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Just the Tip (of the knee)

The long and short of shorts. Literally.

A lot of men out there can’t wait to get home from work and put on a pair of shorts. For some reason, there is this thing with guys and shorts. While the traditional sartorial perspective is that shorts should only make an appearance at the beach, we think that’s both unrealistic and overly conservative. Like any other garment, when shorts fit correctly, they’re great. But when they don’t, it’s bad news.

And so, we at Classfare are on a mission to make wearing shorts an improvement to the style and image of the man, rather than a concession. When the occasion allows, shorts can offer the leg-breathing comfort you desire while still being flattering and stylish.

Think of your shorts like you would a great pair of chinos – they should be comfortable but still look tailored, complementing both your body type and your personal vibe. Gone are the days of wearing oversized cargo shorts hanging off your ass with the bottom hem reaching halfway down the back of your calf. Your shorts should look slim (but not tight) on the leg. You’ll want them roomier than your slim fit jeans but much slimmer than your basketball shorts and cargoes of yesteryear).

Thankfully, there are a lot of options available these days. Many brands are introducing slimmer shorts with a multitude of length options, from 5″ to 15″. That’s a wide delta of lengths (read: thigh exposure). So how trim and how short should you go? For most guys, the bottom hem should hit right above the knee cap. For those blessed with tan skin and fit legs, you can go several inches higher.

We’ve illustrated a handful of inseam lengths on two models. One approximates a guy who is 5’8″ while the other is 6’3″.

Note the difference in length on each to help you be confident in your inseam length of choice, per your height and thigh-baring bravado. Try a few different lengths to see what you like, we just recommend you try a shorter length than you thought you would be comfortable with. You never know, your thighs might be thirstier for the sun than you thought.

See below for descriptions of our favorites choices.


5” (Pure Bravado)
The Original, by Chubbies

With a 5” inseam length, The Original by Chubbies is made for the guy who is ready to show off some real leg. Available in four-dozen colors and patterns, you can pick just the right pair to match your already daring personality.


7” (A Little Leggy)
Stanton Short, by JCrew

J.Crew makes a 7″ inseam short that will show a little more leg than the more moderate 9″, but not as thigh-baring as its 5″ cousin. When the days get hotter, the breezy nature of linen works well. Linen is meant to look a bit wrinkled, so care is easy.


9” (The Moderate Man)
The Mitre Short, by All Saints

If you’re used to longer and baggier shorts, we recommend starting with a 9″ inseam, which work well for most guys. These 9″ Mitre Shorts by All Saints feature a cuffed hem and a tailored fit, which means they can be dressed up or down with ease.


11” (Cap the Cap)
Colored Bermude Shorts, by Zara

Cut at a slightly longer 11″, these shorts by Zara are offered in a unique pattern and include a rope belt. For the taller man, this short is cut a bit longer and will wear just above the knee.