The short suit: has its time come?

Singer and fashion maverick Pharrell Williams is already responsible for the year's catchiest song and also its silliest hat; but his work is far from done as another trend he kicked off looks set to infiltrate the workplace.

Williams wore tuxedo shorts to the Academy Awards earlier this year and now, as the northern hemisphere summer begins to kick in, retailers are starting to roll out its evolutionary spawn: the short suit.

The short suit ensemble looks like a regular suit from the waist up, with a sportcoat over a button-down shirt and sometimes a tie or bowtie. Instead of trousers, however, the suit's bottoms are cropped at the knee.

Menswear retailers in the US and Britain including J. Crew, Topman, Asos, and Barneys are among those selling versions of the short suit.

“It's definitely having a moment, particularly with younger guys,” Jon Patrick, the creative director at menswear company J.Hilburn, told Businessweek.

J. Crew is offering four different kinds of short suits (above and below) that cost around $US400 ($428).

“We have wanted to make a suit short for a long time but knew it had to be just right for it to look good,” reads the product description for one of the suits. “We would like to finally introduce you to the Ludlow short. It has an old-school country club vibe (more Gatsby, less Caddyshack) and is almost guaranteed to win the battle for best-dressed at nearly every summer occasion.”

Topman's short suit (below) runs at $US390. “For a contemporary and stylish silhouette, our skinny fit suits offer a figure hugging and trend-led shape,” reads the item's description.


British fashion brand Reiss sells a pair of khaki suit shorts (below) for $US130 ($139). “Ensure that even on warm days your style remains sharp,” reads the retailer's product description.

Reiss recommends pairing the shorts with a plain black crew-neck tee, suede driving shoes and a pair of avaiator glasses for a look that says “smart and informal”.

This short suit by Asos is definitely less bold, but it's still pretty expensive at $US409 ($437).