A while back we filled you in on some secrets about your jeans. We let you know what works and what makes you look like a middle-aged man who lies about his age and gets a kick out of commercials featuring retired NFL quarterbacks.
But it’s almost summertime now and it’s cool to wear shorts. Paul Newman and Robert Redford first picked ’em up in the ’60s and others soon followed suit. Today, there are short silhouettes of all shapes and sizes, and we’ve even shown you a few pairs that don’t totally suck. But there are still some style offenders walking around in plaid cargo shorts, and we have to put a foot down.
Gentlemen, this is what women genuinely think of your abbreviated leg coverings. Read carefully, so you don’t sell yourself shorts.
What they say: You’re a confused, disturbed man child who likely opens beer bottles with his few remaining teeth.
Reserved for: John Cena.
2. Cargo Shorts
What they say: You’ve graduated from Boy Scouts but haven’t fully accepted adulthood quite yet. As in, you can tie an Alpine Butterfly Loop but can’t tie a tie.
Reserved for: Boy Scouts.
3. Board Shorts
What they say: You’re a chill dude who spends his weekends being active. When you’re not catching waves you’re kicking it on some rooftop with your buddies.
Reserved for: Beach days, rooftop parties and barbecues.
4. Plaid Shorts
What they say: You probably crushed water gun games at the boardwalk in your heyday, but your night table is still crowded with action figures and you haven’t taken the glow-in-the-dark stars off the ceiling in your bedroom… in your parents’ home… where you still reside.
Reserved for: Time-traveling to the early 2000s.
5. Camouflage Shorts
What they say: You’re notorious for the grammatical crimes you commit in your politically ill-informed but nevertheless relentless rants on Facebook.
Reserved for: Army men—in pant form.
6. Linen Shorts
What they say: You’re a kempt fella who doesn’t waste your weekends indoors. You take days off to spend time with family, especially your adorable niece who’s made a debut in your dating profile pics, and visit friends in other cities. In fact, you have so many friends that you can’t keep up with all the summer weddings you’ve gotta attend.
Reserved for: Everyone should invest.
7. Basketball Shorts
What they say: You were a bigwig jock in high school but haven’t yet realized how little a place you occupy in the real world.
Reserved for: Basketball players playing basketball.
What they say: You’re unapologetic about your exposed thighs because your parents own a beach house, which you trash when you’re not spending your weekends golfing at the country club. But I’d probably still go out with you because I have poor judgement.
Reserved for: Older men who can only get away with it because they’re blissfully unaware.