The Summer of Patterned Shorts

Summer is time to enjoy the outdoors, have fun, and show some leg.  While the last few summers have been deemed (by me) as the summer of the tank top, this summer is definitely the summer of patterned shorts.

$69.50 J. Crew

$69.50 J. Crew

While these shorts may be a great way to make your style pop, and add a little fun to your wardrobe, when you get into wearing patterns on your shorts there are a few things you should keep in mind:

1) If your shorts have a pattern or a print on them, that’s your pattern allotment for the day.

It might seem arbitrary, and like all style rules, it’s definitely breakable depending on what you’re wearing. 

£25.00 --

£25.00 —

You can get the balance by using two different types of patterns that compliment each other, but it is difficult to pull off.

To avoid any poor decisions, keep it simple: Pattern on the shorts = no pattern anywhere else.

$60 --

$60 —

Here’s a good example of striking a balance between patterns. If you keep things low-key, you can get away with breaking the one-pattern-per rule.

When pairing other clothes with the shorts, the goal should be to subdue the flash and business of the shorts and contrast them with something simple.

A good example of a bad combination.

A good example of a bad combination.

If you’re wearing patterned shorts, avoid patterned shirts, jackets, or shoes. In my case, that means I should not be wearing my incredible camo New Balance 574s with any of these shorts.

Fashion is suffering, I guess.

2) Wear appropriate patterns. 

I have never seen a pair of plaid shorts that I looked at and thought to myself, “you know what, those will make me look good.” Small, repetitive patterns are better.  You can also pull off a good camo or floral print if the shorts fit right.

3) Speaking of fit:

Shorter inseams and slimmer fits are becoming more popular and look sharp. Gone are the days where we could throw on a baggy pair of cargos with pockets that could fit our entire life (note: slim fit short inseam cargo shorts are still a bad call). Generally when standing straight, the bottom of the shorts should be above the knee (If you’re a numbers guy, that’s within the 7” and 10” inseam region, depending on your height).

Shorts6If you go the knee, you’re getting into dangerous capris territory.  However, if you go too short you start getting into dangerous “I’m too sexy for this coffee shop/social gathering/public space” territory. It’s a balancing act for sure.

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