Short shorts

Short shorts, not unlike the Stubbies your dad used to wear, make a retro return this summer, writes Rachel Wells.

Last week I stumbled across a new blog whose sole aim, it seems, is to embarrass fathers across the globe for their past fashion misdemeanours - namely wearing short shorts. Aptly called, the site encourages visitors to send in photographs of their fathers exposing their hairy legs in assorted thigh-revealing shorts.

Since its launch in September, the creators have already received more than 30 amusing contributions - mostly photographs of dads from the 1980s, when it seems men's penchant for thigh-skimming shorts reached an all-time high, and when moustaches and mullets were the accessory du jour. The most amusing thing about this blog, however, is the fact that the giggle-inducing short shorts bare a striking resemblance to the thigh-skimming varieties that are back in favour among a new generation of hairy-legged men this summer.

Short shorts hemmed somewhere between mid-thigh and the crotch first appeared on the menswear catwalks in Milan and Paris in June. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, DSquared2 and Dries Van Noten were among the leading European designers who showed shorts that skimmed the mid to upper regions of the thigh.

SUITS YOU: A guide to wearing shorts.

At home, dozens of menswear designers are offering up short shorts not too dissimilar to the Stubbies and footy shorts our fathers wore a couple of decades ago. Leopold, Arthur Galan AG, Clemente Talarico and Calibre all have versions of short shorts in new season collections, from casual cotton drawstring varieties to denim cut-offs and tailored shorts in crisp cottons with pockets, hemmed, and sometimes cuffed, mid-thigh.

But for those who can't shake the images of their own short-shorts-wearing fathers from their minds, there are plenty of knee-skimming varieties to choose from, too. While the most fashion-forward will be wearing short shorts, you certainly won't look off-trend in a pair of knee-skimmers. Personally, I think they're much more flattering.

And if you haven't anything better to do, send some snaps of your old man in his short shorts to It's a hoot.


Men with good pins. As they say, if you've got it, flaunt it.


Most men can pull off this season's shorter shorts, though knee-length versions are typically more flattering.


Really short, crotch-grazing shorts are fine for exercising and the beach. But for everyday wear, anything hemmed higher than mid-thigh can look seriously wrong - just dig out the old family album for proof.


Arthur Galan AG (03) 9827 3703

Calibre (03) 9826 1288