Why short shorts are the look of the summer

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Getty Images Men in shorts including Paul MescalGetty Images

(Credit: Getty Images)

From tiny, thigh-baring shorts – as worn by Paul Mescal – to loose and baggy jorts, there’s a style for everyone.

Move over, dad bod summer. It’s the season of dad short summer. Everyone’s favourite short-shorts-wearing, dad-in-training Paul Mescal, who memorably played a father in 2022’s heart-rending Aftersun, has often been papped wearing football shorts. The breezy garment allows room for movement. Think: what you (or your dad) used to wear in the ’90s.

Getty Images Paul Mescal – shown here in 2014 – grew up playing Gaelic football, and has been a tiny-shorts advocate ever since (Credit: Getty Images)Getty Images

Paul Mescal – shown here in 2014 – grew up playing Gaelic football, and has been a tiny-shorts advocate ever since (Credit: Getty Images)

Mescal’s short shorts advocacy appears to have inspired the luxury fashion houses this summer, particularly Gucci, which sent 40 pairs of shorts down the runway at their Milan spring/ summer 2025 menswear show, and where Mescal was seen sitting in the front row in a dressier, white pinstripe version of his staple short, replete with white socks, horse-bit loafers and a blue Oxford shirt to match his eyes, unbuttoned just so at the navel.

We think everyone needs to lighten up and let the breeze hit them where it never gets to – Lorenzo Marquez

“I’m a big advocate for men wearing shorter shorts,” Mescal told GQ about the look. “From my eye, it’s to do with proportion; a shorter short with maybe a longer top.”

But British Vogue editor Chioma Nnadi disagrees that Mescal got the proportions right. She told Vogue’s The Run Through podcast that she “feel[s] like he’s on the edge of not pulling it off”. Nnadi’s co-host Chloe Malle cautioned “not [to] try this at home, boys!”

Tom Fitzgerald, one half of the Tom and Lorenzo podcast and website with his husband, Lorenzo Marquez, agrees, telling the BBC that while the couple usually enjoy seeing Mescal’s “Irish moneymakers on display”, the Gucci get-up looked “a little silly on him. To be clear, we don’t think any guy has to worry about whether or not he’s got Mescal-level legs if he wants to air out his thighs for the summer. Too many people are too hung up on whether men should show a little skin, and we think everyone needs to lighten up and let the breeze hit them where it never gets to. The Earth is on fire. Let the guys cool their pins off.”

Getty Images A guest at Paris Fashion Week favours the short-shorts look (Credit: Getty Images)Getty Images

A guest at Paris Fashion Week favours the short-shorts look (Credit: Getty Images)

“I don’t know if I’m ready for a man out in the world in a boxer short,” Nnadi continued on The Run Through. “And I should be, because you see it on women all the time.”

Who else remembers the era of wearing boxer shorts under your school dress? I do, but maybe my high school was just lax on enforcing the uniform. Womenswear seems to be bringing the boxer and board short back, as seen on the runways of Miu Miu.

Darnell Mitchell, a New York City personal shopper for a suiting company who has dressed the likes of Taye Diggs and Anderson Cooper, usually helps style men, but when he used to work with women he “loved a nice pair of short shorts, and the play on whether they were dressy or not,” he tells the BBC. “Taking a pair of shorts, throwing them with a nice jacket or third layer of some [kind], a pair of heels and a nice camisole top or classic white men’s shirt! I would just tell myself, how would Carrie Bradshaw dress this up?”

Getty Images Actor Colman Domingo recently sported long denim shorts to the Louis Vuitton spring/ summer 2025 menswear show in Paris (Credit: Getty Images)Getty Images

Actor Colman Domingo recently sported long denim shorts to the Louis Vuitton spring/ summer 2025 menswear show in Paris (Credit: Getty Images)

Plenty of us will welcome seeing shapely thighs on display this summer, but an even more challenging trend is re-emerging alongside the short short: that of the long denim short, or “jort” as they’re popularly known.

Writer and unlikely model Jason Diamond embraces the jort now that he’s a new dad. While his wife implored him to retire the denim cut offs in his 30s, deeming them childish, she recently asked him to break them out again.

“I guess becoming a dad is like some sort of Fountain of Youth thing where you’re able to wear jeans turned into shorts again,” he tells the BBC.

We’re sorry to say that jorts are never truly going to go away, which means they are, by definition, a modern classic – Tom Fitzgerald

Colman Domingo, who can normally do no wrong, donned dark denim pleated jorts to the Louis Vuitton spring /summer 2025 menswear show in Paris. It’s very hard to make the Rustin star look bad, and he still pulled it off by the skin of his teeth (I just want to talk about those cowboy boots, though), but how can mere mortals avoid looking like US actor and wrestler John Cena while nailing the trend that is also being put forward by Bally, Balenciaga and Loewe X Paula’s Ibiza?

Getty Images The long, baggy look is popular this summer, including the Loewe jorts  (Credit: Getty Images)Getty Images

The long, baggy look is popular this summer, including the Loewe jorts (Credit: Getty Images)

“We’re sorry to say that jorts are never truly going to go away, which means they are, by definition, a modern classic,” Fitzgerald says, cautioning “amateurs” not to attempt the version seen on Domingo, and instead to dress them up with a knit polo and some casual Vans. Mitchell, meanwhile, says the angel is in the details: “High-rise works, a frayed bottom, a stylish drawstring, thought-out patches – all of this makes them go from John Cena to an intentional piece of clothing.”

Ultimately, though, the greatest accessory is knowing your body. “I’m a big proponent of everyone can, for the most part, wear anything, no matter what the gender, as long as you feel good,” Mitchell continues. “Honestly, it’s simply confidence.”

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