and ensures your closet is practical and versatile.
Tailored shorts for men: at Trussardi, S/S ’14.
How to style the men’s tailored shorts.
A modern and clean statement.
What we’re including here are tailored shorts cut in solid fabrics, made modern due to an immaculate fit and a timeless colour palette. These are the type of tailored shorts that you can easily mix and match with several other smart-casual pieces for a string of summer outfits brimming with sartorial sensibility.
Think in terms of:
- A black pair of shorts, styled with a matching sleeveless shirt and a pair of statement sunglasses, for an edgier approach to elegance;
- A pair of white tailored shorts worn with a light summer knit, a leather biker jacket and ankle boots, because a guy shouldn’t be loosing his edge, just for loosening up for spring;
Minimalist men’s tailored shorts at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Balenciaga, S/S ’14.
- A pair of neutral toned tailored shorts that you can pair with a basic sweatshirt (that you can alternatively layer over a longer t-shirt, or a printed button down) and a pair of complementary trainers, for a sports-influenced dose of sharpness.
Neutral men’s tailored shorts at Mr Start and Christopher Raeburn, S/S ’14.
Mixing casual with luxury is made easy if you:
- Style a neutral pair of tailored shorts with a basic t-shirt, a printed blazer (or one that features at least an interesting texture) and a pair of monk strap shoes, making sure you stick to an achromatic palette of colours;
- Go monochromatic, building your look upon light layers, choosing tone on tone shorts, shirts and double breasted blazers, keeping the theme going in the accessory department as well (e.g. by adding a matching leather pouch), but skipping the shoes;
Casual luxury: at Daks & Dior Homme, S/S ’14.
Leather shorts for men.
Leather offers up an edgy alternative that’s actually highly versatile. Look for high quality material and a relaxed cut, to keep the look on the side of luxe.
- Pick a leather pair of tailored shorts to mix with a white button-down and a biker jacket, to which resulting look you can add some lace-ups, some cool specs, or anything else that translates your personality.
- Opt for classic colours like black, brown or dark grey.
- To keep it casual, pair your leather shorts with a boxy cut t-shirt, untucked, a slouchy knit sweater or a sleeveless basketball vest.
Leather shorts for men at DSquared2, Dior Homme and Kay Kwok, S/S ’14.
Crisp lines and vibrant patterns.
Suffice to say that a pair of printed tailored shorts looses a certain degree of its sartorial sensibility. That’s why they must be extremely well-tailored in order to not look sloppy, and be taken seriously outside a beach setting. To turn the vibrant patterns into a smart statement try to:
- Integrate the printed shorts in a neutral-toned outfit, made out of a basic t-shirt, a sharp blazer and a pair of dress shoes. Use bold accessories to further dress the shorts up, or down;
- Maintain the print theme going throughout the entire outfit, choosing a complementary set of prints (e.g. dark florals), casually layering on top. Let the prints do all the talking and skip any use of accessories;
- Clash patterns while trying to maintain a harmony in your choice of colours, by pairing the tailored shorts with nothing but a short-sleeved shirt and a pair of brogues.
Printed tailored shorts for men at DSquared2, Dries Van Noten and Andrea Pompilio, S/S ’14.
The spring /summer 2014 runways displayed a preference for shorts paired with sleek blazers, maintaining the short suit trend as significant as it was last season. In between the traditional two piece suits defined by a blazer and a pair of matching shorts, and the more fresh renditions based on mismatching the shorts and the blazers, it’s safe to assume the short suits aren’t going anywhere.
Sport this trend the classic way by adding a shirt to the mix. If you want to skip a monochrome look, choose a shirt in a bold floral print if you’re sporting a solid, dark-hued short suit, or a plain white shirt if your suit features bright, or pastel tones.
Tailored shorts for men at Raf Simons and Comme Des Garcons, S/S ’14.
While the safest length range for a men’s pair of tailored shorts remains between the center of the knee and an inch above it, there’s the option to go shorter if you dare. An alternative cut is to go for super-short: reliant, of course, upon your body type and confidence levels. To make the short-shorts work for you, keep them smart by opting for a little bit of room to the cut (you don’t want them too tight), and by pairing them with a smart tailored jacket or even a spring coat.
Short shorts for men at Lanvin and Juun J, S/S ’14.
Some men find the choice of footwear to be a serious impediment in sporting the tailored shorts in a fashionable manner. To dress the look up just make sure you pick out a pair of wingtip shoes; select a Blucher moccasin, a loafer or a sandal if you want to keep things safe, but still elegant, and a boat shoe for a casual approach. This season, the tailored shorts were also paired with fine trainers and sports shoes for the perfect kind of contrast.
The issue of socks is still a matter of controversy. Going sockless is a must when it comes to shorts, this appears to be the statement issued by the fashion industry. At the other end of the spectrum lie the spring 2014 runways, seemingly arguing that it is time for men to finally cover their ankles. As with every other fashion trend, the final word on the matter belongs to you.
Sockless vs with socks: at Kris Van Assche and Dior Homme, S/S ’14.
Men’s tailored shorts: more styling inspiration.
For more inspiration on how to style tailored shorts this spring/summer season, head to the gallery. You’ll find plenty of examples of how this wardrobe staple was styled on the runways.