There are few outfits as disparaged as denim shorts on a man. Perhaps you know them by their extremely scientific name: jorts. Either way, denim shorts have long been synonymous with middle aged suburban dads fashion, alongside Old Navy graphic t-shirts and New Balance rack-and-pinion trainers. (One of those things is considered cool now.) The only other equally hated denim-related item could be boot-cut jeans, which are still so feverishly despised that the internet has taken up arms over the decision to Balenciaga resurrected the out-of-date style a few years ago. But despite the venom thrown at him, the humble jort has maintained a sort of eternal presence among men, whether you love him or hate him or simply tolerate him. Guys are just going to wear jeans shorts. What’s new, however, is that this season you can spot the style in designer collections left and right.
Saint Laurent, famous for selling full-length skinny jeans, now offers high-cut denim shorts that are barely flared and aged. The Japanese denim lords of Kapital sell a knee-length pair with skeleton bones embroidered along the leg.
And then there’s Los Angeles-based designer Mike Amiri. Amiri is famous for the skinny motorcycle jeans that populate nightclubs like 1 Oak, but he recently decided to step aside somewhere a little more spacious. The fun doesn’t stop there: he also makes shorts with a washed-out cashmere print.
These aren’t your battered Levi’s: branded shorts like these range from $ 590 to $ 719. Some look decidedly bland and dad-bent, like this pair from Acne Studios. Others, like this leopard print number from Vetements, are designed to turn heads. There is a jort for everyone, it seems.
It’s hard to imagine a summer where guys are kissing jorts the same way they adopted five-inch Patagonia bags. Of course, every once in a while someone super stylish like Pharrell or Tyler the designer will decide to don a pair, but that sounds like the exception, not the rule.
But maybe these designers are just taking a leap of faith here – throwing these trendy jorts to see who takes the bait. This menswear moment – full of wild-style suits, funky mules, flared pants and more – has more leeway than ever. If there was ever a summer to rock for short, frayed denim fencing, this might be it.
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