Recent developments in attire--meaning the last 40 years or so--have produced some pretty fruity trends. One recalls the unnatural colors and alien fabrics of the 1970's.
The current trend seems all about revealing, rather than about dressing well. But revealing what? Revealing, it seems, almost everything that shouldn't be, much like a perfect stranger walking up to you on the street and saying, “Look! Look, dash it, at the infected cut on my upper thigh.” In a word, not everything is meant to be revealed; indeed not everything should be.
Thankfully, throughout the ages, and still to this day, a gentleman has a certain manly reserve.
Yet one aspect of the general populace has begun to infect even us, the brotherhood, shall we say, of gentlemen. Much like sucking the venom out of the snake bite, let us address that issue--and that issue is shorts. Spring is here, and warm weather is not far distant. Soon we will see pairs of male knees hither and yon. Nothing against the male leg—one thinks of ancient Greek Olympians, wrestling and throwing the discus while revealing the knees, and much more than that. But that is just the point—there is a place for shorts: one’s home and yard, the beach, playing sports, the home of a family member or ancient Greek Olympiads. Shorts are to be shunned in every other situation I’m afraid. The current shorts fiasco is simply a bad habit that has picked up steam as our culture emphasizes revealing more and more about ourselves to perfect strangers (er, like on blogs).
Barring the above shorts-appropriate venues, when the situation is casual enough to wear shorts, may I suggest the gentleman wear a good pair of blue jeans, which goes with most any t-shirt or polo shirt, and either causal brown shoes or sneakers as the situation calls for. Ah, but bear in mind—socks should not only match the shirt, but be about the same darkness as the shoes: White socks for mostly white sneakers, yes. White socks with brown shoes, no.
In at least the past century, clear to this one, it has been known amongst gentlemen that the male leg has its place, and when out of place shows evidence of one's poor taste. One thinks perhaps of a time, embarrassing to recall, when crossing one's legs whilst wearing a fine suit one's socks were not high enough, and thus between the pants and the socks there stood out a portion of naked leg for all to see, a hideous break in the otherwise elegant line of the suit. One shudders at the very thought of such a thing.
But all is not lost: may we gentlemen lead the charge, and take the poison of bad taste from the ill-dressed masses. Sometimes, after all, the only thing wanting is someone to provide a good example. And remember: it's never too late to join the league of gentlemen.