There’s nothing better than a man in a good suit. A well-cut, good quality suit (or hey, even just a blazer) will stand the test of time and can add a touch of class and style to an otherwise frumpy outfit.
But we need to talk about something, men. We need to talk about a terrifying trend that's been popping up everywhere: the short suit.
That’s right. In possibly the worst mens workwear trend since dress pant sweatpants, retailers are trying to make this Frankenstein creation a thing.
“It’s definitely having a moment, particularly with younger guys,” J. Hilburn’s creative director Jon Patrick tells Bloomberg Businessweek.
We get it. With temperatures (finally) on the rise, wearing full-length pants isn’t so alluring. But please, don’t give in to the siren song of the short suit.
"We have wanted to make a suit short for a long time but knew it had to be just right for it to look good," reads the product description for a $548 shorts-and-suit jacket combination on J. Crew’s website. "We would like to finally introduce you to the Ludlow short. It has an old-school country club vibe (more 'Gatsby,' less 'Caddyshack') and is almost guaranteed to win the battle for best-dressed at nearly every summer occasion."
While J. Crew calls the short suit the “perfect suiting choice for steamy days at the office,” we’re not so sure. While the suit could maybe work in a more casual work environment, it doesn’t seem right to walk into a major client meeting looking like the bottom half of you just came from the beach.
Similarly, U.K. brand Reiss recommends combining the short suit with a black crew-neck, suede driving shoes and a pair of aviators for a “smart and informal” look. Does anyone wearing a suit really want to look informal?
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While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the short suit rear its ugly head, it’s garnering more support than before. Pharrell might be partially to blame – the “Happy” singer made fashion critics weep when he showed up at this year’s Oscars wearing a black short suit.
“Do not make the intellectual error of thinking that a suit with shorts represents a compromise between formality and comfort,” writes Deadspin’s Albert Burneko. “For one thing, the pants are the least-formal part of a suit; all the mannered discomfort is in the upper half, and none of it is mitigated by the inclusion of shorts. For another, comfort is anathema to formality; like Harry Potter and Voldemort, the two simply cannot compromise with each other.
“The suit-with-shorts is a getup at fundamental odds with itself,” he continues.
What do you think of the short suit trend? Guys, would you ever consider wearing something like this in the sweltering summer heat?