We are nearly out of shorts season now but I need to address the Flappy Pocketed Cargo Short problem. In that the flappy pocketed cargo short is ridiculously dated, we all agree, in fact a lot of men wearing the FPCS right now will probably agree but the thing is, men find them so terribly useful because they can hold all their stuff. Because they don’t carry bags.
So to that I say fine – okay. Keep those FPCS as action shorts. BUT! Also, please, have some better shorts, too.
Something like these from All Saints:
Ralph Lauren do everything well:
And these from good old J Crew:
The modern man’s short ought to end on the knee, with a maximum of four pockets, none of which should be on the side of anything.
These you will wear to any summer event where the FPCS are just unacceptable. You are just going to have to leave all your shit piled up out of the way on a windowsill at the barbecue, or ask your wife or girlfriend VERY NICELY if she could make some space in her bag for it.
In fact, make a deal with her: say “Okay I will get rid of the FPCS if you never make a face again when I ask you to put my shit in your bag because I haven’t got pockets any more.”
Same goes for swimming shorts – please no more knee-length board shorts! I particularly like Love Brand at the moment because they donate a percentage of sales to an elephant conservation project.
Another thing I sent Giles away on his travels with that hotel show with was a khaki chino. I can’t tell you or explain why it ought to be olive green for girls and dusty brown for men when it comes to chinos but it just is. Dark green chinos on men aren’t a disaster but they slightly say Territorial Army.
A khaki chino is the ultimate Spring/Summer smart casual item, to be worn with confidence to meet grandparents, on Easter Day, to look round a school, to go to a frighteningly smart house for lunch, to a restaurant in town.
Giles’s chinos are from J Crew (I know that J Crew is featuring quite heavily in this entire series but they are just SO GOOD when it comes to menswear).
Navy blue chinos work, too. If the man is responsive, the cuffs can be rolled up a little for a relaxed summer attitude, to be worn with the Mulos or Birkenstocks. But don’t push it if he does a little pretend sick if you suggest this.
I would say that the precise style and fit of jeans doesn’t especially matter. They just need to fit okay. The problem with a ratty or bashed up jean is this jean, plus the gross t-shirt, plus the fleece, plus the stinking trainers. A bashed up jean worn with other things will go unnoticed. Jeans shopping is so ghastly and painful that you might win the battle with the new jeans but lose the war in that he will refuse to contemplate any other changes.
There is nothing wrong with tracksuit bottoms; it’s utterly revolting, stained, threadbare tracksuit bottoms that are so terrible. When I moved in with Giles he had a pair that were so digusting and worn out that they showed his… they were very… how do I put this without causing projectile vomiting? They were just obscene. He now has fresh pairs for relaxed days and they are perfectly alright for running weekend errands or for pre or post-sport. Pretty much any sort will do as long as they are in good condition.
For a jogger/trouser hybrid, I have seen these “Discipline Pants” STOP LAUGHING by Lululemon and they are extremely brilliant. I got some for Giles and they didn’t quite fit his footballer’s thighs but I have seen them on other men and they look awesome. They aren’t quite a trouser, not a jogger. Really expensive but very handy for all weekend activities. They also look shit in this photo, but they are better IRL.
Okay do you know I am bored with menswear now… I’m going to make my excuses and leave – back at you soon with… ACTIVEWEAR FOR GIRLS! WAHOO!