With warm weather on the horizon, fashion takes a turn to lighter clothing, changing out items like chinos and jeans for an option that is no stranger to controversy: shorts. The ambivalent opinion of men’s shorts is nowhere more significant than online - with alternating articles supporting either side of the argument. In theory, the memory of wearing shorts as a schoolboy might be behind the trepidation of the naysayers, especially with regards to cargo shorts. Cargo shorts are typically bulkier in shape, with bulging pockets and usually green or tan in colour. Let’s just nip this in the bud right now, cargo shorts are a no-no for the refined gentleman. With less material, shorts allow the wearer more breathing room and include the option to possibly get a tan. However, men wearing shorts have faced a negative opinion for years, resigning shorts to ‘bad’ fashion that is too out there to work. This begs the question, can shorts for men ever be cool? Depending on one’s definition of ‘cool’, shorts for men can work, as long as certain guidelines are followed, and the man in question is confident enough to pull them off. The two main reasons one can wear shorts are if a). The climate begs for it and b). You have not scheduled any business meetings or formal events to occur while you are in your shorts. Shorts have moved away from the bulkiness of cargo shorts, whose pockets offered the male alternative to Mary Poppins’ bag. Keep shorts streamlined and slim, while still allowing room to breathe. Shorts should end an inch or two above the knee. Not below the knee and NEVER as high as the thigh. Shorts are not limited to tans or greens, so go for bold colours or patterns. Some ‘experts’ warn against wearing cut-offs or jean shorts (‘jorts’ apparently) but this style is entirely at the discretion of the wearer. There are plenty of men who embrace the 'jorts' look, which can be pulled off if the length is respected, and they are tailored in fitting. Shorts are best worn with a button-down shirt that’s untucked, and either sneakers or smarter shoes. The look, paired with glasses and even a hat, translates to summer days spent well on a yacht (or just the Deckhouse in Kloof). Some style gurus warn against pairing short with high tops, as they supposedly make a man’s legs look shorter. Again, this is up to the shorts-wearer to decide. The only agreement that seems widespread on the topic of shorts is the aversion to matching shorts with a suit jacket. This is a generally a fashion no but honestly, if you feel like it's something you have to do, we say go for it. If Pharrell can make it work, then you can too. Ultimately, shorts are casual and comfortable, epitomising summer. With some deliberation, and paying attention to all the things that men wearing shorts should heed, methinks shorts for men can ultimately be cool.