The paradox continues to baffle us; the shorts is the bread and butter of the Singaporean style uniform, yet many guys butcher it with flagrancy. That makes us want to butcher them.

Look, the eternal summer here can actually be perceived as a blessing rather than a curse. It is the perfect excuse to fall back on whenever we need to liberate our legs. We can avoid infecting the insides of our pants leg with sweat and bacteria. However, a stroll down Orchard Road (and our neighbourhood mall) later, it is apparent that guys have taken too much liberty with the stylish summer staple, with ill-fitting berms and misguided shorts/top/footwear pairings.

We can’t promise anything, but this foundations guide should reboot everyone’s favourite Singaporean fashion parody into a mini-European fashion clinic.

We can only hope.

1. Fit

For every shorts wearing dude out there, it’s quite safe to say that the chinos shorts is the staple among all shorts types. So let’s use that as a blank canvas and train your eye on the fit.

The shorts fit usually fall into either one of these two: normal or tailored. Similar to tailored suits, tailored shorts have a slimmer silhouette as it tapers down to the knee. We don’t have to spell ‘normal’ out.

Although the tailored fit should be the preferred choice 97.5% of the time, guys with swole thighs may want to play by ear and go for the standard fit. Otherwise, when you sit down and stand back up, the slimmer leg hole is going to ride up and choke your trotters like ham roll sausages.

2. Length

Trust us when we say this is the gospel of successful shorts shopping: IT SHOULD ALWAYS END ABOVE THE KNEE!

But not all the way up to boxers territory, of course. Unless you’re yearning for that kind of attention. If you’re pedantic about measurements like us, an inch and a half to two above the knee is a good gauge.

3. Shorts & Top Pairing

☑ Henleys
☑ Casual button-downs with rolled sleeves
☑ Fitted basic Tees / Vintage Tees
☑ Lightweight sweatshirts

☒ Singlet/Vests
☒ Skin tight polos
☒ Bowling shirts

Shorts & Footwear Pairing

☑ Trainers (e.g. Your NMDs, Flyknits and NB 576s)
☑ Casual loafers
☑ Birks

☒ Trainers and high socks
☒ Rubbery flip-flops
☒ Boots

4. The Roll-Up

You might have noticed that many fashion labels, from local indie boutiques to international fast fashion brands, sell you shorts that are already pre-rolled at the hem. That’s because shorts look handsomer with that inch of hem folded up.

If your penny-pinching tendencies are keeping you from hitting the retail strands, try this shorts-cut to salvage your existing line-up of berms. If those slouchy Dad berms are hopeless and you need to shop (which is always the answer), get your butt out the house. Resist the temptation to do e-fitting from the comfort of your bed. Some things are still better done offline.

What Next?

We thought you’d never ask. The sun is still baking, and you want options. You want variety like your Tinder match list. At that point when you’re tired of rotating the same few pairs of chinos shorts, venture out and dress your legs in the comfier athleisure shorts. Invest in a pair of stylish swim shorts that can double as your go-out-to-coffeeshop-shorts.

Give denim shorts (AKA jorts) a shot – a la John Cena – minus the sagginess. We can’t see it, and we don’t want to see it.

So, now that you’ve graduated from the shorts re-education camp, time for that mini-European clinic?