The War on Cargo Shorts: They do not get respect

From Surfdome

There's been quite a dilemma hitting the men's fashion magazines and online outlets these days: cargo shorts. Yes, cargo shorts: to wear or not to wear, that has been the question here in summer 2015. Forget about the more pressing things occurring in our society, is it okay for men to sport those cargo shorts these days?

Once eschewed by the men's fashion world, "cargos" became acceptable with slimmer, less baggy designs. To me, that acceptance did not last long. Lately there has been a renewed attack on what I think is still a fine garment for most of us guys.  

Website Buzzfeed released a feature post titled "Dear Men, Please Stop Wearing Cargo Shorts." Ouch! The Buzzfeed post displays a number of shorts clearly showing how practical the cargo shorts with those solid cargo pockets. So, Dear Buzzfeed, we cannot carry purses so the cargo shorts provide us with those very pockets to place wallets, keys, mobile phones, important papers, tissues, coffee cups and even kittens! Call the cargo shorts "murses (men's purses)," but guess what - we need the portable storage spaces.

Buzzfeed provides their own high fashion alternatives to the cargo shorts. I confess that I like them (honestly I doubt that many guys would like them), but where's the practicality? Dear Buzzfeed, I see tight shorts with few pockets, thus no place to store anything! If it's okay for us to carry our own purses with our everyday gear, then I'm on board, but I don't see separate man purses to be acceptable. Please write up a post with practical suggestions.

GQ got in on the cargo shorts act with a post about writer Doyin Richards. Richards defends his choice to wear cargo shorts since he's a dad and hands-on dads like Richards need practical shorts. I certainly identify with that, but why must Richards feel compelled to defend this choice? GQ argues back that it's okay to sport cargo shorts, but not the type that Richards chooses like the long camouflage cut-off "cargos" shown in the post.

Perhaps it's OK for dads to wear the cargo shorts, but the About Style website sets its own rules for wearing "cargos." According to their site, the older the cargo shorts wearer, the smaller the cargo pockets ought to be in all cases. So, if you're a male college student, larger pockets are fine. The pocket sizes need to downsize over the years - including those "dad years,"  but if you're over 50, you need to lose the cargo pockets altogether.  Again, ouch! Like guys over 50 don't need those practical pockets? Who wrote these fashion rules?


To me, we cannot win on the 'shorts front.' Either one has to go high fashion and lug around his everyday necessities or go with the cargo shorts and risk looking out-of-date and out-of-touch. High fashion can be incredibly confusing and intimidating.


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