What should men know about wearing shorts?

Jacket like pants: The lightness of the leg

Men shouldn't actually wear shorts: you hear this sentence more often. In case of doubt from your own mouth. Sometimes you ask yourself with a shock whether this is actually already body shamming or directed against you.

What is actually so ugly or even offensive about male legs that one is at least skeptical of their exposure in public? In any case, men's calves don't have a strong lobby. Either they are too hairy, too stubbly hairy or too smoothly shaved, you don't even know what to find worst, too thin, too fat and so on: That's what quite a lot of men say that you know yourself. heterosexual as well as gay. None of them would say that about woman's calves.

Is that self-hatred?

Either they find female legs more shapely than male ones. Or they stop saying aloud about them because they have realized that body shaming by women has been a hideous method for men to exercise power and control for far too long. We don't want to go on with that. We still have no problem with bodyshaming for men. Is that self-hatred or just paradoxical?

Jacket like pants

Our monthly men's fashion column Jacket like pants is dedicated solely to the gentleman and his wardrobe. Our columnist Dirk Peitz takes on one item of clothing each time, regardless of whether it is a suit, chinos or sneakers. He warns of style traps and advises the best. We can only recommend to all men: Believe him!

If one takes refuge in literature in this situation, then even after a long period of thought, one cannot think of any hymns that were sung to the man's leg. Which, of course, must be due to the fact that for centuries straight men in particular had the privilege of filling books with often very enthusiastic, very detailed descriptions of women's bodies. Okay, in the face of such "passages", male readers are simply happy that they rarely have to read something drooled about the anatomy of the sex to which they belong.

Even if a narrator wants a male figure to express desire to a man, preferably by the sea, because there would be a lot of skin there, his voice often catches his breath. When, for example, Aschenbach saw the young Tadzio for the first time on the beach, "his slender legs bared to over the knees", Aschenbach's eyes, who were essentially focused on tension, slipped away in a pleasant manner. And when the sadly drunken George is rescued from the floods of the Pacific by the stark naked Kenneth, one learns not much more about the body of the latter than that his legs are long and he "heavy hung"is. Now the protagonists of Thomas Manns like Death in Venice and Christopher Isherwoods A single man In view of their advanced age, they are more likely to recognize their own frailty in the vitality of young men: The other, who is like you, is what you are not yourself and may never have been. But why are the narrators so terribly stingy with descriptive words and anatomical information?

The male leg is apparently at best a shock meme. When the Polish professional cyclist Pawel PoljaĊ„ski posted a leg selfie on Instagram a few weeks ago during the Tour de France, a cry of pain went through the net. A few medically trained science journalists immediately had to write explanatory texts: athletes' legs look so emaciated and thick-veined after a few stages. Anyone who was not familiar with the term "subcutaneous fatty tissue" has since known that this tissue can shrink blatantly when the muscles underneath are strained for a long time. But who, with the exception of antique sculptures, should have better legs than professional cyclists? It is to despair.

On the other hand, there are the kind of men who seem completely unmoved in their summer leisure time in shorts. By the way, you should never wear them in the office: Not only do you conform to traditional clothing conventions, you also keep your dignity at least on the outside.

Not colorful, but light

Most of these apparently extremely self-confident men like to wear camouflage shorts from the army shop, functional shorts from the outdoor shop or brightly colored pseudo surfer shorts from who-knows-where. But in those you can only look ridiculous: Because these pants are always too wide and often appear wider due to attached side pockets, and because they almost always reach below the knee. A body that is in these shorts is optically compressed, its center, as it were, lowered - nobody can want that, except for huge men. If you don't have the log-thick calves of a weightlifter, that little bit of left leg that peeks out from under these shorts always looks like asparagus prick.

A pair of shorts should be cut relatively narrow, monochrome and end a few centimeters above the knee. They are not difficult to find either, because actually all reasonably fashionable shorts today meet these criteria. In fact, you almost have to make an effort not to end up with one of the many beige or dark blue models that are currently still hanging in stores and are actually short versions of chinos. If you have already been on vacation and are therefore pre-tanned, you can spend the last hot weeks of the year downstairs in other colors, in white, blue or washed-out denim blue, for example. If you're wearing a short dress, then it's summer-colored, and for men that doesn't mean colorful, but light.

The rest is not so difficult: the finer the fabric, the more likely it is to wear a shirt instead of a T-shirt; Always contrast white shorts with a color, otherwise you look like medical specialists on duty or like a dream ship captain on shore leave. You wear a white T-shirt with denim shorts, what else? never, really never wear socks, especially not those nasty socks. Socks are not only unnecessary in summer, they also visually shorten the leg. Canvas shoes always go well with shorts, loafers only with elegant ones.

And yet in the end the question of the man's legs remains. If you look again at the film of the past few years, which has probably staged men most beautifully, Tom Ford's film adaptation of Isherwood's novel A single man 2009, shorts appear there only in one place. In a scene in which Colin Firth as George watches a couple of tennis players out of the corner of his eye. Ford's camera, however, only captures the irritatingly bare torso of the players, whose legs they do not even look at. Maybe you should stick to Ford, who is above all a fashion designer: there are no shorts in their current summer collection. Just two swimming trunks and they don't count. Because you just can't avoid them. Unless you want to offend on the beach.