We are (hopefully) but a mere month from wardrobe-transforming temperature jumps across these United States.
Which brought about a series of heated debates here at InsideHook HQ: When, where and how often should a man wear shorts in summer? And what about sandals?
Rather than publish the musings of madmen only concerned with self-preservation, we took it to the only source that matters:
By asking 13 real, live, sex-having women about the man-clothes they detest most, from shorts to sandals to that “one terrible pair of dress shoes that every man has.”
Continue at your own risk.
Sonya, 25, Writer
How do you feel about guys wearing A) Shorts and B) Sandals?
“Listen, no guy looks cooler or better in shorts than they do pants. That's a fact. Still, I recognize that in some climates — summer in New York, for example — it's unreasonable to expect guys to wear pants all the time. So certain shorts are acceptable, but only when absolutely necessary. Sandals are a hard no unless you're going to the pool or beach, in which case always slides, never flip-flops.
If there's one thing you could permanently delete from every man's wardrobe, what would it be?
“Is there anything that screams 'I don't want to get laid' more than a pair of cargo shorts?”
Layla, 24, Designer
Shorts and sandals: “As far as shorts go for guys, I think the shorter the better. Seriously, if they’re like mid-thigh and in a nice fit/cut (not too tight and a little boxy), then I am in. Sandals I don’t think any man should wear ever.”
Delete? “I would permanently delete ill-fitting jeans. Nothing makes a guy look worse.”
Tina, 27, Brand Manager
Shorts and sandals: “Shorts are okay as long as they’re not jorts. Sandals are also okay as long as they don’t have socks with them. But of course my dad wears jorts and sandals with socks.”
Delete? “Ill-fitting suits. A good tailor can help that though.”
Claire, 22, Grad Student
Shorts: “Get those pins out! 'Nuff said.” Sandals: "When it comes to sandals, I'm all about the practicality. Beachwear, hiking in hot weather, gorge walking ... go for it. But it's an absolute no from me to socks and sandals. Sorry, boys. The Jesus-reincarnated look is just not the one. And a friendly reminder: Just like socks, under no circumstances should sandals ever be worn in bed ... (you'd be surprised).”
Delete? “Would have to be strapless vests [tank tops]. Guys: I know it's a supreme ego boost to see those biceps flexing in the gym mirrors as you lift your heavy bells, but honestly, the douchey frat-bro look is a hard one to pull off in day-to-day life. So please contain your vestige (and occasional peeking nipples) to the safe confines of those four sweaty walls.”
Amber, 34, Health and Nutrition Coach
Shorts and sandals: “I grew up in Florida up until my mid 20s, so I’m no stranger to a guy in shorts and flip-flops. That being said, I like a guy in shorts during warmer months as long as they have some style to them and they aren’t pleated, cargo or jean shorts. When it comes to sandals or mandals, I prefer flip-flops only on my men. Definitely nothing leather such as Birkenstocks or anything that goes around the back of the heel.”
Delete? “I would permanently delete men’s pleated pants and shorts. They are outdated, tragic and unnecessary.”
Caitlin, 26, Publicist
Shorts and sandals: “I think shorts and sandals are both fine, so long as toe nails are clean and kempt. Who doesn’t love some man thigh?!”
Delete: “I’ve decided it’s ‘message T-shirts.’ For example, this asshole.”
Lillian, 31, Head of Operations at Civil
Short and sandals: “I like when men wear pretty short shorts. If you have the leg tone to pull it off, show me the above-the-knee meat. It’s very Hyannisport/Punta del Este. If you can’t bear the short short, then at least wear a tailored looking short in a lightweight material. No sandals, but maybe some of those woven loafers. But actual woven, actual loafers. Not those uncle-at-a-cookout sandals. I recognize that come summer, we have it hard. But suck it up, find a breathable shoe and move on with your life.”
Delete? “Your one pair of cheap dress shoes. Every man has them and they look terrible, so just friggin’ stop it already.”
Nancy, 26, Actor
Short and sandals: “I dig a good pair of shorts on men, but if they go below the knee and have lots of large pockets in tan (aka cargo shorts), we’re done. In NYC, sandals are highly questionable in general. The amount of times a rat has scurried just in front of my boot is too many to count. But if you’re a dude living by the beach, I’d allow a Birkenstock sandal as an ‘I'm running out of my house’ look. If you're going to rock a sandal, please don’t have hobbit toes.”
Delete? “The too-pointy dress shoe. Look no further than here to see what I mean. Or the teeny tiny beanie that is definitely not keeping your head warm. No, you are not Ernest Hemingway. Unless it’s a Yarmulke. I stare at it and wonder if you’ve bobby-pinned it, glued it to your head or are hiding a bald spot.”
Yolanda, 53, Accountant
Short and sandals: “Shorts? Sure! As long as they look tailored. My husband wears sandals, but now that I think of it, I’ve never looked at his dusty feet and said, ‘That really brings your whole outfit together.’”
Delete: “Those blue dress shirts with the white collar.”
Kathleen, 30, Event Planner
Shorts and sandals: “Shorts are fine. Summer happens. It gets hot. Just stay away from jorts — you deserve better. Sandals, though: nope. No flip-flop is a good flip-flop. They don’t work in the city and they don’t work at the beach. Don't even get me started on Chacos.”
Delete? “Drawstring backpacks. They are cheap, they are ugly and they are the complete opposite of cool. Why waste your time carrying around a promotional freebie?”
Tiffany, 35, Chef and restaurateur
Shorts and sandals: “As long as they're short shorts (above the knee) I'm okay with them. Commit to the look. I have a few girlfriends who agree we'd like to see the '80s jogging short make a comeback for men. Does that make me a perv?”
Delete? “All toe shoes should be burned! Include sandals in there. And I also have an irrational hatred for Euro-style tennis shoes — not sure on that one.”
Lydia, 31, Creative Director
Shorts and sandals: “I don't mind guys wearing shorts, it's the only practical option when it's hot out. Honestly, I don't care what anyone puts on their body as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. What I don't like is when people don't take care of themselves (proper hygiene and grooming, e.g., putting on deodorant or clipping their toenails). That's disgusting. Also, cargo shorts are just plain ugly — really, not flattering on anyone. I also don't care if a guy wears sandals. He could be wearing potato chip bags on his feet, as long as he was a decent human being, I couldn't care less. If you are going to wear shoes that expose your feet, though, make sure you've taken a shower and clipped your toenails. I don't care how sweet and charming and attractive you are — if your toenails are long enough to butter bread, then get out of here with that.”
Delete? “The one thing I'd personally remove from every guy's wardrobe is his inflated sense of self. No? Not what you were looking for? Okay, how about any and all sports-branded garb. Yikes. It just gives the impression that you literally don't know how to dress yourself, so you just went with XYZ team's jersey because sportsball is manly and tough. I can tell you right now a girl is 100% more likely to be interested in you if you learn how to present yourself in a thoughtful and well put-together light — physically and mentally.”
Maureen, 41, Policy Planner, Engaged
Shorts and sandals: “Obviously men deserve to be comfortable in the summer heat (Or do they?), so I have nothing against shorts. However, no cargo or board shorts. Board shorts serve no purpose: they’re ill-suited for swimming, and do nothing for the ass or package, which prying eyes delight to see. Sandals are sensitive. My boyfriend has those flip-flops with the beer opener on the sole, which is hilarious but also kind of gross and not very effective TBH. Flip-flops are good for beach/swim, but I don't see room for them outside of that arena. Men should invest in lightweight canvas slip-ons because let's be honest, most men have disgusting feet that we shouldn't have to see.”
Delete? “Fit is everything. Style is subjective, but having a good fit is imperative, and can make even blah clothes look stylish. Baggy clothes do nothing for anyone, even larger-bodied people. But that said — anything neon. Neon makes you look like an idiot baby. Stop wearing it. And stop wearing shirts with stupid sayings on them. No one cares what you think or whatever supposedly clever line of thinking you affiliate with. Grow up.”