Saturday 20 January 2018

Paul Galvin: A short warning

M&S Blue Harbour Floral Print Swim Shorts £22.50, M&S
M&S Blue Harbour Floral Print Swim Shorts £22.50, M&S
F&F shorts at Tesco, €10.50,worn with Shirt €11.50, shoes €11.50, sunglasses €5, shoes €11.50, sunglasses €5
Slowear pale blue shorts, €180, Brown Thomas

Paul Galvin

Denim cut-offs, three-quarter-lengths, boardies... there are various styles of shorts -- and as many ways for Irishmen to get the look wrong, says Paul Galvin

A short warning

Denim cut-offs, three-quarter-lengths, boardies... there are various styles of shorts -- and as many ways for Irishmen to get the look wrong, says Paul Galvin

Short? Briste gearra. Short legs? Cosa gearra. Shorts on short legs? There are no words for that in any language.

That said, if a gun was put to my head by a wordsmith or a linguist and he told me I had to come up with an Irish word for 'shorts on short legs' immediately, then I'd have to say "go holc".

That's two words, of course, but when there's a gun to your head you'll say anything to stay alive.

Sometimes I wonder if Irishmen think shorts can only be worn on short legs. It's all I seem to see these days.

When I was young, I was never out of them. The weather seemed to be better back then somehow.

It's summertime again, and one thing we know for sure is that enough men will bust out the shorts on hot days to create a scene.

It's that young fella of the Courtneys I blame. He started it. I sound like a defensive mother trying to account for an errant son. I'd have to agree with mom this time.

Brendan Courtney did start it. Posting pictures of himself in shorts on the Twitter. He should know better than that.

Not that I personally object. I'm all for men expressing their style whatever way they want. It's just he'll have put all sorts of notions in men's heads.

And I can't help but think the men of Ireland just aren't built for shorts. We're built too short for shorts.

We're probably better off in trousers. Good sensible trousers with belts. Leather belts. And shoes. Leather shoes. Manly stuff.

Brendan has to be commended, though. Let's hope other men follow suit and start to wear shorts as more of a fashion statement than a fashion understatement.

Mind you, he's not alone in pushing the short agenda. Sure, that long fella of the Ferdinands was at it too (I've gone into mom mode again).

What's that his first name is? (Moms are terrible with names) The oldest lad? Tall, skinny, plays the Gaelic? No not Anton, the older one. Oh yes Rio, that's the lad.

I recall Rio wearing a pair of denim cut-offs on holiday a few summers back. Denim shorts, flip-flops and a vest on a Premiership footballer? My-oh-my.

But I had to admire the individuality and confidence of it all. And hey, he was on a sun holiday.

Ronaldo is another good man to wear a pair of denim cut-offs.

I've never been a big man for them myself. It's a dangerous trend, men in shorts. Not so much a sight for sore eyes as a sight to give you sore eyes.

Anyhow, between young Courtney, young Ferdinand, the tennis and the Euros, it's time to consider shorts, though I'll never consider the denim cut-offs other than to consider them a step too far.

If you're into that kind of thing, Asos has a fine stock. Cheap Monday does good denim shorts, too.

Belted and worn with a polo shirt or smart shirt and deck shoes, it's a great summer look. I'm thinking of a Tommy Hilfiger pool party on a summer evening.

Check out the latest Hilfiger ad campaign to get the look.

The very sartorial among us would attempt the blazer and brogue combination. Only the very stylish are able for that rig-out.

I much prefer that look on girls with heels instead of brogues. I prefer all kinds of shorts on girls, for that matter, especially denim.

For guys, H&M has a great selection of chino shorts. Penguin is an interesting label. I tried on a check pair of their chino shorts in TK Maxx. Not bad, but too casual for my liking.

I'm at an age where I have to be very careful what kind of shorts I wear. There's little in life as unedifying as a man wearing the wrong shorts.

Guys will always wear board shorts and three-quarter-length shorts casually. I've never really liked that look either.

All Saints is stocking lots of shorts this summer. Three-quarter-length jeans, cords and chinos are available from the Spitalfields outfit, so there's no doubt it's a trend.

A trend is a trend is a trend, I warn you. It comes and goes.

So if you're gonna bare your legs in a pair of shorts this summer, make sure you can pull them off. Just don't do it in public.

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