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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wearing Shorts: Rules for Men Over 35

It’s that time of year again. The time when people start wearing less clothing in public.

As an over 40 year-old man, I feel it is my duty to help my brothers with some of their questions about what is appropriate to wear. I feel I am also doing the ladies a favor. But, men don’t always listen to the ladies so I need to intervene.

Today’s lesson is on shorts. Specifically, a lesson on shorts for men over 35.

Take notes, men.

1. It is a privilege, not a right. It may not be a good idea for you at all. This is not always innate knowledge. Ask someone if you aren’t sure. If desperate, send me a picture. I will be honest.

2. No jeans shorts. Period. Not old. Not new. Not faded. Not acid washed. Not cutoff. No jeans.

3. No swim trunks unless you are actually going to be in the water soon. No walking around town in them unless you are doing that quick stop at CVC for sunblock. Even so, be careful.

4. No short shorts. Please. Do I have to list this? Anything shorter than mid-thigh is too short. If they are approximately boxer length, you need to be slapped.

5. No theme shorts. That’s Mickey, golf balls, Tabasco sauce, chili peppers, Stewie, Homer, smiley faces, etc. Do we seriously have to talk about this one?

6. No pleats. Unless you normally wear pleated pants on a daily basis (outside of what you are unfortunately required to wear at work). In which case, this list doesn’t really apply to you. There are a whole other set of rules you break regularly and I simply don’t have the time to help you.

7. No bright colors—especially pastels. Come on! You look like a walking Easter ad.

8. No bike shorts unless you are actually on a bike and working it. If you must wear these shorts because of your sport, you must have matching apparel. You must have the full gear. If you wear the shorts with a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, God’s Gym shirt, oversize GAP shirt, etc. you are breaking a huge rule. All or nothing with the bike shorts. P.S. your bike itself must also be worthy of the shorts. You cannot ride your wife’s Schwinn. You cannot have a basket attached.

9. No sports shorts unless you actually play that sport. Example: no baggy soccer shorts with your white socks. The only plus is that your bulbous knees are covered but you still can’t do it.

10. Speaking of socks . . . no. The only exception is if you are playing sports—while wearing them. This isn’t about socks, but some of you needed to hear that.

11. No mesh shorts. Just don’t do it.

12. No retro shorts of any kind. They are not “fun.” Especially no to the short terry cloth shorts with the white trim. They work for Charlie’s Angels. That’s all.

13. Be careful with the plaid. This is dangerous. Not forbidden but uncomfortably close. A good rule of thumb is this: if your wife says something like, “oh my gosh, those look soooo cute on you” they are not. Do not mistake this for your wife thinking you look hot. You do not. These shorts are not going to do for you what you think they might do.

14. No words across your butt. If these shorts are appealing to you, I will make you a pair that say, “IDIOT” and you can wear them with pride.

15. Baggy shorts might be okay but steer clear of anything that makes you look gangsta.

16. No tight shorts. We can already see your legs. We don’t need to know how much change is in your pocket or anything else.

17. Not so much a shorts rule but, if you tuck in your shirt with shorts, you give anyone permission to punch you in the neck.

18. No Hawaiian shorts. There are exceptions. The most notable is wearing them while in . . . Hawaii. Basically, there must be water involved. If you are walking into Starbucks wearing Hawaiian board shorts and a World’s Greatest Dad shirt, you give everyone permission to punch you in the ear hole.

19. Sweat shorts. Seriously? I have to school you on this? Shorts made of sweatpants material? And you, yeah you, the dork who cut off his sweatpants and made his own shorts . . . you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Have you ever kissed a girl?

20. Did I mention Jeans shorts?

21. No skate shorts. Unless you skate. And, probably only if your name is Tony Hawk. And, when I say skate, I mean on a board. Not on in-line skates or old-school roller skates.

22. Speedos are never appropriate unless you are
a. French or German
b. In Europe
c. Smoking
d. On a topless beach or at a Schwimmbad

23. Exceptions to some rules:
a. Men who are in incredible physical shape can bend some of the sports shorts rules.
b. Some rock stars can wear what they want—they make their own rules and can get away with more

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