Recently my social media feed has been filled with lots of hate for cargo shorts. The tirades have run a wide gamut. They go from trite quips on Twitter to tongue in cheek barbs that might be serious. (Thanks, Derrick Carter).
This morning I found an all-out screed railing against the “fashion infraction” of cargo shorts.
It was posted by a straight DJ who would never be accused of being much of a fashion plate himself. I’ve known him for close to a decade and I can’t recall ever seeing him in a collared shirt. He always wears t-shirts, even in the daytime when he’s not working. I don’t understand all the hate for cargo shorts.
For the record
I wear cargo shorts and will continue to wear them for three important reasons:
1) I’m tall. I’m sure most people don’t realize that the inseams of men’s shorts, like women’s hemlines, go up and down. Consequently, if you need those extra inches, it’s the first thing to consider. Finding shorts with an 11″ or 12″ inseam can be difficult if not impossible for most seasons and alternatives that accommodate the length of my legs aren’t always available.
2) My EDC (Every Day Carry) isn’t extensive but it is a factor. I like having things within reach like my sunglasses, phone charger, ear buds, tissues, etc. If I wasn’t wearing cargo shorts, I’d have to either use a bag of some kind. That isn’t always practical. Backpacks and briefcases are too bulky, especially when I’m just walking somewhere on a quick errand. Waist packs, bum bags or fanny packs seem to be the only viable alternative. Just wearing belts to hold up my pants/jeans/shorts often hurt my hips. Why would I want to add to that pain with the extra weight of stuff that I can just carry on my legs?
3) They work for me. I’m a practical guy and I judge by results. If you want to judge me as somehow being ‘less than’ because you see me in cargo shorts, go right ahead. Just be open and direct about it rather than keeping such views to yourself. That way, I know what type of person you are and as a result, I’ll know who to avoid. I understand that some people don’t like having bulky stuff on their outer thighs because, it bugs me too sometimes. If they’re not your thing, no big deal. You do you boo and I’ll do me.
Cargo Shorts Aren’t Going Away
If cargo shorts truly went out of fashion in the 1990’s stores wouldn’t keep producing and selling them. Designers continue to add new twists to the basic structure by mixing up the details of their garments and keeping them fresh. Yes, I understand that many of the ‘diffusion range’ and mainstream retailers are churning out basic cargo shorts with more thought to price than fashion. But I think much of the antagonism against cargo shorts is misdirected. I think it belies the fact that too many Millennials are obsessed with “being epic not basic” and I just don’t have time for such pretensions.