That’s fashion, baby!

No one who has seen me in real life will ever consider coming to me for fashion advice. But that does not stop me from giving it when I feel strongly about it. And the introduction of the ‘short suit‘ had me rolling my eyes and thinking, “Really? Men are going to wear this in public and maybe even to work?”

short suit

One should never discount the possibility that this is a prank and that I have fallen for it.


  1. 5Up Mushroom says

    It’s totally jarring, and it feels wrong that your legs should be exposed in formal wear, but… it’s comparable to a lady’s dress suit. I won’t be wearing one, but I kind of like the idea from that perspective.

  2. Chiroptera says

    If they’re concerned about wearing a suit in hot weather, then they need to shorten the sleeves and lose the oxford shirt and the tie.

    But then you’d have the so-called “safari suit” that is already considered formal business attire in eastern Africa.

  3. says

    I vaguely remember, maybe last summer, that somewhere Scandinavian the train drivers weren’t allowed to wear shorts, so they wore skirts!

  4. Menyambal says

    Shoes without socks? Uncomfy and clammy.

    But seriously, lose the jacket and the tie and the shirt sleeves. A crisp shortsleeved shirt of good fabric can look quite dressy—add a pocket square or a pocket protector to indicate status even further.

  5. estraven says

    Back in the 90s, I went to a B-52s concert with my daughter, her friend,and her friend’s mom. And there was a guy standing in line wearing just such a suit. It hardly made an impression, given the number of people with shaved heads featuring one purple-dyed strand of hair and the like.

  6. A. Noyd says

    I’m all for guys getting out of puritanical, heatstroke-inducing suits and into something more practical and ventilated, but just chopping the slacks off above the knee and leaving everything else doesn’t solve much of the problem and looks pretty silly.

  7. Nick Gotts says

    Bertie Wooster to the would-be fascist dictator, Roderick Spode, founder and head of the Saviours of Britain, better known as the Black Shorts (“By the time Spode formed his association, there were no shirts left.”), in The Code of the Woosters:

    The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

  8. G. Priddy says

    To my eye, the “short suit” looks ridiculous. But replace the shorts with a proper (non-tartan) kilt, and suddenly it looks quite sharp. Kilts are just a cool and comfortable as shorts, but they don’t look out of place.

  9. hyphenman says


    During my Navy days we always switched to shorts (for both work and dress uniforms).

    Work was khaki shorts and dress was white shorts. Knee socks were required.


  10. estraven says

    Thank you, Nick Gotts, for bringing this to the fore! I am a hardcore Wodehouse fan, and that stuff about Spode is some of the best ever.

  11. lorn says

    It does look wrong.

    That said it might be a step in the right direction. Supposedly, and believably, the reason so many places, offices and malls are over air conditioned is that the people in charge all wear the business uniform of a full wool suit. I work outdoors and freeze when a movie theater is 68F.

    I’m willing to overlook suits with shorts if it means they raise the temperature a few degrees.

  12. Donnie says

    Any Aussies here? I was under the impression that during the summer this was the fashion used by men? The summers are so hot that wearing shorts are/were considered acceptable. I may be wrong, but I remember hearing about that they back in the early to mid-90s.

  13. flex says

    Iorn at 14 wrote,

    Supposedly, and believably, the reason so many places, offices and malls are over air conditioned is that the people in charge all wear the business uniform of a full wool suit.

    Then they are doing it wrong.

    There are a number of summer weight suits designed to be worn in warm weather, made from cotton and poplin. They have fabric so thin that cooling breezes pass right through. There is no reason to wear a wool suit year round, unless you’ve never learned that there are alternatives.

    But then again, I’ve found that a lot of men don’t size their collars correctly either. Wearing a tie is comfortable, not constricting, if your shirt collar is sized properly. It’s like some men think their discomfort is a badge of honor reflecting the glory of the position they hold.

    But the shorts above are silly. I could see it working if they extended below the knee, had more body to them (so they don’t look like sliced-off suit pants), and worn with socks. The above pictures look like the models are planning to have a portable desk at the seashore. All they need is a spade and a bucket.

  14. says

    Men’s clothing hit a kind of rock bottom sometime, probably the ’90s. Shorts used to be shorter ….. This probably had something to do with fear of being thought gay conflated with fear of being thought attractive by gay men. I’m also convinced that 3/4 length trousers (about the most sensible length, I think) for men became socially acceptable by stealth, because they were just a form of longer-than-usual shorts.

    Now men are slowly rediscovering that they can wear other things ….. not quite so baggy, not quite so form-disguising, even showing off a little flesh. But it’s going to take awhile to get used to it. It probably took awhile to get used to women in trousers, back in the day, too …..

    This summer I probably will end up going full-time, just because 25-degrees-plus in the office makes boyclothes unbearable.

  15. miles says

    I don’t think the style would be too out of place on a 10 year old boy going to boarding school.

    Those shoes… not so much.

  16. DonDueed says

    Years ago when I visited Bermuda, I learned that proper business attire on the island comprised:
    – short sleeved shirt
    – Bermuda shorts
    – calf-length socks

    Worked for me…

  17. AnotherAnonymouse says

    I also find the look odd because of the long sleeves on the jacket and shirt. I suspect no jacket and short (like elbow-length?) sleeves would make the suits look less odd to me. I’m old enough to remember (and have been forced to wear) dresses with the finger-tip length sleeves and ruffled fronts…and miniskirts. Even as a small child, I thought those were ridiculous-looking.

    Offices seem to be a no-win situation. The one I’m in currently is filled with fragile delicate little hothouse flowers who whine and pout when the thermostat dips below 80 (not kidding about the 80). I’ll be sweating at my desk in a knee-length cotton skirt and short-sleeved top, barelegged and in tiny ballerina flats, and they’re shivering and whining that they’re just soooo collllld. I have no idea how the men tolerate the room temperature without passing out (they’re generally in dockers-like pants and short-sleeved polos).

  18. Heidi Nemeth says

    Oh goodie! I get to ogle men’s legs. I hope this fashion takes off, especially among young men!
    Kilts, mini skirts and hot pants next, please!

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